Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rosy's scrawled book recommendation: Deerskin by Robin McKinley

Robin McKinley

As Princess Lissar reaches womanhood, it is clear to all the kingdom that in her breathtaking beauty she is the mirror image of her mother, the queen. But this seeming blessing forces her to flee from her father's wrath. With her loyal dog, Lissar unlocks a door to a world of magic, where she finds the key to her survival - and an adventure beyond her wildest dreams.

Avon Books


Rosy's scrawlings on Deerskin
Like most books written by Robin McKinley there's a large dollop of darkness included in Deerskin. This book is where fairy tales meet horror and literature but unlike the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales this one is a full length story. This book isn't one for the faint of heart when it comes to women's issues. Unlike the Grimm fairy tales, there are no innuendos, vague suggestions or possible interpretations. Sexual issues are writ large in Deerskin and the horror felt by victims of abuse or rape is not tamped down for general consumption. Leading up to Lissar's rape you can see the signs and as a reader you spend much of your time wishing, just wishing, it won't happen. But, like reality, some events are inescapable when you're young and defenceless and surrounded by those with strength and desire. Lissar is trapped and her attempts at escape aren't successful soon enough. When Lissar leaves though, she eventually grows in physical and mental strength, enough to consider the hatred and desire for revenge that lie at the core of her heart. She also learns to love and trust, even if she never gives such feelings to a human. Deerskin is a story of trauma, hatred, revenge, love, loyalty and recovery centred around a young girl/woman and her dog Ash.
Robin McKinley, for those who've never read any of her other works, has a tendency to weave poetry into her writing and extend her sentences near as long as Dickens'. This gives her work a heaviness that may turn some readers away but I deeply recommend you keep reading until you're used to her style. It is well worth it for the writing is beautiful and the subject matter is worth the effort on McKinley's part. For all the horror and darkness of this fairytale McKinley's writing expresses a beauty in the starkness of Lissar's life, particularly in her slow recovery and establishment of a life in the wild.

I'd recommend this book to: women. And some men not squeamish over reading about topics like rape.

No comments:

Post a Comment