Cloven Hooves: Beautiful, haunting, and sad

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review Megan Lindholm Cloven HoovesCloven Hooves by Megan Lindholm

Though I liked this book, it was depressing. Cloven Hooves is a very melancholy book, moving from one heartbreaking situation to another with no respite.

The story starts with two stories intertwined: first, Evelyn’s wild, rough-and-tumble childhood and her youthful escapades with a faun in the Alaska forest, and second, an older, tamer Evelyn’s marriage, which is on the rocks after she, her husband, and their son move in with the husband’s family. His family is horrible in ways that are devastatingly realistic. I know people like Tom’s folks. Unfortunately.

Evelyn, at first, tries to fit in with the in-laws, but it soon becomes apparent that she never will. Then she begins to see her faun again. Some very bad things happen, and Evelyn faces difficult decisions. I’ll say no more for fear of spoilers, but there is no choice in this novel that does not lead to heartbreak. So, yeah, this is a very sad story. It’s also good, though, and does a great job of integrating mythology and animal nature and human nature.

Cloven Hooves — (1991) Publisher: Stuck in a disasterous marriage, Evelyn Potter takes refuge in her childhood memories which she spent daydreaming with Pan — half boy and half goat. Looking back, she can’t tell if they were real or dreams. When her son is killed, Evelyn flees — into the forest where she’s joined by Pan.

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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