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Child of a Rainless Year

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Child of a Rainless Year (2005) Jane Lindskold

Mira Fenn was nine when her mother disappeared, and she was sent away to Ohio to live with foster parents. The further she goes from her time in Las Vegas New Mexico, the stranger her early childhood seems.

Especially her mother.

I watched, mesmerized, as Mother transformed herself from a pale ghost into the beauty who still commanded legions of admirers. Fear throbbed tight and hard within my chest. No longer did I want to be discovered, for I knew I had stumbled on a mystery greater and more terrible than that of Bluebeard’s murdered wives. I had seen the secret magic of color, and how color made lies truth and truth lies.

It isn’t until her 50s, until the couple her raised her–whom she thinks of as her true parents–dies in an accident that she truly decides to look into her past, and what happened to her mother.

Mother noticed only rarely, and then in such a personal fashion that the one so noticed would cringe, wishing to have that egotism turned elsewhere, anywhere else, rather than suffer the wails mourning the wrong done to “my”—“ my child,” “my efforts,” “my pain,” “my sacrifice,” “my …” Truly, for her, nothing existed outside of that curtaining veil of self.

Some of my favorite bits of this story are when she finally returns to her childhood home, to find it different, but also as she remembered it.

The lock turned with a minimal amount of stiffness, and I pushed open the door, automatically reaching up for the light switch. I didn’t find it, not until I adjusted and slid my hand down.

This is not an adventure story, but rather a look into the past and into what makes us different from our parents. We are more than the product of our genes, more than the product of those who raised us.

We are even more than we think ourselves.

Sometimes we need beauty and grandeur to inspire us to be the best we can be— to remind us of what humans are capable of when they turn their minds to something beyond the purely practical. We have the capacity for art, for beauty. I think we should use it.”

As I said, this is not an adventure but an unfolding. It’s also lovely and one of my favorite books by Jane Lindskold–so much of this story has taken up residence in my brain, and popped up at unexpected times. Which is what, to me, makes a good story.
Rating: 9/10

Publisher: Tor Books

Categories: Fantasy, Re-Read, Urban     Comments (0)    



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