Aug 14, 2013

The Beginning Place

by Ursula K. LeGuin

This is a book I wish I remembered better and feel I really ought to read again someday. It's a fantasy that begins in the real world, with two young people each from troubled families. The girl, Irene, has been visiting a hidden, alternate world where it is always twilight for many years. When the boy, Hugh, discovers it for the first time (he's twenty-one) she sees him as an intruder and outsider. The town of locals in the magic world are experiencing trouble; something is blocking roads and passages and in fact Irene and Hugh have different problems traveling to and from the magic place and their own mundane world. The townsfolk welcome Hugh as a hero when he arrives which angers Irene; but then she finds they must work together to save their secret world from the evil that threatens it. Of course they eventually become friends and perhaps something more...

Wow, does this modern cover sure look different! I found it while googling further information on the book. The older jacket illustration gave me a sense of an idyllic place when I read the story; the new one imbues it more with a sense of adventure. I wonder if I had first read the novel under the more exciting cover, would it have influenced my interpretation of the story? Have you ever felt like the cover of a book significantly affected how you imagined the story, beyond just what the characters look like?

Rating: 3/5 ........ 240 pages, 1980

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