Something Rich and Strange • 1994 • Magic realism novel by Patricia A. McKillip

★★

Synopsis The two lovers Megan and Jonah live in a coastal Oregon town. Megan is an artist specialized in drawing ocean sites and tide pools, she sells her art in Jonah’s craft shop. Suddenly, Megan puts elements into her drawings unconsciously and the faery story starts: Jonah meets singer Nereis and Megan her brother Adam Fin. Their relationship crumbles as both are drawn to the foreigners.

Review The dreamy story reminded me of Andersen’s Snow Queen, only that the faeries are in the waves instead of Otherworld.

It took quite a while to develop a plot, but after the overlong exposition it was quite predictable. Not only the story failed, but it ended also as a heavy-handed ecological sermon that I nearly DNFed it. Also, the main protagonists reacted mostly in strange, unbelievable ways which made it hard to connect to them.

McKillips gorgeous, evocative language captures the artist’s works, but the story failed.

Meta: This Magic realism novel was published 1994. I read it as part of Dreams of Distant Shores. It won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature.

 

 

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