In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Reading this book has left me practically speechless. Almost anything I could say about it will fall flat in the sheer enormity of the experience.
So what DID I experience?
Dark fables incorporating wide mythologies reminiscent of all the best obscure fairy tales twisted in wonderfully unique ways, couched as stories within stories, adding tiny slivers of fate within each until it brings us back, wholly, to our Scheherazade, our poor orphan telling her story from the words tattooed on her eyelids. :)
My particular favorites were the witches drowning in light, the ones who would not die, the irascible pirate mermaid, and all the selkie stories. The dog monks were a great treat as well.
More importantly, this is VALENTE. Everything she writes is lyrical and fascinating and careful and poetical. From the words to the ideas to the characters and their ultimate fates, we run the whole line from vengeance to magical sex-change love to living stars in the sky.
I personally can't understand why it took me this long to get to her earlier work. It's fantastic. :)
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