cover image Gom on Windy Mountain

Gom on Windy Mountain

Grace Chetwin. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $12.95 (206pp) ISBN 978-0-688-05767-1

Chetwin's third novel departs from the adventures of the Wilson sisters (All Hallow's Eve, Out of the Dark World for a fairy-tale-like fantasy. A lonely woodcutter named Stig lives a simple life on Windy Mountain, until a mysterious woman appears on his doorstep and moves in with him. Silent as to her origins, she (Stig calls her ""Wife'') and Stig marry and set up housekeeping. Each year another child appears, all like Stig, until the 10th child, dark and mysterious like his mother, arrives alone and unannounced. Wife has left the child and her strange pendant and vanished. Stig raises the infant, Gom, to be a woodcutter. But Gom has inherited more than his mother's pendant, and his adventures begin from his ability to communicate with animals and nature. Ultimately, Gom must choose between his father's life and his mother's legacy, and the first book in this trilogy ends with Gom setting forth to find her. A pleasant if familiar story, but with a tendency toward the precious. (10-up)