The Yellow Wood

Melanie Tem. ChiZine (Diamond, U.S. dist.; PGC/Raincoast, Canadian dist.), $17.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-77148-314-8
Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Award winner Tem (1949–2015) enters some disturbing psychological territory with this contemporary story of five siblings struggling to cope with the talents imposed on them by their father. Alexandra Kove was always expected to be more than any of her siblings but, fed up with her father's interference in her life, left their family home in the yellow woods. Returning after 30 years, she attempts to separate who she is from the person her father tried to create. She starts to suspect her father's influence over her family might go further than a lifelong contest of wills as she uncovers evidence of his unconventional parenting methods. Tem balances her insightful depictions of people made deeply neurotic by an overbearing parent with the creeping presence of the uncanny, suggesting there is more to the Kove family's obsessions than childhood trauma. The book beautifully exploits the fine line between merely weird and genuinely unnatural. Alexandra is "Daddy's little girl, wizard's familiar," and Tem invites readers to consider the nature of a father's power over his children when those two relationships can be conflated. The result is smart, creepy, and painfully insightful about the purpose and effects of parenting. Agent: Robert Fleck, Fleck Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 05/25/2015
Release date: 02/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-7869-5098-0
Open Ebook - 300 pages - 978-1-77148-315-5
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