What Should Be Wild: A Novel

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HarperCollins, May 8, 2018 - Fiction - 368 pages
6 Reviews

“Delightful and darkly magical. Julia Fine has written a beautiful modern myth, a coming-of-age story for a girl with a worrisome power over life and death. I loved it.”  —Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry

Shortlisted for the Chicago Review of Books Best Novel Prize • A Bustle Unmissable Debut of the Year • A Popsugar Best Book of the Year • A Washington Post Best Fantasy Book of May • A Refinery 29 Best May Book • A Chicago Review of Books Best May Book • A Verge Gripping Fantasy Novel of May

In this darkly funny, striking debut, a highly unusual young woman must venture into the woods at the edge of her home to remove a curse that has plagued the women in her family for millennia—an utterly original novel with all the mesmerizing power of The Tiger’s Wife, The Snow Child, and Swamplandia!

Cursed. Maisie Cothay has never known the feel of human flesh: born with the power to kill or resurrect at her slightest touch, she has spent her childhood sequestered in her family’s manor at the edge of a mysterious forest. Maisie’s father, an anthropologist who sees her as more experiment than daughter, has warned Maisie not to venture into the wood. Locals talk of men disappearing within, emerging with addled minds and strange stories. What he does not tell Maisie is that for over a millennium her female ancestors have also vanished into the wood, never to emerge—for she is descended from a long line of cursed women.

But one day Maisie’s father disappears, and Maisie must venture beyond the walls of her carefully constructed life to find him. Away from her home and the wood for the very first time, she encounters a strange world filled with wonder and deception. Yet the farther she strays, the more the wood calls her home. For only there can Maisie finally reckon with her power and come to understand the wildest parts of herself.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - indygo88 - www.librarything.com

I can't claim this as an honest review. This was a book club read, but sadly, it wasn't doing it for me and I gave up about 1/4 of the way through. My mind kept wandering and I wasn't finding myself looking forward to returning to the story, so I bailed (which I rarely do). Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ouroborosangel - www.librarything.com

What do you get when you mix Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Poison Ivy, trapped spirits, purgatory, a family curse, dubious science experiments and a pretty little girl who lives next to a mythical forest ... Read full review


The Weight of Those Who Made
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
The Dark to Logics Light
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Inaccurate Translations
The Shimmering Thing
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Toymaker and Child
Symmetry and Balance
Chapter 25

Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 31

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About the author (2018)

Julia Fine teaches writing at DePaul University and is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s MFA program. She lives in Chicago with her husband and their son.

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