The Onion Girl Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Onion Girl

Jilly Coppercorn had made her name as an artist and had a vibrant crowd of friends. However, a hit and run accident left her partially paralyzed. While in hopital, she dreams her way into another world, a world that some of her friends can also enter. She learns about magical beings who are part human, part animal. She also learns that her sister is looking for her. Both Jilly and Raylene were abused by their older brother, and Jilly must face her past, to heal her body.
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The review of this Book prepared by Bryn Colvin

Doherty, Nov 2001, 27.95, 508 pp.
ISBN: 0312873972

    Artist Jilly Coppercorn is quite a talent whose paintings make the biggest cynic believe the painter has visited fairyland. Her landscape and creatures seem very real, as if she visited the fae. However, a hit and run driver leaves the talented artist semi paralyzed. Worse than her broken body is Jilly's broken spirit, as her zest for life is as paralyzed as her body.

    Jilly no longer wants to live in the human realm and turns to her dreams of fairyland as escapism just as she did as a girl to evade her drunken parents and her rapist elder brother Del. Jilly fell apart as a youngster, but when she finally got her act together and returned home, she found Raylene her younger sister hated her for abandoning her. Del rape by Raylene because Jilly left. Raylene still loathes Jilly and can enter fairyland where she feeds on unicorns targeting Jilly for death in that realm and subsequently the mundane world.

    THE ONION GIRL looks deeply inside he psyche of its' two lead female characters especially Jilly who has appeared in other Charles de Lint tales. Additionally, the novel persuades the audience to believe in fairyland, but surprisingly the tale goes at a slow pace for what sounds like an action fantasy. The fans see the reactions of Jilly and Raylene to setbacks on the human plane and how that impacts their behavior in fairyland. Though poignant and insightful, fans of epic fantasy will not enjoy this tale but those readers who relish a psychological character study using fantasy elements to enhance the profundity of the plot will love this special tale.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Onion Girl

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book    -   very upbeat FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   part earth & part fantasy world Inner Struggle    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   fighting a personal illness/handicap Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   artist Age:    -   20's-30's


Terrain    -   Forests Earth setting:    -   20th century    -   during "Tolkien" (fairytime) times Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   very explicit references to deaths and torture Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   rape/molest (yeech!) How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Onion Girl

Charles de Lint Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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