Marillier, Juliet. 2007. Wildwood Dancing.
If I'm honest, I've got to admit a few things about Wildwood Dancing:
a) I had a hard time getting "into" the story.
b) I thought the chapters were definitely too long.
c) Even though it improved greatly after the halfway mark, I'm still not sure how I feel about the novel as a whole.
Wildwood Dancing is the story of five sisters who live in a castle/estate in Transylvania. Each full moon, the sisters join hands and make their way through a portal into the Other Kingdom where they dance the night away with fairy-tale-like creatures. There is some sense of dangers, but the girls (some still children, some in their teens) feel right at home in this world. While some members of the community are scared of the woods/forests and want to be rid of fairies and other-worldly creatures, others show them proper respect and believe that they are an important--though not visible--part of the community. Cezar is a cousin to this family of sisters, and he's the most vocal in the need to eliminate this "other world" that he feels is threatening the human community. Jena is our narrator, and her best friend is a frog, Gogu. Through her eyes we witness the dangers of living in and loving two distinct worlds.
In some ways, it is an odd story. A narrator whose best friend is a frog who sits on her shoulder or lives in her pocket. A frog that she communicates with on a regular basis. He 'sends' his thoughts directly into her mind. A very opinionated frog who likes to boss her around. Seems very odd to me.
But I don't think my feelings are universal. I had a hard time getting into the story...but that doesn't mean that another person would. Reading depends a lot on moods, I think, and my moods were definitely odd when reading this book. It took me over a month to finish.