I had no idea that de Lint was a Canadian author before the Canadian Book Challenge, so I was definitely excited to learn that I could read one of the books that has been sitting on my TBR pile for months and that it would count towards the challenge. (This is my ninth book for the challenge.) I will admit that I was skeptical. There’s a lot of rave reviews of de Lint’s work in the blogosphere, but any author that releases numerous books in a year leaves me wondering how much time they put into their books – are they just spitting out some formulaic book whose story and characters they have found has worked for them numerous times in the past?
As this is the first book by de Lint that I have read, I can’t say whether this is similar in any way to his other stuff, but I can say that it doesn’t appear that the quality of writing or the storyline has suffered due to the number of books released a year. This was a thoroughly enjoyable book with well-developed characters and an exciting plot.
T.J. is fourteen when her parents move her family from their farm in the country to the ‘burbs. What T.J. had originally thought was mice living in the walls is actually a family of Littles.
… Littles had originally been birds who got too lazy to fly on after they’d found a particularly good feed. Eventually, they lost their wings and became these little people who had to live by t heir wits, taking up residence in people’s houses, where they foraged for food and whatever else they needed.
T.J. and Elizabeth (one of the Littles) become unlikely friends. Not only is their size a big difference (and Little’s don’t normally trust Big’s) – T.J. is a goody-two-shoes while Elizabeth is more of a rebel. When T.J. hears a story of how Littles can turn back into birds, T.J. and Elizabeth start searching for the woman who may be able to help Elizabeth with this. Along the way, the two get seperated, and that’s only the beginning of their adventures. While T.J. experiences typical teenage adventures until she meets a gnome on her way to meet up with the woman who may be able to help Elizabeth, Elizabeth discovers the world of fey.
There were a couple of things I didn’t like about the book – how all of a sudden the book went from being in the third person to the first person, for example – but for the most part, it was quite good. It captured my attention right from the beginning, and had the right mix of fairy and real world for my liking. I’ll definitely be picking up more of de Lint’s books in the future, and I hope that I’ll end up enjoying them as much as I enjoyed this one.