“The sun was wounded and falling
slowly from the sky, victim of an arrow shot by the night. Its
blood spilled in red luminescence onto the stark blue of the sky,
creating pools of glistening crimson. The clouds raced to stanch
the flow, but only succeeded in turning their white loveliness a
pale pink. The streaks of their tears formed a rainbow against the
J. Winter is a master of the metaphor. He makes
love to each page with visions that could only come from a keen
sense of observation and extended contemplation. Personification
also moves to an entirely new magical level and the simile is
unabashed in its beauty as it lays open on the page.
There is such intense beauty in the writing style
it becomes a perfume that drifts through the pages never letting
you escape its pure scent. The rhythm of the words entice you into
poetry and spiritual elements so rare, the writing at times
The basic plot is one of a tragic love story that
lays bare the pain of separation, the loneliness of the human
heart, true love and ultimate sacrifice. These elements blend into
a unity and here and there a tiny droplet of horror emerges to
balance the romance.
The love between a Korean woman (Changmi) and a
Native American man (Ainsley) flesh out the story with sensual
images painted in lyrical language. The long flowing sentence
mingle with warm conversation and all have the undercurrent of
emotion needed to connect the feelings of the characters with the
readers own deep and perhaps even hidden emotions.
Changmi/Rose is untouched by love until she meets
Ainsley. She is working at a cat house while he is an animal
trainer working with Tigers, Lions and Jaguars. He has never been
scarred by love, but carries a physical scar inflicted by a
jaguar. Rose and Ainsley almost seem to stalk around one another,
only getting close enough to let their wild natures show for
moments in time.
Ainsley is lonely and seeks comfort in the arms of
Rose who refuses to become emotionally involved due to the nature
of her employment. They never realize that their relationship will
turn into a mystical journey into the depths of loneliness and
The story begins with Ainsley saving a girls life
after she falls into a Tiger exhibit. He risks his life and is
willing to die. He seems to be one with the animals in a spiritual
way and is unafraid of dying. This fearless spirit is heroic and
yet is his dangerous rebellious spirit that haunts him.
I found the theme of cats and flowers fascinating
throughout the novel. The entire story resembles two roses tangled
together and growing towards the sun or the warmth of love.
Changmi’s story weaves around Ainsley’s life in such a way as
to take hold of him and bring them both beauty and pain. This
story unravels at its own pace if you let it flow through you.
T’ongil is completely satisfying, unpredictable,
unique and stunningly sexy. This is a story you could read
repeatedly just to drown in the decadent descriptions! This novel
will leave you purring in anticipation for a second reading
~The Rebecca Review
he will sit in front of you with eyes so melting,
so caressing and so human, that they almost frighten you,
for it is impossible to believe that a soul is not there.
you have too many cats?