On healing Mar 31, 2008
"Deerskin" is above all a meditation on the strength of the human psyche. McKinley has said that she wanted to explore the common fairy tale plot device wherein a young girl is saved from a "fate worse than death," as is the original Charles Perrault heroine on whom "Deerskin" is based. But, what if she isn't saved from that fate? Is "fate" really what this is? Is she lost forever? Is her worth somehow less than the girl who is magically whisked away from the act of violence? In McKinley's version, Lissar is "whisked" only after the fact, and on her own two feet (sometimes aided by the four feet of her loyal dog, Ash, who is possibly one of the best dogs in all of fiction.) This book is heart-breaking and heart-repairing. The characterization of Lissar is complete and the reader is carried into the depths of her pain and also her rejuvenation. "Deerskin" moved me deeply and continues to do so every time I re-read it.