Orb, May 2003, 14.95, 320 pp.
In the Arizona desert, award-winning, gin-pickled English poet Davis Cooper drowns in a dry gully. He leaves his house near Tucson and his papers to tyro poet Maggie Black though they never met, but clicked through correspondence. Maggie leaves California and her talented musician husband to move into her new home.
Maggie finds stanzas from unpublished poems and a gallery of paintings left by Cooper's lover, Anna Navarra. The paintings frighten and enchant her. Maggie learns from the natives that an unseen world of magic hides in plain sight of this mundane realm. Maggie's journey is mysterious and strange as she ventures beyond the time-space continuum into a magical orb where she will begin to comprehend how Cooper died among other enigmas.
THE WOOD WIFE is an engaging fantasy that targets high school age readers, but will be fully enjoyed by the older genre fans as well. The story line beautifully yet seemingly effortlessly blends harsh realism of a remote part of the southwest with that of a reverie realm. Readers join the heroine on her journey of self discovery while exploring along side Maggie the magic endlessness of the unseen world seen through the heart. Terri Windling provides a triumphal tale that the audience will appreciate.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner