This post by Robin Sloan at tor.com caught my eye: The Joy of Giant, Perfect Novels: Hild by Nicola Griffith
I so agree. When I finally read Hild — which took a while because it is so big; I have to both be in the mood for a giant book and have time for it, which doesn’t happen all that often these days — but when I did finally read it, instantly it popped right to the top of books-read-that-year. Right to the top.
It’s a pure historical, btw, without a single bit of definite magic anywhere. It’s interesting how everyone treated it as though it were fantasy.
Here’s what Sloan has to say about it:
Some big novels are endurance contests, and at the end, you’re exhausted but pleased with yourself. Some big novels needed a better editor. Hild isn’t anything like those. It’s big like a hug, big like a feast, big like a heart….
Sloan writes short novels herself, she notes, and so the scope and breadth of Hild is something she particularly admires. I’m tending long-ish these days, but seldom with the pure day-to-day life infused into a novel that Hild pulls off so beautifully. That’s something I really enjoy in a novel — if I’m in the right mood.