Solstice Wood, by Patricia McKillip, was my reward for finishing correcting reading tests, compiling grades, and filling out report cards. And it was a lovely reward! Patricia McKillip is a new favorite of mine, an author I discovered through Carl V’s Once Upon a Time reading challenges. This book again proved to me that she is a beautiful writer and a great storyteller.
I didn’t realize it when I started it, but this book is a sequel to her Winter Rose, although set in modern times. It stood alone, however, and I enjoyed it very much.
From the publisher:
When bookstore owner Sylvia Lynn hears her grandmother’s voice on the phone, she knows she must finally return to her childhood home in upstate New York. Her beloved grandfather has died, and though she has put a country between her and the past, the time has come for Sylvia to face the grandmother who raised her and the woods which so beguiled, and so frightened, her.
Though Lynn Hall is nearly ramshackle, Sylvia’s grandmother is just as spry as ever. There is no escaping her scrutiny, and Sylvia has something to hide. But it’s not until she meets the Fiber Guild — a group of local women who meet to knit, embroider, and sew — that Sylvia learns why her grandmother watches her so. A primitive power exists in the forest, a force the Fiber Guild seeks to bind in its stitches and weavings. And Sylvia is no stranger to the woods…
McKillip’s writing is lyrical and magical. Her stories are always more than just a good story. This one, for instance, is also about keeping an open mind and appreciating or learning to accept differences rather than fearing them. It reminded me a little bit of Midori Snyder’s Hannah’s Garden, with the old family home being the bridge between our world and the world of Faerie.
It seems fitting to have this book be my final book read for Carl’s Once Upon a Time II Challenge, which ends on the Summer Solstice. I’ve loved my reading for his challenge this year!