Monday, May 30, 2022

Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children #6) by Seanan McGuire (author), Annamarie Carlson (narrator)

Macmillan Audio, ISBN 9781250790101, January 2021

Regan is a young girl who has just learned several disturbing things, about herself, and about the untrustworthiness of "friends" who are very, very invested in "normality" and conventionality. She runs away, from school intentionally, and from home accidentally, when she stumbles upon, and then through, a doorway in the woods near her home. The door, of course, should not be there. Neither should the much bigger wood, and wide green fields, that she finds on the other side.

The unicorn she sees is beautiful, but of course impossible, and the centaur pursuing the unicorn even more so.

The centaur's name is Pansy, and she is absolutely thrilled to meet Regan. Humans are considered magical, and heroic, figures who will bring great change. Regan will have to go see the Sunlit Queen--but not right away. Pansy, and the rest of her herd, see no reason to hurry; Regan is a child, just ten years old. None of the centaur adults say so directly, but they all make sure she has the chance to grow up.

In the course of giving her that chance, she becomes part of their herd, their family, and they all encounter new dangers, and adventures they didn't want. It bonds them together even more strongly--but the day comes when Regan realizes she has to face the task that brought her to the Hooflands.

It's a world where magical creatures, or magical in our world, exist everywhere. Unicorns and centaurs, kelpies, fauns, and minotaurs, and others. And at the heart of the Hooflands, there's a secret that Regan has to penetrate.

It has to be said that unlike the parents of some of the other Wayward Children, Regan's parents really were doing their best, not trying to remake her into something she wasn't. Regan's "problem" is mostly her "best friend," and her extreme ideas about what's normal. Yet in the Hooflands, what makes Regan different may also help her, in at least a small way, to face the task ahead of her. The experiences it gave her may help even more.

This is set in the universe of the Wayward Children, but Regan doesn't encounter the Home for Wayward Children.

I found this a really satisfying, enjoyable story.

I bought this audiobook.

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