Sunday, September 23, 2012

Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

"They could not cross the carpet to take each other in their arms.  Maybe someday, but not today"  More of their childhoods had to be stolen, yet, for that to happen - or maybe some of it returned to them.  The charmless future would show them if, and when, and how."

"I mustn't keep you, dear.  And I have much to attend to myself.  I just so wanted to know if it was true, and now I know.  Maybe Elphaba will come back one day, or maybe she won't, but in the meantime I have known you.  That will see me through, I do believe."

"She would make no plan but this: to move out into the world as a Bird might, and to perch on the edge of everything that could be know.  She would circle herself with water below and with sky above.  She would wait until there was no stink of Oz, no breath of it, no wight of it on any horizon no matter how high she climbed.  And then she would let go of the book, let it plunge into the mythical sea.
Live life without grasping for the magic of it.
Turn back, and find out what that was like; or turn forward, and learn something new.
A mile above anything known, the Girl balanced on the wind's forward edge, as if she were a green flick of the sea itself, flung up by the turbulent air and sent wheeling away."

"Oz at sunrise.  What one makes out, from any height, are the outlines.  The steel-cut peaks of the Great Kells, the pudding hills of the Madeleines.  The textured outcroppings of Shiz, Bright Lettins, the Emerald City...This is a roughed-out landscape only coming into life.  A map done in smudged pencil, a first draft.  Much to be filled in when light arrives.  But thank you, Mr. Baum, for leaving the map where I could find it.
Watching the world wake up, dress itself in the dark, take on its daily guise, reminds me of how we fathom human character when we encounter someone at a distance, at a gallop, in the shadows.  We get no more than a quick glance at the man on the street, the child in the woods, that witch at the well, the Lion among us.  Our initial impression, most often, has to serve.
Still, that first crude glimpse, a clutch of raw hypotheses that can never be soundly clinched or dismissed, is often all we get before we must choose whether to lean forward or to avert our eyes.  Slim evidence indeed, but put together with mere hints and echoes of what we have once read, we risk cherishing one another.  Light will blind us in time, but what we learn in the dark can see us through.
To read, even in the half-dark, is also to call the lost forward."

This is the fourth and final volume of Gregory Maquire's "The Wicked Years," an interesting twist on L. Frank Baum's "Wizard of Oz" children's book serious.  The first volume tells the tale of Elphaba, who eventually becomes known as the wicked witch of the west.  "Out of Oz" is the story of Rain, Elphaba's grand-daughter, in the mist of a great civil war in Oz.

These books are one of the best series I have read!  I love Gregory Maguires unique storytelling abilities to capture a world reads already know and turn them into something else entirely.  The second and third volumes took me a little longer to get through then the first (which I've read at least three times already), but reading the final volume made it completely worth it!

This book was #7 on my top ten list of 2012.