Charles de Lint's Memory & Dream (1994) may be the most ambitious of his books I've read to date. The story takes place in his fictional city of Newford, includes characters he's used in previous works, and focuses on three main characters over the course of twenty years, following them in a non-linear format through college and later as professionals.
Much of the story focuses on Isabelle (Izzy) Copley, an artist who trained under a reclusive celebrity in the fine art world and after a tragic incident spends twenty years living in near isolation until called upon by a friend from help.
Much of the novel focuses on the power of art and the creation process, whether in terms of painting or writing, and uses Isabelle's ability to bring creatures she's painted to life (she calls it "bringing across") as a way to examine the creation process.
Like most of de Lint's novels, there is a fair bit of mythology mixed in with action, adventure and romance, but I was quite surprised to find just how emotionally affecting I found the book.
An excellent read and one that definitely has me looking forward to the next book by this fascinating author.
1 month ago