Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Book Notes: "A Circle of Salt", by E. J. Weaver

(Note: I first posted this review on my account on Goodreads, but I thought I should also publish it here.)

I had the privilege of reading A Circle of Salt before it was published* and it has stuck with me for such a long time!

It stuck with me because the author's words painted such very *vivid* pictures. I felt like I had walked into a fairy-tale book illustrated by Mercer Mayer or Trina Schart Hyman. Even months after I finished it, I could still *see* Vasilissa, the heroine, running desperately from the wicked Koschei, or in the warm peasant's cabin, or surrounded by the clear, light sea on the island where she met her beloved.

It's odd, I suppose, to insist that a good author can paint a picture with nothing but words, but Weaver is one who can.

One oddity stuck with me as well, and that was the unexplained coexistence of Faerie and of Russian Orthodox Christianity. The truth is, though, I that I thought the plain mystery was a more honest solution than almost any other I could think of. 

I enjoyed reading this very much, and I'm still struck, as I turn back to it, by the clarity of Weaver's prose. 

I am also deeply grateful for such a lovely (and loving) introduction to Russian folktales. I didn't know much about them before I picked up this book, and now I feel like I know not only some of the good stories, but a good deal of the heart behind them.

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

*Full disclosure: I got to read this before publication because the author is a friend of mine.

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