What Should Be Wild
by Julia Fine


Overview -

"Delightful and darkly magical. Julia Fine has written a beautiful modern myth, a coming-of-age story for a girl with a worrisome power over life and death. I loved it." --Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry

Finalist for the Bram Stoker Superior Achievement in a First Novel Award - Shortlisted for the Chicago Review of Books Best Novel Prize - A Bustle Unmissable Debut of the Year - A Popsugar Best Book of the Year - A Washington Post Best Fantasy Book of May - A Refinery 29 Best May Book - A Chicago Review of Books Best May Book - A Verge Gripping Fantasy Novel of May

In this darkly funny, striking debut, a highly unusual young woman must venture into the woods at the edge of her home to remove a curse that has plagued the women in her family for millennia--an utterly original novel with all the mesmerizing power of The Tiger's Wife , The Snow Child , and Swamplandia

Cursed.  Read more...


 
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More About What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine
 
 
 
Overview

"Delightful and darkly magical. Julia Fine has written a beautiful modern myth, a coming-of-age story for a girl with a worrisome power over life and death. I loved it." --Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry

Finalist for the Bram Stoker Superior Achievement in a First Novel Award - Shortlisted for the Chicago Review of Books Best Novel Prize - A Bustle Unmissable Debut of the Year - A Popsugar Best Book of the Year - A Washington Post Best Fantasy Book of May - A Refinery 29 Best May Book - A Chicago Review of Books Best May Book - A Verge Gripping Fantasy Novel of May

In this darkly funny, striking debut, a highly unusual young woman must venture into the woods at the edge of her home to remove a curse that has plagued the women in her family for millennia--an utterly original novel with all the mesmerizing power of The Tiger's Wife, The Snow Child, and Swamplandia

Cursed. Maisie Cothay has never known the feel of human flesh: born with the power to kill or resurrect at her slightest touch, she has spent her childhood sequestered in her family's manor at the edge of a mysterious forest. Maisie's father, an anthropologist who sees her as more experiment than daughter, has warned Maisie not to venture into the wood. Locals talk of men disappearing within, emerging with addled minds and strange stories. What he does not tell Maisie is that for over a millennium her female ancestors have also vanished into the wood, never to emerge--for she is descended from a long line of cursed women.

But one day Maisie's father disappears, and Maisie must venture beyond the walls of her carefully constructed life to find him. Away from her home and the wood for the very first time, she encounters a strange world filled with wonder and deception. Yet the farther she strays, the more the wood calls her home. For only there can Maisie finally reckon with her power and come to understand the wildest parts of herself.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062684134
  • ISBN-10: 0062684132
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Publish Date: May 2018
  • Page Count: 368
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Fantasy - Contemporary
Books > Fiction > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

A dash, a dollop, a sprinkling of magic

At its best, fantasy fiction is transportive, taking us away from the world we know. Sometimes that journey sends us to alien and mythic realms, but sometimes—as in this trio of powerful new novels—magic can be found in a strange and wondrous reflection of a world we already recognize.

In his stunning debut, The City of Lost Fortunes, Bryan Camp crafts a spellbinding vision of one of America’s most magical cities. In a post-Katrina New Orleans, magician and grifter Jude Dubuisson is adrift, hiding from his exciting former life and keeping quiet about his gift for locating lost items. All that changes when a sudden invitation catapults him back into a world of gods, vampires, angels and tremendous power.

What begins as an enticing introduction to a mythic version of the Crescent City and its characters quickly deepens as Camp weaves through strange haunts and schemes. Indeed, magic is woven into every page with such mesmeric precision that the reader has no idea what to expect next and can’t risk turning away for a moment. Camp takes us through his world with the self-assuredness of a seasoned novelist, leaving no word wasted and no moment of exposition without a little spell twisted into it.

The novel journeys deeper still, beyond its own imagined mysteries and into the unanswered questions of the American experience. The cultural melting pot of New Orleans becomes enchanted, as ritual chalk circles lead to doors, doors lead to hidden rooms, and hidden rooms lead to other realms. As Jude rediscovers a world he left behind, we discover a magical and uncharted landscape that perhaps has always existed before our very eyes.

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Camp for The City of Lost Fortunes.

CITY ON THE WATER
In Blackfish City, the first adult novel from Sam J. Miller (The Art of Starving) imagines a rough, cobbled-together future, then brings forth a little magic from its potential darkness.

In a world ravaged by climate change, corruption and other disasters, humanity has reorganized itself into a series of new settlements. In the floating city Qaanaaq—a mesh of intertwined cultures, vastly different income levels and technology merged with raw survival instinct—a group of seemingly disparate characters are united by a single jarring event: the arrival of a mysterious woman, called an “orcamancer,” who emerges from the sea on a killer whale, with a polar bear in tow. Who is she? What does she want? Will she be the city’s doom, its salvation or some frightening hybrid of the two?

As this mystery unfolds, Miller introduces a rich kid suffering from a strange disease, a battered journeyman fighter, a city administrator, a crime lord with bigger ambitions, a gender-nonbinary messenger and other compelling personalities linked by the aura of the orcamancer. Providing one more voice to the narrative, a mysterious guidebook seems to function as the voice of the city itself. As these varying points of view take their turns telling the story, an addictive tale of redemption and hope emerges from a grimy future.

INTO THE WOODS
What Should Be Wild, the magical debut novel from Julia Fine, begins with all the makings of a dark fairy tale. There once was a girl named Maisie who grew up in an old manor house on the edge of a strange forest. Maisie was born with the power to kill living things and resurrect dead things with a single touch, and so she was locked away by her anthropologist father, who considered her too dangerous and puzzling to be allowed to explore the outside world. When her father goes missing, Maisie’s mixture of curiosity and concern sends her on a journey to the heart of the forest. There, she discovers a dark curse that has plagued the women of her family for centuries.

What follows is a captivating tale that explores the fears, desires and mysteries of growing up through the clouded lens of a dark fantasy. Fine begins with elements we all recognize—a girl with strange powers, a dark old house, a mysterious forest that could be waiting just beyond our doorstep—and delightfully warps them until a new tale emerges. Maisie is a complex heroine worthy of the story’s luxurious prose. In telling her story, Fine reveals her own gift for walking the tightrope between the universal truths of human experience and the hidden magic within those truths.

 

This article was originally published in the May 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews