Chalice, Robin McKinley- I was really looking forward to this. Its a lovely story but it doesn’t compare to Sunshine in its brilliance. The familiar elements of a McKinley story are here: the seemingingly ordinary but responsible, courageous, and compassionate heroine and hero, the self directed apprenticeship, the obsession. I really loved the Chalice as a role and symbol for unity and healing, with her many chalices. I loved the bees and honey and the connection with the earth. Reading the book felt like moving through a vivid dream. I couldn’t quite connect with Mirasol though, not the way I feel connected to Rae Seddon in Sunshine or Lissar in Deerskin. There’s a rather palpable feeling of impending doom throughout the novel.
The Swan Kingdom, Zoe Marriott- This lush, imaginative retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Wild Swans was a delight to read (great, now I sound like an old lady). I liked the way Marriott incorporated nature based paganism as the guiding religion of the heroine, Alexandra as opposed to the Christianity featured in Anderson’s tale. I loved the vivid descriptions of the flora and fauna and love for the land. The ending is rather abrupt though. I would have liked the book to go on for at least another 50 pages, I like the characters and the world so much. I thought this was a great first novel.
Houseboat, Cary Grant & Sophia Loren- I bought this movie because it was on sale, I needed to add another item to get free shipping, and I thought I’d seen this a long time ago. I don’t think this was that movie. Its cute. Sophia Loren is gorgeous and a great actress. I thought the way they portrayed the kids reactions to losing their mother, attaching themselves to a new mother figure but rebelling when the prospect of that same mother figure actually becoming their new mother was great. There’s a rather touching conversation about death between father and son in one scene. Four stars I guess.