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I didn't finish it (yet), which is a sign of my own ambivalence or worse. I agree about the vivid depictions of the region, though. The book made me think I'd like to reread Daphne Marlatt's Ana Historic, set in frontier BC, which is also very evocative about the setting but more experimental in its form.


Rohan--It took me a long time to read this story--I think it was the many diversions, which were sometimes really interesting but in that latter section just slowed me completely down. Maybe I couldn't quite stretch my imagination for those creatures as much as I like to think I could. But I loved the descriptions--I've wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest for a long time now, so I could appreciate how vividly the sense of place stood out. I'll have to check out the Marlatt book--she is new to me.


I've never heard of the book but my experience with readalongs, even my own, is that it can really be the wrong moment for a book.
I admire you for always looking for ways to expand your reading horizon.


I ended up liking the part where Charlotte was lost much better than the first half of the book. I didn't mind the scrapbook-like nature of the story's structure. I thought it broadened the story. You may have been ambivalent about the book but at least you liked it enough to want to read other books by Gloss :)

Kathy Johnson

This sounds like a fascinating book. I think I'll look for it and see how I feel about it. I know what you mean about thinking you should like a book better than you do, etc. I'm currently reading one that sounds on the surface to be right up my alley, and I'm finding it rather a struggle to get through. I'm just not connecting with the story and I contemplate tossing it aside, or maybe skimming the remainder, but somehow I keep reading. It's also fairly short, so I'll probably keep trudging along, hoping it gets better. I think there's some indefinable "connection" aspect with books--sometimes it's just not there.

Rebecca H.

Nice review! I agree with your comment about those creatures -- I sort of felt that they weren't even necessary to the story. They didn't really fit in, except thematically -- which is important, but the fantasy element felt kind of tacked on. She built up to it with lots of references to monsters, giants, etc., but it was a bit odd when they finally arrived. I cared more about Charlotte getting back home than about what happened to those creatures.


I think this sounds really intriguing and I love reading anything about the history of the West.
I just read Possession which also has a lot of narrative disruption in the form of poems and letters, but I think if this is done well it can really add to the story. It certainly did in Possession!


Caroline--I think I was so fidgety as I knew there were other books I was enjoying more and wanted to read those. This was a book I got through ILL so I really needed to finish it before the due date and I didn't read the last Slaves book so really wanted to make an effort with this one. I do like reading outside my comfort zone, but I am then always very ready to return back to it!

Stefanie--Jump Off Creek sounded more appealing to me--I liked the story--or parts of it so I'm willing to give her work another go. I did like the other writings, but at the same time it seemed to slow the main story down and that made it feel like it was plodding along. So, sort of a mixed bag of a read.

Kathy--I'm very curious to know what others think of it. And I did see on Amazon it received some very enthusiastic reviews so I think it just may appeal to some more than others--as is always the case with books, right?! I do know what you mean about continuing with a book that you are ambivalent about--thinking it will get better or click later on. Sometimes this happens, but not always. It is nice when there is a connection with a story on some level--those are always the most rewarding and satisfying for me.

Rebecca--She did really set the story up for the creatures to appear, but once they did I was sort of disappointed somehow. In some respects and I think others have touched on this, it almost seemed as though the author was trying too hard--or at least it appeared that way. It almost would have been enough for her to simply get lost, have to deal with the elements on her own and then connect up with society. It was kind of an odd story.

Anbolyn--I loved reading about the Pacific Northwest and life in the early 20th century--that alone would have been enough for me to be engaged in the story. I didn't mind some of the other texts that were woven into the story, but when it veered off it seemed to just get bogged down for me. I read Possession a long time ago and yes, that is a story that really does benefit from all the poems and disruptions--I agree. That is a book that I really do need to reread.


It's very interesting reading everyone's responses to this novel, and I'm sorry I managed my time so poorly last month that I didn't get to it (and indeed forgot about it altogether until it was too late). I'm really intrigued as to whether the philosophy and the story fit together - what happenes to her feminism alone in the woods with the creatures? Does the fantastic part teach her something or undermine her theories? I must pop over to the discussion to see what you are all saying there!

Jennifer Dee

I've just finished 'The Jump off Creek' by Molly Gloss and I thought it was brilliant; and quite unlike anything that I've read before. I don't like SF but I believe I will give one of her other books a try. She had been taught by Ursula le Guin (I don't think I've spelt that right), which is where she got her love of SF.


Litlove--I've read a few reviews/responses and it is interesting to see what everyone thinks. I've not yet had a chance to check in on the discussion--this weekend I hope. You ask some really good questions that I hope you'll share on the forum. I've already returned my copy to the library but now I wish I could read those last few pages again. I hate to admit this but I think I was so happy to finally get to the end that I zipped through those last few pages. She was definitely changed--though it seemed as though it broadened her outlook on humanity mostly and maybe chastened her a little bit.

Jennifer Dee--I'm so glad you've left this comment. I think when I read the blurb about The Jump Off Creek it appealed to me more than Wild Life--so it seems as though it also has elements of sci fi to it? Not that I mind--just curious. I've not yet read Ursula le Guin--I had no idea that Gloss had been taught by her. My library has her other books so I'll be checking them out as well.

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