Book Review: Across the Green Grass Fields, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Across the Green Grass Fields, Wayward Children Book 6, Seanan McGuire

 

Across the Green Grass Fields, Wayward Children Book 6, Seanan McGuire

Fantasy: Across the Green Grass Fields, Wayward Children Book 6, Seanan McGuire

 

Regan is a normal little girl. That is what she desperately wants to be. Normal is defined unyieldingly by her friend Lauren. Normal little girls don’t play with snakes — that’s why Heather could no longer be their friend. Normal little girls can play with horses, so Regan’s obsession with riding is acceptable. Normal little girls do begin to see transformations when puberty starts. And, suddenly, Regan is not entirely a normal little girl.

 

Regan’s body is not developing the way her friends’ bodies are, especially Lauren’s. So she asks her parents, “Am I broken?” And her parents tell her something she never knew about herself: she is genetically “intersex.” Her body has female parts. But her DNA has both X and Y chromosomes. In short, although she looks like a girl and feels like a girl and “acts” like a girl (whatever that is), her body is going to grow differently than her friends’ bodies will.

 

In short, she is not a normal little girl. And when Lauren finds out, her wrath is ferocious.

 

Regan flees the school and finds herself in front of a mysterious door. Opening it and falling through, she finds herself in a world with unicorns and centaurs, kelpies and minotaurs, all led by a mysterious queen who was installed years before by a human like herself. Everyone in this world knows that humans only come into their world when a great danger or great change is imminent. When a centaur finds Regan and brings her home, they are all certain that this little girl is anything but normal. She is special, she is there to save them, she has been brought in miraculously.

 

Yet, all she wants to do is be part of the herd.

 

The Wayward Children series is dark and funny, brilliant and insightful. Seanan McGuire has an extraordinary gift for relating the pain of childhood in ways that make us adults remember those difficult years. Children can be cruel and manipulative. They can tear the soul out of a classmate and shred it callously on the playground. Sometimes I was that vicious monster hiding behind thick glasses and silver braces. Sometimes I was the victim, watching helplessly as my own psyche was crushed by the words and actions of others. Neither memory is pleasant, and both remain vivid even now that I am a grandfather.

 

It’s easy to say that fantasy is about other worlds. It isn’t. It is a mirror on our own world, a funhouse mirror sometimes, minimizing some parts and exaggerating others. Across the Green Grass Fields is a novella purportedly about a door opening into another realm. Actually, it opens a door to a deep and compelling examination of our own hearts.

 

Also see by Seanan McGuire —

Book Review: Calculated Risks, InCryptid Book 10, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Imaginary Numbers, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: The Brightest Fell, October Daye series #11, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, Ghost Roads Book 2, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Middlegame, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Night and Silence, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Sparrow Hill Road, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: In an Absent Dream, Wayward Children Book 4, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Come Tumbling Down, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Angel of the Overpass, The Ghost Roads Book 3, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Dusk or Dawn or Dark or Day, Seanan McGuire

 

Across the Green Grass Fields, Wayward Children Book 6, Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Across the Green Grass Fields, Wayward Children Book 6, Seanan McGuire

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