By Charles de Lint
Since they were introduced in the first Newford story, Jilly Coppercorn and Geordie Riddell, their friends and readers alike have been waiting for them to realize what everybody else already knows: that they belong together. But they've been more clueless about how they feel for each other than the characters in When Harry Met Sally. Now in Widdershins, a stand-alone novel of fairy courts set in shopping malls and the Bohemian street scene of Newford's Crowsea area, Jilly and Geordie's story is finally being told.
Jilly is a wonderfully whimsical artist, now hampered by a physical disability and Geordie is a brilliant fiddler with serious commitment issues which leave him drifting through what could othwise be a prosperous musical career. Both have been friends forever, but even though there has been speculation, they have never gotten together as a couple due to bad timing and a series of spectacularly disasterous relationships and old baggage on both parts.
Jilly is held captive in a sinister world based on her own worst memories—and Geordie, attempting to help, is sent someplace even worse. To walk “widdershins” is to walk counterclockwise or backwards around something. It's a classic pathway into the fairy realm. It's also the way people often back slowly into the relationships that matter, the real ones that make for a life.
I've been a DeLint fan for years, but I was really disappointed at the end of The Onion Girl when Jilly, who of all of Newford's citizens, wants to believe and be touched by otherworldly magic the most, is left crippled and unable to visit the otherworld after her magical encounter.
Now, finally, we see a conclusion to the Jilly and Geordie saga in a story rife with new characters, North American "animal people", and fairy folk. Just as in DeLint's other works, we find new trails of stories intertwined with the main plot and explore human nature in a provoking manner. Appearances by other old friends, like the Crow Girls, pop up thoughout and just make the whole experience more enjoyable.
Labels: animal people, fairies, native mythology, supernatural