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Review – The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson

I wanted to like this book more then I actually did. It was beautifully written but also made me feel faintly confused throughout the majority of the story. It felt as though the characters were moving through slowly hardening amber with the plot pacing.
There is a fox, the nobleman she loves and his wife.
The fox is headstrong and determined to have the man she fiercely-and selfishly-loves. She has the most defined personality and is the catalyst for the strange dream these 3 become trapped in.
Kaya (said nobleman) has felt no joy in his life for a long time and is searching for a way back to his youth. His wife is frustratingly perfect and he is consumed with his own problems. Shikujo (noble lady wife) strives to behave just as a wife and perfect woman should be to avoid interacting with the world around her. She fears her husbands obsessions and doesn’t know how to communicate with him.
The story is based on a Japanese fairy tale, but this is a very adult version.
I’m glad I finished it but not until the very end. The plot seemed to stretch out and on forever until finally it all breaks and everything coalesces into a mostly graceful ending.


2 thoughts on “Review – The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson

  1. I wanted to like it more than I did as well. Some of the same reasons that you mentioned are why I had difficulty liking it more. I also didn’t much care for the nobleman as one of the main characters. It seemed the more I got to know him the more he irritated me.

    1. He was by far and away the most uninteresting character IMHO. Shikujo and the fox were the interesting ones to me. I kept going mostly because I wanted to know if Shikujo ever got it together and developed into a fully rounded character. If she hadn’t then I probably wouldn’t have liked the book at all.

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