Artist Jilly Coppercorn is quite a talent whose
paintings make the biggest cynic believe the painter has
visited fairyland. Her landscape and creatures seem very
real, as if she visited the fae. However, a hit and run
driver leaves the talented artist semi-paralyzed. Worse
than her broken body is Jilly's broken spirit, as her zest
for life is as paralyzed as her body.
Jilly no longer wants to live in the human realm and
turns to her dreams of fairyland as escapism just as she
did as a girl to evade her drunken parents and her rapist
elder brother Del. Jilly fell apart as a youngster, but
when she finally got her act together and returned home,
she found Raylene her younger sister hated her for
abandoning her. Del raped Raylene because Jilly left.
Raylene still loathes Jilly and can enter fairyland where
she feeds on unicorns targeting Jilly for death in that
realm and subsequently the mundane world.
THE ONION GIRL looks deeply inside the psyche of its'
two lead female characters especially Jilly who has
appeared in other Charles de Lint tales. Additionally, the
novel persuades the audience to believe in fairyland, but
surprisingly the tale goes at a slow pace for what sounds
like an action fantasy. The fans see the reactions of
Jilly and Raylene to setbacks on the human plane and how
that impacts their behavior in fairyland. Though poignant
and insightful, fans of epic fantasy will not enjoy this
tale but those readers who relish a psychological character
study using fantasy elements to enhance the profundity of
the plot will love this special tale.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted October 5, 2001
A stunning new novel of magic and danger in the modern world...
In novel after novel, Charles de Lint has brought an imaginary North American city to vivid life. Newford: where magic lights dark streets, where myths walk in modern shapes, where humans and older beings must work to keep the whole world turning. At the center of the entwined lives of all the Newford tales stands a young artist named Jilly Coppercorn, whose paintings capture the hidden beings that dwell in Newfords shadows. With her tangled hair, her paint-splattered jeans, a smile perpetually on her lips, shes darted in and out of the Newford tales. Now, at last, we have Jillys own story. Behind the painters fey charm theres a dark secret, and a past shes laboured to forget. That past is coming to claim her now, threatening all she loves.