The forest cats did what they could.
Is it so wrong to wish death away?
Lillian so wants to be a human girl again, but the consequences…
Trying to follow the instructions of Old Mother Possum, meeting up with the Bear People, Lillian only wants to make things right, even if she cannot undo everything that the cats’ magic set in motion.
An excerpt posted by Tor here gives you the flavor of Lillian’s story in this lyrical tale, much expanded from De Lint’s 2003 “Circle of Cats” 44-page novella also featuring illustrations by Vess.
Indeed, is it so wrong to wish death away?
Book info: The Cats of Tanglewood Forest / Charles De Lint; illustrated by Charles Vess. Little Brown, 2013. [author’s website] [publisher site] [illustrator’s website] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My Book Talk: It was the cats who decided to save Lillian. She just wanted to say hello to the fairies, but here she lies, dying of snakebite. Changed by their magic from a dying girl into a live kitten, Lillian can’t comfort her aunt or the neighbors who search the old woods. She must find out how to turn back into herself… and then how to make right the consequences of her choice.
These forest cats know that their magic might anger the Father of All Cats, that great black puma who stalks these ancient woods, who prowls in dark dreams. But they just couldn’t let the girl die, not after she’s been so generous with milk for them and respectful of the Apple Tree Man.
Lillian-kitten sets out to find Old Mother Possum, who might help her turn back into girl-Lillian. Accompanied by T.H. Fox (his mother named him Truthful and Handsome), she makes the long journey, despite his warnings that the part-witch-part-someone may not choose a solution that’s easy or simple.
Oh, turning back one death puts it onto another! Now Lillian has a bigger problem to solve and consults the wise woman at the Kickaha reservation nearby. Aunt Nancy sees only one path and not an easy one, as this problem is so big that Lillian must ask a difficult favor of the fearsome Bear People, no matter what the personal cost.
Does young Lillian have the courage to walk alone into the Bears’ den?
Why do the cats of the forest keep watching her?
Is love enough to turn away death?
Originally a very short picture book, The Cats of Tanglewood Forest brings even more depth to Lillian’s journey as she searches for a way to make things right again in her world, despite the danger to herself. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)