Yesterday I read a post by Gwenda Bond about sexism and self-promotion. And I remembered several conversations with other women in which they confess* that one of the reasons they read my blog or follow me on Twitter or just like to show up at readings is my absolutely, unrestrained delight in Hild‘s success. So although I said I would stop doing links roundups for Hild reviews, interviews etc. I’ve changed my mind.
So here’s the ninth roundup up (I’ve probably missed a bunch of stuff while loafing about over the holidays. If you’ve seen something fabulous that I’ve missed, please let me know). Previous roundups are available here.
Hild by Nicola Griffith, Sara Sklaroff
“Griffith has taken what little is known of the life of St. Hilda and imagined a vibrant, if brutal, world. Her descriptions are inventive and vivid, making Hild a pleasure to sink into… Our male heroes are going to be jealous.”
New York Times Magazine
[Just a snippet rather than a review but, hey, NYT Magazine!]
“Griffith’s book is not a novel to race through, but rather one to sink into and ponder, as Hild does, why people do what they do, why they believe what they do, and whether we control our own fate or whether, in fact, “fate goes as it ever must”.”
“Evocative and full, the language of Hild forms a rich and colorful and wholly real portrait of an imagined seventh-century England. Completely different, otherworldly in its scope and ambition… Homer and Virgil used similarly breathtaking artistic effects… Intoxicating.”
[This is long and juicy. Definitely worth reading.]
“Ambitious, astonishing…vivid, detailed, and utterly real. […] This is the greatest feat a historical novelist can pull off, and Hild does it better than any book I’ve read since Kristin Lavransdatter (and Sigrid Undset won the Nobel Prize, so that’s high praise). Like Lavransdatter, Hild feels like it was written at the time it portrays — immediate, profound, and captivating.”
Notes from the Bedside Table
“One of my very favorite books this year, out of EVERYthing I’ve read this year. A big, rollicking, epic book about a young woman named Hild who lives in 7th century Britain.”
[René is the owner of Eagle Harbor Books in Bainbridge. I met her at PNBA where she was so kind so me and to Kelley.]
Top 10 Best and Worst Books of 2013, Valerie Stivers-Isakova
“Here’s another book that I think is being semi-robbed by the literary establishment, for the depressing, predictable reason that it’s being treated as genre. […] Hild is a brilliantly researched, intensely granular, almost out-of-body experiences of being transported to another world. Every detail of life in the seventh century is foreign, but rings true. The plot kept things moving, and the prose reminded me of Marilynne Robinson in its beauty and strangeness.”
“Nicola’s effortlessly immersive descriptions of life in the Middle Ages will enthrall you, but so will her depiction of a woman trying to survive as the Seer in a society that believes in prophecy and conflicting gods. A must-read for anybody who writes (or reads) historical fantasy.”
Northwest Akron Branch Library
I read this novel in June after getting an advanced copy from and meeting the incomparable author at Book Expo America in New York and rarely a day goes by when I don’t think about it. You really feel like you’re experiencing life in 7th Century England…from the comfort of your 21st Century surroundings, of course. Bottom line, Griffith’s words make me swoon.
* I use the word advisedly. It seems it’s not seemly for women to take fierce joy in each other.