The Braided Path



The Braided PathThe Braided Path Is Set In A World Which Is Not This One But Is Like This One In Some Ways , In A Culture Which Is Not Modernity, And In A World Where The Laws Of Nature Are Basically The Same As In Our Waking World, I.e., There Are No Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves, Princes, Swords, Dragons, Wizards, Or Any Magic At All, Really, Except For The Alchemy Of Love Donna Glee Williams On The Slopes Of A Vertical Land Where People S Lives Are Bounded By How High And Low They Are Able Walk On The Single Path That Connects Their World, The Young Widow Len Rope Maker Watches As Years Go By And Her Son Cam Never Finds His Limits Long Past The Time When Other Youths In Home Village Have Found Their Boundaries, Cam Keeps Climbing Higher And Lower, Pushing On With His Sweetheart Fox Who Also Shows Signs Of Being A Far Walker But Cam S Drive To Venture Far Nudges Him Towards The Top Of The World, While Fox S Sends Her Downward, Toward The Mythical Sea At The Bottom Of All Things Both Are True To Their Own Heart S Calling.

Donna Glee Williams is a poet and writer of literary fantasy and science fiction She was born in Mexico, the daughter of a Kentucky farm girl and a Texas Aggie large animal veterinarian She s been a lot of places now she makes her home in the mountains of western North Carolina, but the place she lived the longest and still calls home is New Orleans These days, she earns her daily bread by writing and helping other writers bring their creative visions to light, but in the past she s done the dance as turnabout crew aka, maid on a schooner, as a librarian, as an environmental activist, as a registered nurse , as a teacher and seminar leader, and for a long stint as a professional student The craft societies of both The Braided Path and Dreamers owe a lot to the time she s spent hanging out in villages in Mexico, Spain, Italy, Israel, Turkey, India, and Pakistan As a finalist in the 2015 Roswell Awards for Short Science Fiction, her short story Saving Seeds was performed in Hollywood by Jasika Nicole Her graceful speculative fiction has been recognized by Honorable Mentions from both the Writers of the Future competition and Gardner Dozois s Best of the Year collection.

[ Ebook ] ➨ The Braided Path Author Donna Glee Williams – Heartforum.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 224 pages
  • The Braided Path
  • Donna Glee Williams
  • 16 October 2017
  • 1770530584

10 thoughts on “The Braided Path

  1. Stella says:

    In this beautifully crafted debut novel, Len Rope Maker is a young widow who lives with her son, Cam, in a quiet mountainside village, a village connected to the other villages by a single path that winds up and down the mountain Cam is restless, a far walkerinterested in testing the limits of his endurance and pushing beyond the known boundaries of his world than in settling into a trade like the other villagers His sweetheart, Fox, is also a far walker Together they hike up and down t In this beautifully crafted debut novel, Len Rope Maker is a young widow who lives with her son, Cam, in a quiet mountainside village, a village connected to the other villages by a single path that winds up and down the mountain Cam is restless, a far walkerinterested in testing the limits of his endurance and pushing beyond the known boundaries of his world than in settling into a trade like the other villagers His sweetheart, Fox, is also a far walker Together they hike up and down the mountainside from village to village, pushing each other on One day Cam decides to venture farther up the mountain than anybody they know has ever gone Drawn by the lovely blue green sea glimpsed from an outcropping of rock, Fox isinterested in going down the mountainside to the bottom of the world And so Cam sets off, leaving Fox behind.Days pass, then weeks Before long Fox learns she s expecting Little by little, over the course of several years, she and Len work their way down the mountain with Fox s baby, Jade Fox wonders if her life will ever intertwine again with Cam s or if Cam will ever meet his daughter Len wonders if her son has fallen off the side of the mountain to his death like his father Cam longs for his sweetheart but is pulled deeper into the unknown world by a sequence of accidents Will their paths ever again cross and come together The theme of interconnectedness alluded to in the title is deftly woven through William s novel in lovely, poetic language that will astound and delight the reader Through close glimpses and carefully chosen details, Williams breathes life and depth into the vertical world of The Braided Path

  2. Rose says:

    Intended reader adultStyle literaryMy normal reading fare consists of mostly middle grade and YA fiction, punctuated by adult nonfiction So this was quite a step outside my normal genre Someone else for whom adult literary fiction is the main course might have other things to say, but in any case, it s always helpful to me as a reader to see where a reviewer is coming from, so I mention it.The story Len, her grown son Cam, and Cam s girlfriend Fox live in a society that spans a cliff Growi Intended reader adultStyle literaryMy normal reading fare consists of mostly middle grade and YA fiction, punctuated by adult nonfiction So this was quite a step outside my normal genre Someone else for whom adult literary fiction is the main course might have other things to say, but in any case, it s always helpful to me as a reader to see where a reviewer is coming from, so I mention it.The story Len, her grown son Cam, and Cam s girlfriend Fox live in a society that spans a cliff Growing up, children travel up and down the path literally to different villages until they reach their limit, ie a sense that their range is bounded Then they settle down to a trade within this range, and marry and go permanent But Cam is a far walker, and he hasn t found his limit yet Fox hasn t either, until one day she doesn t want to go any higher So Cam keeps walking Expecting Cam s baby, Fox goes to live with Len They work together as ropemakers and start a new life, caring for baby Jade when she comes And meanwhile, Cam is still searching for his limit, climbing ever upwards.The story splits into two parts, one part following Cam up and over the edge of the world and gradually down to the sea on the other side, and one part following Fox and Len as they travel downwards, helping out after a huge earthquake breaks the path and all hands are needed Along the way, all players meet new people and discover new skills The through line is, will they ever meet again So plotwise, it s pretty gentle, andinterested in the journey than the destination There s a sort of flowing feeling to it, with people drifting together and then apart as situations change The most important thing to the characters is to follow the path Being the kind of reader I am, the most interesting part of the book to me was the sense of different cultures finding solutions to the situations their environments present, as well as the attention the writer gives to details of the natural world For example, Cam thinks he knows what a map is, but when he gets to the top and some villagers give him a map, he has no idea how to read it For Cam the cliff dweller, maps are strings of weavings with things stuck in to mark different events or places The path goes only either up or down The idea of a map that lies flat, horizontal, with paths leading off in every direction, is so completely foreign to him that it takes him a while to understand it I ve lived on three continents and that sense is really true it s not just a matter of translating words, but whole concepts, that can be confusing when you change cultures The writing is lovely It feels like walking, like that pace I do a lot of hiking myself, and there was a familiar spirit to it picking up on details that you would notice on a hike Particular attention to different skills, like baking bread, or making rope, or sailing a ship, is something else that stands out I feel like the essence of the book really hits true on journeys, what they re about, the sometimes connectedness and sometimes surprising twists they take.I believe the purpose of reviews is to help the right reader find the right book If you are looking for paranormal creatures, or dystopian situations, or elaborate crime plots or car chases, this isn t it It s not the hero s journey structure If you reinterested in process than product, if you want a book to open your eyes to the natural world around you, if you love prose that feels like poetry, or hiking and wandering but you are stuck inside because it s too cold and yet you just need that mental hike, then this might well be the book you re looking for What it does, it does very well So if this is what you ve been looking for, then I hope you find this book Disclaimer I received a copy of the book in exchange for a review

  3. Jody Casella says:

    Original and absorbing with the most fascinating and intricately built world I have ever read The Braided Path follows several characters through meandering journeys as they discover what their limits are and who they are apart and together.

  4. Scott T. says:

    Full disclosure I reviewed this from an advanced copy In fact, the cover quote is taken from the following review.The Braided Path is a quiet book, full of good characters trying to discover their path In fact, the metaphor of the path runs throughout the book The path, the rope, the braids that bind individuals together into couples and couples together into communities It is a love story, a coming of age story, and a fable Mostly it is about characters seeking their place in their world Full disclosure I reviewed this from an advanced copy In fact, the cover quote is taken from the following review.The Braided Path is a quiet book, full of good characters trying to discover their path In fact, the metaphor of the path runs throughout the book The path, the rope, the braids that bind individuals together into couples and couples together into communities It is a love story, a coming of age story, and a fable Mostly it is about characters seeking their place in their world.While this is undoubtedly an invented universe, I pictured The Braided Path taking place in the remote villages in the Andes Mountains, a single stone hewn path leading from one village to another to another with jagged saw tooth mountains as far as the eye can see, each taller than the last, snow covered and impassable Each villager knows only his village and a little , those towns to which he has walked on the stone hewn path, and those fewhe has heard about The villagers are na ve in the way natives on remote islands can be na ve, believing that cities and ships and yes, even the ocean are but tales used to frighten children There is only the path, and the youth must find their place on it, their home village, their trade, their lovers and their family Anyone who travels tothan a handful of villages is considered a Far Walker.Cam and Fox are two such youth Friends at first, and then lovers, the two walk past villages andvillages, trying to find their limits Cam is drawn ever upwards, and Fox towards the mythical ocean at the bottom of the world, until one day when Cam hears about hot springs in the snowy reaches Fox refuses to climb After much distress, Cam abandons her, intending to explore the warm water oasis and return in a few short weeks.But that never happens.Cam crosses the pass between the great peaks only to find the path intersectspaths Soon he is swept away literally, but I won t spoil the surprise and fights to survive in a world completely beyond his experience, the world of commerce and congestion.Meanwhile Fox finds herself with child Snow blocks the path Cam took over the mountains, and down below, an earthquake destroys the path The villages becomeisolated than ever trade from down below stops If the villagers don t come together their way of life will be destroyed forever Even survival is questionable, especially for the young mother and her newborn.There are many precious characters in The Braided Path Len, Cam s mother and a lifeline to Fox Nish, the visiting fisherman who claims his very house borders the ocean Lia Midwife who fights like a badger to keep Fox s baby alive and has the badger s temper Genia, the captain of The Duck, a river trader who treats her crew as family, unless the ship gets untidy Then watch out.The Braided Path defies genre description It is a fantasy without magic A romance without quarreling courtship An adventure without villains Most of all, The Braided Path celebrates the quest for purpose at the heart of so much human endeavor while at the same time celebrating humanity itself, friendship, love, wounded communities drawing together in a struggle shared.This is the perfect book to read on a sunny day with the heat on your back Not because a thunderhead would frighten you it is not that kind of book but because it is a sunny kind of book The kind that makes you glad you read it, the day a little brighter

  5. Rebecca A. Rogers says:

    A vertical world This sounds amazing

  6. Eleanor Glewwe says:

    The Braided Path is an expansion of the short story Limits, which you can read to get a feel for the lovely writing and wordlbuilding The book is set mainly on a vertical world a series of villages extending from near the mountaintop to the ocean below, connected by a single path that wends its way up and down a cliff face through different climes There is exchange between the villages, but only barter, no money based commerce The villages are on a dialect continuum In the higher villages The Braided Path is an expansion of the short story Limits, which you can read to get a feel for the lovely writing and wordlbuilding The book is set mainly on a vertical world a series of villages extending from near the mountaintop to the ocean below, connected by a single path that wends its way up and down a cliff face through different climes There is exchange between the villages, but only barter, no money based commerce The villages are on a dialect continuum In the higher villages, some consider the sea a myth, and in the lower villages, people hardly believe in snow The main characters are Len, a widowed rope maker who eventually journeys far lower on the world than what she thought her limits were Cam, Len s son, who never finds his limits and travels over the top of his vertical world to encounter new societies and languages and Fox, Cam s friend turned lover who gives birth to their daughter after his departure and formalizes a partnership with Len while she figures out her way in life.This is a novel where no one ever harms anyone else, where no one is malicious, where no one hates That doesn t mean there s no conflict at all all three main characters struggle with whether to stay or go, when they find themselves settled in a place but then a change comes along to disrupt the status quo Fox isn t sure what she wants to do with her life and sometimes feels restless One thing I love about the world is that Fox is allowed to figure out what to do with her life at her own pace, even at her age a young mother The people who love her will always take care of her as everyone is cared for , even if she hasn t settled on a vocation yet I guess the world is utopian view spoiler When Cam and Fox are finally reunited, all isn t rosy between them, and it s clear they re going to have to work through Fox s anger toward Cam and the confusion each of them feels hide spoiler But in general everyone always acts in good faith, and when conflicts, whether internal or external, do arise, loving people are around to encourage working through them in a healthy way That sounds didactic, but it s not I wish I could convey how gentle and warm this whole book is.Given how conflict free The Braided Path is, you might think it would be boring, but it manages to be engrossing And it s also supremely comforting If you want to read about good people being kind to one another and gradually choosing their paths in life and embracing change and unimagined possibilities without any harsh pressure or impatience from those around them, I wholeheartedly recommend this book

  7. Julie says:

    I received an advanced reading copy of The Braided Path via a giveaway on Library Thing The plot can be found elsewhere I will only be providing some of my impressions of the book.I m not much of a reader of science fiction, but this is one book that only stretched my imagination a bit, rather than jarring me into something totally alien I found the book to beabout love and loss, relationships, coming of age and community It was interested to read the descriptions of the various crafts I received an advanced reading copy of The Braided Path via a giveaway on Library Thing The plot can be found elsewhere I will only be providing some of my impressions of the book.I m not much of a reader of science fiction, but this is one book that only stretched my imagination a bit, rather than jarring me into something totally alien I found the book to beabout love and loss, relationships, coming of age and community It was interested to read the descriptions of the various crafts in the book The author, Donna Glee Williams, describes the crafts in such a way that each and every one sounds fascinating Before this book, I wouldn t have given any of them a second thought I found this book, although a very easy and quick read, made me think about all the things we encounter every day in our world, but to which we rarely give a second thought.The negatives Kindle formatting needs work before the final version is released The ending was a littlevague than I would have liked Others may feel differently I am grateful for the opportunity to read this book, and would probably consider reading additional books by this author

  8. Glenn Gurley says:

    A couple years ago I listened to Limits by Donna Glee Williams on Podcastle The Fantasy Fiction Podcast link PODCASTLE 189 LIMITS I enjoyed the short story so much I wanted to hearabout the lives of Len Rope Maker and her son Cam Far Walker In my life and as a parent and grandparent I related to the excitement of youth for new experiences and my feelings as I let go for them to explore and try things for themselves Intrigued by the vertical world consisting of unique villages wit A couple years ago I listened to Limits by Donna Glee Williams on Podcastle The Fantasy Fiction Podcast link PODCASTLE 189 LIMITS I enjoyed the short story so much I wanted to hearabout the lives of Len Rope Maker and her son Cam Far Walker In my life and as a parent and grandparent I related to the excitement of youth for new experiences and my feelings as I let go for them to explore and try things for themselves Intrigued by the vertical world consisting of unique villages with craftspeople, I wanted to hearDonna Glee William s book, The Braided Path, resumes the narrative through a vibrant account of the continuation of their journey While reading the book I took a step back in time learningabout the journey and realizing that life is a braided path In April I started reading it while on a trip to Todd, NC at a mountain cabin we visit a couple times a year I am pictured sitting on the rock chair

  9. Elizabeth Hirst says:

    I started reading this book after Christmas, after picking it up at the Toronto Book Fair, and I found myself looking forward to going back to it every night and immersing myself in the world Williams has created Her story is original, compelling, and strangely soothing it s a tale of unity in chaos, and the strange balance that sometimes happens in our lives when we go out on a limb for love An excellent book, and a unique concept.

  10. Gracie says:

    The Braided Path by Donna Glee is a book that I would recommend to anyone and everyone It s unique concept is something that immediately draws you into the book and keeps you hooked throughout It is beautifully written and flows almost lyrically You won t be able to put it down I definitely recommend you read it.

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