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Author Topic: Pagan novels  (Read 2588 times)

Sebseb

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Pagan novels
« on: November 27, 2013, 07:55:15 pm »
Does anyone know of novels about Pagan families? To be specific, I am looking for coming-of-age novels that happen to be about Pagan families and/or children.

I ask because I've read many that happen to be about Christian families, Jewish, Muslim, even Atheists, but I've never read one about a family that happens to be of pagan faith. I don't mean it to be a major part of the story, but simply for it to be a background thing, a character element. I've read many times "after we came home from church," or "After Billy finished his Quran reading," "When she got home she unwrapped the scarf around her head" "After dad thanked Jesus for dinner".

But never once have I read "After thanking Old Horny" or "As I prayed to the Triple Goddess, I thought" or "The pyre for Thor was great, then we", "she took the pentacle necklace off before getting in the bath," Anyway, I think I've made my point. Same with many Asian religions as well, by the way, but I won't get into that for now.

So does anyone know of a book along the lines I've stated?
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Faemon

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2013, 01:07:43 am »
Quote from: Sebseb;130912
Does anyone know of novels about Pagan families? To be specific, I am looking for coming-of-age novels that happen to be about Pagan families and/or children.


Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman isn't overtly Pagan, but it does basically end with something like, "Rules of life: grow rosemary by your door for protection, keep a tiger's eye stone with you at all times, and fall in love as often as you can." It's a little older than coming-of-age, but it's very much about family.

Dancing on the Edge by Han Nolan is more about how the main character's life and sanity was ruined by her New Age grandmother.

White Magic: Spells to Hold You by Kelly Easton...had a really interesting blurb, but I haven't read it. The mention of a half-gypsy character and a mention of looking for totems had me giving the side-eye, but it might still be a heartfelt coming of age story with a problematic conceit.

While the setting is super theological punk, I think Rick Riordan does a pretty good job at keeping the focus on the characters and it's just that the supernatural elements happen to accentuate their issues. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which is ostensibly about Greek demigods in modern day America, deals more with the psychological and emotional toll of growing up in single-parent households, or orphaned, with neuroatypicalities (ADHD, dyslexia). The Kane Chronicles is about Kemetic magicians who struggle with racism. I'm not too fond of The Heroes of Olympus series, because I think Riordan's becoming a bit of a magpie with the representation of ethnicities, and everyone is pairing up into romantic couples.

As for coming-of-age family stories with Asian faiths as a backdrop...I think of The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, which has this recurring motif of Chinese folk mysticism. Lawrence Yep's The Serpent's Children is more historical fiction.
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dreamweaver

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2013, 04:03:06 am »
Quote from: Sebseb;130912
Does anyone know of novels about Pagan families? To be specific, I am looking for coming-of-age novels that happen to be about Pagan families and/or children.

I ask because I've read many that happen to be about Christian families, Jewish, Muslim, even Atheists, but I've never read one about a family that happens to be of pagan faith. I don't mean it to be a major part of the story, but simply for it to be a background thing, a character element. I've read many times "after we came home from church," or "After Billy finished his Quran reading," "When she got home she unwrapped the scarf around her head" "After dad thanked Jesus for dinner".

But never once have I read "After thanking Old Horny" or "As I prayed to the Triple Goddess, I thought" or "The pyre for Thor was great, then we", "she took the pentacle necklace off before getting in the bath," Anyway, I think I've made my point. Same with many Asian religions as well, by the way, but I won't get into that for now.

So does anyone know of a book along the lines I've stated?

I can think of several books along the lines you've stated. They all appear to focus on either Wicca or Neo-Wicca. I don't know of any novels that fit your criteria that include characters who follow Heathenry, Druidry, or Kemeticism for example.

Circle of Three by Isobel Bird/Michael Thomas Ford is a series of young adult novels, revolving around the lives of three adolescent girls who undergo initiation into a Wiccan coven. It's been ten years since I've read these books so my memory is a little fuzzy but I remember that one recurring theme was that of self-discovery during adolecence. Apparently the author is Pagan himself.

There is also An Ordinary Girl - A Magical Child by W. Lyon Martin, which through the eyes of a child raised in a Pagan family explains what Paganism is and which festivals Pagans celebrate. However, according to a review on Amazon.com, this book appears to focus only on either Wicca or Neo-Wicca. I'm not sure of the full details as I haven't read this book myself.

Although not a children's book, the main characters in Chocolat by Joanne Harris also come across as somewhat Pagan, although as far as I remember it's never specifically stated they are Pagan. The novel is about a family, consisting of a mother and daughter, who open up a chocolate shop in a conservative French village and clash with some of the locals, while enchanting others with delicious chocolate.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 04:09:36 am by dreamweaver »

Vale

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2013, 11:30:54 am »
Quote from: Sebseb;130912
Does anyone know of novels about Pagan families? To be specific, I am looking for coming-of-age novels that happen to be about Pagan families and/or children.



The Limits of Enchantment is very much a coming of age book.  It is however very much NOT a children's book

yewberry

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2013, 12:05:32 pm »
Quote from: Vale;130952
The Limits of Enchantment is very much a coming of age book.  It is however very much NOT a children's book


It's been on my Amazon wishlist forever.  I really, really need a new crush.

Brina

Scales

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2013, 12:29:16 pm »
My whole post assumes that the OP wants the books for her kids and that they are aged 12-15ish.

Quote from: triple_entendre;130932
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman isn't overtly Pagan, but it does basically end with something like, "Rules of life: grow rosemary by your door for protection, keep a tiger's eye stone with you at all times, and fall in love as often as you can." It's a little older than coming-of-age, but it's very much about family.

Oh my goodness, I didn't know there was a novel. I need it.

And I'm pretty sure Circle of Three was a decent series, but I haven't read it since I was somewhere in the 10-12 range, so I wasn't reading critically for realistic pagan-ness.

ETA: Practical Magic's movie version has a blood pact, ("My blood, your blood, our blood"), so if your kids enjoy it I'd remind them why that is a dangerous thing to do. I remember that when I was 13, I thought that would be awesome.

Also, xxxHolic is a japanese graphic novel that is heavily based in japanese mythology with some shinto elements, and about friendship, growing, etc.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 12:33:27 pm by Scales »

Vale

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2013, 01:23:10 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;130955
It's been on my Amazon wishlist forever.  I really, really need a new crush.

Brina

 

I am a huge Graham Joyce fan. He sucked me in with Dark Sister and I was hooked.  I love how he mixes fantasy, the supernatural, magic and the mundane so expertly.

yewberry

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2013, 05:44:29 pm »
Quote from: Scales;130957
Oh my goodness, I didn't know there was a novel. I need it.


Just FYI:  it's completely different from the book.  Like, dramatically.
 
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Scales

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2013, 05:54:26 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;130984
Just FYI:  it's completely different from the book.  Like, dramatically.
 
Brina

 
Though I grew up with the movie, it isn't a very good movie so that's probably a good thing.

MadZealot

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2013, 06:54:15 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;130955
It's been on my Amazon wishlist forever.  I really, really need a new crush.

Brina


$5.99 for the Kindle edition.  Also, 4 1/2 stars.
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yewberry

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2013, 01:58:54 am »
Quote from: Scales;130985
Though I grew up with the movie, it isn't a very good movie so that's probably a good thing.


No, the movie's not "good", but entertaining enough.  I adore the book, though.  They're so different they don't even occupy the same head space for me.

Brina

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2013, 11:26:01 am »
Quote from: yewberry;131015
They're so different they don't even occupy the same head space for me.

 
Ditto.


Though I do adore the movie as well as adoring the book because 90s. Feel-good. Sisters. The exact type of house I want.

And now, also, one degree of separation from Elementary! :D
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yewberry

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2013, 11:38:35 am »
Quote from: MadZealot;130988
$5.99 for the Kindle edition.  Also, 4 1/2 stars.


I'm waiting for someone else to buy it for me.  I'm at once that cheap, that lazy, and that greedy.  ;)

Brina

yewberry

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2013, 11:41:27 am »
Quote from: Morag;131027
Though I do adore the movie as well as adoring the book because 90s. Feel-good. Sisters. The exact type of house I want.

All this, plus it was filmed near here.  Did you know they built the house facade for the movie?  So all those exterior shots are of a house that doesn't exist (in a county park)?  They also painted a portion of the town of Coupeville white to make it look "New Englandy".

Quote
And now, also, one degree of separation from Elementary! :D

Yeah.  Aidan Quinn:  cop forever.  ;)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 11:43:34 am by yewberry »

Morag

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Re: Pagan novels
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2013, 03:16:22 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;131029
All this, plus it was filmed near here.  Did you know they built the house facade for the movie?  So all those exterior shots are of a house that doesn't exist (in a county park)?  They also painted a portion of the town of Coupeville white to make it look "New Englandy".

 
Ahhhh! That's so awesome. *saves article for reference when building dream house*

Quote from: yewberry;131029
Yeah.  Aidan Quinn:  cop forever.  ;)

 
He's so good at it. :D
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