After I read _Memory and Dream_, I stumbled around for about a week just thinking, "Wow..." De Lint's work often affects me that way, but this book did it to me even more than usual. I think it's because the characters who populate De Lint's stories are so much like people I know. Most people don't tend to write about people I know, or people who think the way I do.
The story is a deceptively simple one of an artist who is going through a change in her life being forced to own her past and her power. But although the theme is one that is seen often, De Lint makes it real in a way that no one else can. He has a very good heart knowledge of the true pain of life and he presents it in a way that neither minimizes it nor romanticizes it. He does the same with his urban settings; this is not a clean or perfect world, and stories are just as likely to happen in an alley as in a mansion.
Because the settings and the characters are so real, it is easy to believe in the fantasy elements. De Lint's work often deals with the lives and experiences of artists, musicians, and storytellers. Their work is a kind of magic anyway; all De Lint does is make the magic more vivid. He really shows us how the world is a magical place, and when everyone else is saying real magic is dead that's a message I want to hear over and over again.