The Fox Woman Author - Kij Johnson Genre -Japanese Fantasy Pages - 384
Description from Goodreads.
Yoshifuji is a man fascinated by foxes, a man discontented and troubled by the meaning of life. A misstep at court forces him to retire to his long-deserted country estate, to rethink his plans and contemplate the next move that might return him to favor and guarantee his family's prosperity.
Kitsune is a young fox who is fascinated by the large creatures that have suddenly invaded her world. She is drawn to them and to Yoshifuji. She comes to love him and will do anything to become a human woman to be with him.
Shikujo is Yoshifuji's wife, ashamed of her husband, yet in love with him and uncertain of her role in his world. She is confused by his fascination with the creatures of the wood, and especially the foxes that she knows in her heart are harbingers of danger. She sees him slipping away and is determined to win him back from the wild ... for all that she has her own fox-related secret.
Magic binds them all. And in the making (and breaking) of oaths and honors, the patterns of their lives will be changed forever.
*Sigh* I wanted to love this book, I wanted to be enamored and entrapped within its pages and not want to let go. I was sadly not any of those. While the book was still good, it was not so much a tale of a fox turning human but of how she deals with being human and loss and madness. Yes, she (Kitsune since she doesn’t really have a name) does find love, does learn to be human and we do get to see her in her fox form for a good chunk of the book, but still. It fell flat for me.
Like I said, the book starts off with Kitsune being a fox, then one day she sees Yoshifuji and knows she wants him, knows that she must be human to have him and thus with magic, begins her journey for humanity.
Shikujo is Yoshifujis wife and I really felt for her throughout the book. Sure , in the beginning she was a little high strung but with her life it is understandable. She did not ask for her husband to become obsessed with the foxes he finds, nor did she ask for Kitsune to steal her husband from her with magic. I like how she grew through the book and I was happy for her in the end. I think I enjoyed her story more than the others.
The book is told from the views of Yoshifuji, Kistune and Shikujo. It was nice seeing what they thought of the goings-on of everything. I just wish this book stayed more with Kitsune in her fox form, even though I know it was supposed to be a love story between a fox woman and a human man.