rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
One of my treasured possessions as a child was my complete works of Hans Christian Anderson, and I know I read and reread the Snow Queen story in it several times.  This retelling by T Kingfisher is wonderful and absorbing; I half want to go reread the original to pin down the differences (because time has dulled my memory) and half want not to, because it won't be as good.  There are multiple(!) no-nonsense grandmothers, a raven with a decided viewpoint on the world and his place in it, and some delightful otters.  And the dreams of plants turn out to be surprisingly important.

It also made me cry, for personal reasons almost entirely unrelated to the plot.  In this passage, Gerda and Janna (the bandit girl) are talking with Livli, an old Sámi woman, about a magic shapechanging reindeer skin.

Janna interrupted her thoughts by asking, "What if I wear the skin instead?"

"Can’t,” said Livli. “Oh, I’m sure you’d try, don’t get me wrong. But you’re too set in your own skin. You’re a healthy young animal and you know it. And people who really live in their own flesh and know it and love it make lousy shapechangers.”

“I…well. But Gerta doesn’t?”

Livli shook her head. “Some people don’t. Their bodies carry them around, but they don’t live in them quite the same way.” 

She leaned over and patted Gerta’s hand. “Don’t look so stricken, dear. It’s not a personal failing. And I think there may be something else at work here, too. You’re outside your own skin even farther than you ought to be. Have you had a long illness recently?”


I had to stop reading for a bit, because I hadn't even realised that I was feeling a disconnection with my body, and that it was bothering me, until I read it put into words about someone else entirely.  I don't always love my body, but I do normally live right inside it and know it well (which is why I knew something was wrong even before I got really ill), and I've been a bit detached for some time, and I hadn't even realised and it explains ... oh all sorts of little things about how I'm recovering, and how even with habitual self-monitoring I'm frequently surprised by feeling Suddenly Energetic or Suddenly Tired.

So I stopped reading for a bit and had a bit of a cry at my revelation (and a bit more for having had cancer in the first place because apparently now is when I do that, not when it was happening) and then I went back to the book until I'd finished it.  It was worth it.

Date: 2016-02-14 17:10 (UTC)
ceb: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ceb
because apparently now is when I do that, not when it was happening

This is completely normal. When things are happening, you just cope with them; it's only afterwards it hits you.

Date: 2016-02-20 12:45 (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
A friend mentioned, after her husband's cancer went into remission, that her body seemed to decide "Okay, now I can afford to come down with cold/flu/whatever". So physical reactions are possible, not just emotional ones.

Date: 2016-02-14 18:50 (UTC)
miss_s_b: (Default)
From: [personal profile] miss_s_b
Yes, this.

Also *hugs* for R

Date: 2016-02-15 00:35 (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
That is totally me, too, and I think it's natural -- "the crisis has more or less resolved and things are better! NOW is the time to melt down." It's an indication you feel safe(r), maybe?

Date: 2016-02-15 01:32 (UTC)
watersword: Keira Knightley, in Pride and Prejudice (2007), turning her head away from the viewer, the word "elizabeth" written near (Default)
From: [personal profile] watersword
Good writing does that, and Kingfisher is a very good writer. I'm sorry you got punched in the heart when you weren't expecting, but I hope the tears were good ones.

Date: 2016-02-15 13:16 (UTC)
nanila: me (Default)
From: [personal profile] nanila
Oof, I'm sorry that it was a bit of a harrowing reading experience, but glad it seems to have released something that was blocked up.

(Also, I love the Snow Queen and now wish to read this retelling.)

Date: 2016-02-15 21:36 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amaebi.livejournal.com
Oh, my.

I hope your skin gives you a good, gentle embrace.

Date: 2016-02-16 00:37 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amaebi.livejournal.com
I expect so. And it's good to be aware of the phenomenon. But what an unpleasant one, to someone used to living within oe's skin!

Date: 2016-02-16 01:47 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] irishkate.livejournal.com
now is a better time to have a cry about it all. Have a good one...feel better after I hope.


rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Rachel Coleman

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