Shelves: favorites , fantasy , 5-star-books , feminist-fiction "I am hurt It was a tiny bit of a shock. I really enjoyed this book. It inspired a deeply emotional response. This book gave me all the feelz.
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Shelves: favorites , fantasy , 5-star-books , feminist-fiction "I am hurt It was a tiny bit of a shock. I really enjoyed this book.
It inspired a deeply emotional response. This book gave me all the feelz. I know it probably seems inappropriate to be taking such a light hearted tone with such a serious book but I mean it with absolute honesty. I was very emotional reading this book. I also felt that the message of the book was important; You can survive sexual abuse, even thou it changes you irrevocably, it is possible to live despite it.
This is my body. I reclaim my body for myself: for my use, for my understanding, for my kindness and care. Go on. And the fingers walked cautiously on, over the curiously muscleless, faintly ridged flesh, cooler than the rest of the body, across the tender nipple, into the deep cleft between, and out onto the breast that lay limp and helpless and hardly recognizable as round, lying like a hunting trophy over her other arm.
Mine, she thought. My body. It lives on the breaths I breathe and the food I eat; the blood my heart pumps reaches all of me, into all my hidden crevices, from my scalp to my heels.
This is very much a fairytale. The original tale it was based on "Donkeyskin" was much less clear with regard to how it turned out for the girl. The King who she married in the origin tale was I believe deliberately obfuscated.
It was a story that was meant to speak to girls and women trapped in sexually abusive relationships with men who had complete power over them. McKinley thankfully choose to tell the more optimistic version of the tale.
There is one other thing I wanted to comment on. She told the story very well, as she thought of it; unfortunately all the sentiments were contrived and false. Some of the behaviours and events McKinley described spoke to me personally about my own experience. I spoke about this in my review of Carve the Mark. If a novel is factually incorrect or it treats major traumas like no big deal then by all means rip the author to shreds.
People are complex and not everyone responds in the same way. What was particularly baffling for me with regard to this criticism is that McKinley speaks in metaphors about very, very common responses to sexual abuse- by blocking it from your mind and the very common result- complete social isolation and crippling, self- imposed loneliness.
The fact that Deerskin only told the truth once another young girl was in danger is also very common in adult survivors who maintained the secret throughout childhood, often up until the point that they have their own children and realise they have to protect them from the perpetrator in their family.
Additionally, the devotion people had towards her father, the victim- blaming that occurred and her guilt were all common experiences for people who have experienced CSA.
The only point at which McKinley misstepped was by using magic to physically heal Deerskin. There were a few other minor problems with the book, it was repetitive, and I think it would be rather too charitable to assume McKinley did this deliberately. The story was also predictable, but when reading a retelling does that ever really matter?
This was a touching book. It lacked the sophistication of some of the other retellings that deal with sexual assault but it also ended on a happy note which was cathartic as a reader. If you enjoy fiction that delves into painful experiences in a fairytale framework, this is one of the best examples out there. Well worth the read.
Quotes from Deerskin
Plot summary[ edit ] The book centers on Lissla Lissar, the daughter of the most splendid looking people in all of the seven kingdoms. When her mother falls ill and starts to lose her beauty, an artist is hired to paint a portrait of her as she was before her illness. He works nonstop for a fortnight until the painting is completed and shown to the queen. After viewing the painting the queen makes the king swear that he will only remarry if he can find a bride more beautiful than she, thinking that any other woman would pale in comparison, and dies shortly after he makes this promise.
She was educated at Gould Academy , a preparatory school in Bethel, Maine. McKinley went on to attend college, first at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in — and later at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine , where she graduated summa cum laude in Robin McKinley lives in Hampshire, England. Her husband was author Peter Dickinson ; they were married from until his death in They had no children, though Dickinson had children from his first marriage. It was accepted for publication by the first publisher it was sent to and upon publication immediately pushed McKinley to prominence.
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