Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 130: The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint

by | Oct 29, 2023 | 2023 Book Reviews, Book Reviews, Charles De Lint, Marion's Favorite Books, Wisdom From Kammbia Column | 0 comments

“I suppose the other thing too many forget is that we were all stories once, each and every one of us. And we remain stories.”

This sentence written near the end of The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint brings home an important point in human development. We are all stories. Stories are one of the main things that shapes human existence and everyone has a story no matter who you are.

In The Onion Girl, one of the cherished characters from De Lint’s Newford Series, Jilly Coppercorn, takes center stage. Jilly is an artist with a cheerful personality and the ability to connect with everyone.  However, we find out her story as a child and the things that shaped her into the woman she has become.

Jilly left her family because of a relative’s inappropriate behavior, causing ongoing problems. De Lint’s story explores the impact of a life-changing decision on siblings from different perspectives.

The Onion Girl has the usual cast of characters if you are a regular reader of the series. De Lint tells a complete story in the novel, just like the rest of the books in the series. If you’ve read the books in order, you’ll notice the connections between the characters and the importance of Newford as the setting.

It seems that many people with an artistic bent—musicians, writers, as well as artists—have had a less than wonderful childhood. Any thoughts on that?

I can’t speak for anybody else, but maybe it’s because so many of us are outsiders. You know, we just don’t conform well.

Jilly was interviewed by an art magazine reporter early in the novel, and those last two paragraphs came from the interview. She spoke the truth about those with an artistic bent being outsiders to normal society, and their non-conformity always comes to the forefront. The Onion Girl highlights the profound connection that stories can create, surpassing what we typically experience in everyday life.

I’m reading this Newford Series in publication order and The Onion Girl is the eighth published book in the series. It is my favorite novel since Trader and de Lint brings a favorite character to life that makes her multidimensional and fully human simultaneously. I will admit that is not the book to start for a newcomer. However, this novel is perfect for readers who want a complete fantasy story that skillfully blends magic, mythology, and city life.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Marion Hill