The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland by Catherynne M. ValenteThe Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
by Catherynne M. Valente

It took me over a month to read this book. Those of you who have seen this book in person might be remembering that it’s not very thick: 247 pages. It shouldn’t have taken me a month, but I went out of the country for a week or so in the middle, and I’ve been a busy little bee on some other projects, and… well, the book had a strangeness to it. I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but between chapters, when I put it down, I simply forgot about it. Having finished it, I can’t help but smile over that.

The book follows a young girl named September who enters Fairyland on a Ravished Visa, chooses a quest, gets dragged into another, and generally tromps around this other world with a good dose of cleverness, stubbornness and brazenness. When she leaves Fairyland, it feels only like a midnight dream, forgotten about by noon… which also pretty well describes my comings and goings with the book.

It would not be difficult to convince me that the book was actually a functioning door to the place it described.

I would recommend this book in a heartbeat to anyone who grew up dreaming of going to Fairyland, Neverland, Wonderland, or Narnia. It’s an excellent new place to visit, full of cities sewn out of cloth, woods caught forever in Autumn, and a few forgotten things from our world that it is good to see remembered. The friends September gathers around her – a dragon with a library for a grandfather, and a blue little boy who can wrestle like an ocean – are good to travel with. And it is the best adventure I have ever read that began with the search for a magic spoon.

For everyone else, it’s a good book, but I’ll leave it up to you whether or not to pick it up.


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