Book Thoughts

Reading: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Wintersong Book Cover Wintersong
S. Jae-Jones
Young Adult Fiction
Macmillan
2017-02
368

 

This story is Gothic to the bone: unexpressed passions, strawberries in winter, furniture grown out of roots, clothes stolen from the dead, changelings, underground music, beauty and decay.

Wintersong follows the tale of Elizabeth, spinster elder sister, who is a brilliant composer, but due to both poverty and society, can never be one. But her music has caught the interest of the goblin king, and when he can't have her, he steals away her younger and more beautiful sister. Elizabeth has to save her sister, and then ultimately herself. It's a story about coming to know who you are, imperfect and terrible though that might be.

To be honest, I know this is not a story for everyone, but I loved it anyway. I've always been a fan of Gothic fiction. The haunted and surreal, the pleasure and pain. Like all Gothic tales, it's stuffed full of over the top emotions, but it never felt like it ventured into melodrama. I could relate to the anger of a woman who is  always ignored, and never gets to live her dreams because her life doesn't allow her.

If you enjoy flawed characters struggling to endure, and messy relationships that grow. If you enjoy music or composition, or dark fairy tales, I'd recommend giving this story a try.

P.S. I doubt many teen readers have seen the 1986 Labyrinth movie, which inspired this novel, but that colored reading of the story. The goblin king will always be Bowie to me.

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