Title: Winter Rose
Author: Patricia McKillip
Length: 272 pgs
The lyrical prose of Winter Rose by Patricia McKillip made this book a delightful read. This story, told like a fairy tale (most likely because it basically is a fairy tale, of McKillip’s making), is about two sisters: Laurel and Rois. Laurel is proper and beautiful, the perfect dutiful daughter; Rois loves the wood: she runs around barefoot, has twigs in her hair, and sees beautiful men walk out from beams of light. This man who seemingly appeared out of nowhere is Corbet Lynn, and his appearance is the hook of this story. His beauty entraps Laurel, the mystery of his past, Rois. This is a story of personal identity, of losing oneself and the journey to understanding oneself again.
pg 1 – Corbet, he called himself to the villagers. But I saw him before he had any name at all.
My name is Rois, and I look nothing like a rose. The water told me that. Water never lies. I look more like a blackbird, with my flighty black hair and eyes more amber than the blackbird’s sunny yellow. My skin is not fit for fairy tales, since I liked to stand in light, with my eyes closed, my face turned upward toward the sun. That’s how I saw him at first: as a fall of light, and then something shaping out of the light. So it seemed. I did not move; I let the water stream silently down my wrist. There was a blur of gold: his hair. And then I blinked, and saw his face more clearly.
Why should you read this book?
I recommend this book for a simple, fast, yet intriguing, read. The prose, like I said, is lyrical. For anyone attempting to make thier prose simple yet beautiful, important yet not pretentious, read this book. The simple mystery of Corbet, again, is a great example for writers attempting to bring a little mystery to their story, which really, all stories need. Give it a try.