I started my first book for the fantasy challenge last night – The 15th annual “The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror” edited by the talented duo of Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. I read the first two pieces “The Hunter’s Wife” by Anthony Doerr and a poem by Marin Scorescu.
Now, I’ll readily admit, I’m not much for poetry, so I don’t have much of an opinion on the poem except that it was long. I have to read a poem about 50 times before anything becomes clear to me in them; I think it’s just the way my brain processes things…it doesn’t do it very well I’m sure it’s excellent though.
I DO have an opinion on Doerr’s short story. I have never read Doerr’s work before, although I do have his book ”About Grace.” May have to bump it up the pile now. “The Hunter’s Wife” started out a bit slow for me, but once I was into it it was very good. It has two sides to it; in one way it seems a very gentle loving story, but at the same time it’s violent and scary. A man and his wife live out in a valley, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, alone and moderately happy. He hunts, obviously, and during the hunting season he takes anyone who wants to go (bankers, rich men, etc) out hunting for days to get that big kill. While gone, she waits at the cabin. And soon we learn she has a special gift. When she touches something dead or dying, she sees their memories. What happens next is a wonderful lesson love, compassion, and forgiveness. A great start to this anthology and I can’t wait to get home and read some more. Although it will have to compete with the most excellent “The Moonstone” for my attention. It’s getting really goooooood now. I have a totally lit crush on Wilkie.