Our heroine, Maggie, is reeling from her divorce and drifting rather aimlessly through life — she considers herself a poet but hasn’t written a poem in years. Then, her mentor dies mysteriously — drowned in a dry creekbed — and inexplicably leaves her his house in the Southwestern desert. She moves there, hoping to research a biography of him. At first, Maggie doesn’t like the desert; it seems sterile, forbidding, devoid of charm. Then one night a pooka cuddles up to her in bed, and nothing is the same after that…
Maggie soon discovers a world of magic in the desert (and we, the readers, discover it right along with her), and digs up some fascinating secrets about her mentor’s life. And suddenly, all the pieces come together.
Both a mystery and a fantasy, The Wood Wife is gorgeously written and a good read. As a writer, I was especially moved by the discussions of whether or not Maggie was still a poet. Well done.