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I am back, and that is all, and I will endeavor to be a good blogger and not forget about my blog again.

I have just finished reading (listening to) The Man Upstairs, and Other Stories by P.G. Wodehouse. I won’t  review it other than to say that the stories were good in a classic Wodehouse way. If you don’t know what that way is, I recommend reading at least one Wodehouse in your life. The plots tend to be similar but that doesn't matter because the brilliance of Wodehouse is in his descriptions. He can turn a humorous phrase like no other.

But that’s not what I am reviewing, I am reviewing another book I recently finished – The Girl who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente.

I have been a fan of Valente ever since my husband bought me The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (the titles are a mouthful) for Valentine’s Day in place of flowers because, well, books are made of paper, and paper comes from trees, so it’s really basically the same thing as flowers…. ?

The Fairyland books follow the adventures of a young girl, September, as she travels through fairyland finding a new adventure each time she visits. TGWSOFACTMIT (the abbreviation isn't any better, is it?) is the third in the series and just as with the other two does not disappoint in the area of fantastical landscapes, vibrant descriptions and creatures of all sorts. September’s character development is great to see – she does not remain the same girl we met in book 1 but continues to learn and develop and in this particular book, even start to become adult (oh no!).

One of the things that first attracted me to Valente’s writing is the way she almost poetically weaves in statements of truth – sometimes profound, and sometimes just very well put. I constantly find myself reading along, and suddenly stopping and going back to reread a section. I almost wish I had a notebook with me sometimes to write down some of these bits.

"It's saying no. That's your first hint that something's alive. It says no. That's how you know a baby is starting to turn into a person. They run around saying no all day, throwing their aliveness at everything to see what it'll stick to. You can't say no if you don't have desires and opinions and wants of your own. You wouldn't even want to. No is the heart of thinking."

I do feel that in book 3 some of the characters and landscapes are thrown in just because Valente liked the idea of them rather than because they were important to the plot. When more text is spent describing a character than on their actual involvement in the plot, things become a little unbalanced. I found myself more than once having to flip back because I couldn't remember how a scene ended or *why* they met the people made of paper, or how September ended up in a new place when I’d just got my head around the previous location. The Fairyland books are Alice in Wonderland-style adventures where the plot is moved along by each new location or character, but I felt that book three was a little too fragmented and may have been improved by a little more plot and a little less description.

All-in-all it was still a great read and I do look forward to the next book. I’m also currently reading Valente’s short story collection The Bread We Eat In Dreams and enjoying it very much.

You can also buy Wodehouse, but if you like listening, you can do that for free via LibriVox.


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