IN THE LAND OF WINTER by Richard Grant


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 The ever unpredictable, loopy Grant, who specializes in midworlds (Tex and Molly in the Afterlife, 1996, etc.), takes us- -with little allure--into a frigid and tree-filled New England 'burb near Mount Wabenaki, where witches stir their brews. A husbandless young wiccan, Pippa Rede, works in the Rose Petal and Thorn flower shop supporting herself and her adorably sensible nine-year-old daughter, the elfin Winterbelle. Pippa is often distraught, but the sweet Winterbelle helps soothe her buffetings. Then the local Herald begins printing attacks on satanism, pointing to Pippa. It's all very unfair--she is, after all, only a friendly, contemporary young witch trying to make it on her own, for heaven's sake. At school Winterbelle seems to outwit meddling psychologist Carol Aaby, who nonetheless comes that night to the Rede home with the Department of Family Services and removes Winterbelle from the house of witchcraft. Things get worse as Pippa is fired from the Rose Petal and Thorn for being scary to Christians during the shop's big Christmas season. Will the editor of the Herald consider helping her? Will lawyer Arthur Torvid, fuming about Constitutional rights, come to her aid? Not bloody likely when psychologist Aaby calls Pippa the Devil's pawn and the Herald prints an alarmist letter about ``ritual abuse.'' Pippa finally gets help from an unexpected source: Spear, a Native American law-school dropout, has developed a special personal interest in people who are doing something that doesn't make sense to anybody else--such as wiccans--and he proves more than a match for Pippa's many enemies. The bad guys are one-dimensional, the conflict hopelessly banal. Here, sentimentality flattens all interest. (First printing of 25,000)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-380-97465-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1997

Kirkus Interview
Richard Grant
October 20, 2015

In Dispatches From Pluto, adventure writer Richard Grant takes on “the most American place on Earth”—the enigmatic, beautiful, often derided Mississippi Delta. Richard Grant and his girlfriend were living in a shoebox apartment in New York City when they decided on a whim to buy an old plantation house in the Mississippi Delta. Dispatches From Pluto is their journey of discovery. On a remote, isolated strip of land, three miles beyond the tiny community of Pluto, Grant and his girlfriend, Mariah, embark on a new life. They learn to hunt, grow their own food, and fend off alligators, snakes, and varmints galore. They befriend an array of unforgettable local characters—blues legend T-Model Ford, cookbook maven Martha Foose, catfish farmers, eccentric millionaires, and the actor Morgan Freeman. “An appealing stew of fecklessness and curiosity, social psychology and social dysfunction, hope and despair,” our reviewer writes. View video >


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