If you’re new here, you might not know that I LOVE to re-read books. Over the years, I have journeyed back to so many of the worlds I love; fantasy worlds with giant dragons or fairy realms full of magic, classics that never lose their appeal, or eras long past. Why, you might wonder, when I already know the ending. The thing is, books are far more than just their endings. The journey I take as soon as I open the book and step inside is what matters, and it is what changes every time I read it. I change, my perspective changes and so, what I read and understand changes, too.
This summer, I decided I would give audiobooks a try. Now, why the heck have I not listened to audiobooks before? No idea. My first foray into them was to listen to Hannah Gadsby’s autobiography, my favorite comedian. She actually read it, so it felt like being invited to her house and listening to her stories for 20+ hours! It was glorious. So, when I decided to listen to something else, I chose one of my favorite fantasy series (because, of course, it would be fantasy), The Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. I was NOT disappointed. The readers were all different women, but they were all Irish, which is where the tales take place. It had been so long since I last read them that I had quite forgotten much of what happened, which meant that it was like reading them for the first time again. Each book in this series picks up with the generation after the one in the previous book, so it moves through time very quickly. Sometimes that makes me sad to not get to hear much about the characters I got so invested in, but Juliet is a master storyteller and manages to weave their threads into future books. The protagonists in her books are strong women whose strength, resilience, and love are sorely tested. They come to see themselves as more than just women, and all of those qualities are passed down to the next generation. If you have Audible and a few credits available, check them out (also, the original cover art is glorious). Also, check out Hannah’s book. It is hilarious and poignant and well worth the time it takes to listen to.