Reading Recommendation: Charles de Lint’s “The Mystery of Grace”

This is a physically beautiful book.  I bought it because it was a DeLint, but my eye was drawn to it from across the room in a crowded Borders because of the beautiful cover.  It’s really not that often that a book design gets my attention so thoroughly any more. 

Charles de Lint is one of my favorite modern urban fantasy writers, and I rather think he birthed the genre.  I still remember the first book of his I read, MoonHeart.  In The Mystery of Grace, he chooses a new setting, heading into the heat-ridden Southwest and creating a lovely tatooed woman who knew nothing of magic until….well, it’s too early for spoilers.  But at any rate, this is a tender, character driven book full of fine details about new topics (surf music and restoring cars) and de Lint’s usual characters that you like so well you don’t actually want to finish the book becasue then your friends go away.

It is not full of the same things you see on many of the urban fantasy shelves these days.  It’s nice to take a quieter fantasy break from time to time, and live in a world with ghosts that read books on lawn chairs and the quiet conversation of two women friends building a car together.  Mind you, there is still magic and action, but de Lint’s best magic is understanding the human heart.


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