Somewhat recently, Amazon unearthed a bunch of reviews for my book, Loving the Wind: The Story of Tiger Lily & Peter Pan. I was pleasantly surprised to read new words from readers about this book, especially since writing it was such a reward in itself. The fact that people love it is the icing on the cake. That, and I really do nothing to promote it and people still find it. That’s the kind of book every author wants to write, because we’re writers, not book marketing experts!
If you haven’t read Loving the Wind, let me introduce you. This book is the prequel to JM Barrie’s Peter & Wendy, telling the story of Neverland’s origins and how Peter Pan came to be. More importantly, this book is told by Tiger Lily, a bit player in the original story, but the hero of Loving the Wind. In this book, Tiger Lily is grappling with gender roles in her patriarchal tribe, feeling like she was meant for so much more than her father, the chief, expected for her. According to tribe tradition, she was meant to marry a warrior, and HE would become chief.
Tiger Lily never felt like the other girls in her tribe, and she dreamed of being a warrior. But it isn’t until she’s kidnapped by the evil Captain Hook when her warrior skills are put to the test – especially since this is where she meets the legendary Peter Pan, the boy from her tribe’s stories, but someone she never thought real.
You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens. In the meantime, here are a few snippets from some of my favorite reviews:
Langwell’s Tiger Lily rises above that stereotyped, one-dimensional character. Here we find a young girl, looking for her place in the world. She is courageous and talented, a leader of her people, a hunter and warrior, but also flawed and searching, like any hero. Through a series of adventures and challenges, she finds out who she truly is, in a classic coming of age story – that just happens to involve fairies, pixie dust, Lost Boys, fantastically wonderful Neverbeasts, mermaids, and a maddeningly elusive boy who never grows up.
Not only was the story completely enchanting, but the underlying story of Tiger Lily growing into a strong, independent, and emotionally healthy woman was beautiful, and inspiring.
Langwell takes a classical piece of literature and puts a feminist twist on it.
Tiger Lily is the girl I want to be when I grow up. Brave in spite of her fear, bold in standing up for those who had no voice, humble in her accomplishments, and open to the lessons in hardships she experienced.
And then there was this review, which I’ll show in its entirety, because I loved the quote they pulled about Captain Hook, one of my favorite bad guys, and also because this reviewer seemed just as passionate about the Peter Pan story as I am.
“His hair cascaded around him in curls, giving the appearance of blackened cattails framing his handsome face. His eyes were the shade of the deepest part of the sky …I thought I saw a glimmer of red within the blue of his iris… Most menacing of his presence was the gold hook…” from Loving the Wind ~A thoroughly delicious first impression of Cap’n Hook through the words of Tiger Lily.
Reintroducing us to the mischievous endlessly young Peter Pan first introduced to the world on Stage in 1904 by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie, then most known in the animated feature by Walt Disney in 1953. Crissi Langwell takes on an almost sacred story, that has been endlessly retold, with an entirely new take, from an new set of eyes and perspective. This is a excellent re-imagining of the story, through the eyes of Tiger Lily, the teenage daughter of the tribal leader who lives under the eye of expectation of being the chiefs daughter. She is an independent young woman in a paternalistic society who finds her own voice and power. This is a tale of the challenge of growing up, not staying endlessly young, that all of us go through in those awkward years from childhood to becoming a ‘grown up’.
With that being said this is a great adventurous tale, sometimes dark, but rollicking, enchanting, and engaging, set in the familiar Isle of Never Land, with well known characters of our modern mythology imagined anew. I found myself completely identifying with Tiger Lily, and that in itself, for myself makes for a great tale. This is fine for younger readers, but make no mistake this is not the Disney cartoon fairy tale. A most excellent book. I really enjoyed it.
Learn more about Loving the Wind at crissilangwell.com/tigerlily.
Purchase it, or read it for free on Kindle Unlimited here.