Friday, 7 July 2017

The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey

Synopsis and author’s note:

From the author of the critically acclaimed The Mermaids Singing comes a haunting, luminous novel set on an enchanted island off the west coast of Ireland where magic, faith, and superstition pervade the inhabitants’ lives and tangled relationships—perfect for fans of Eowyn Ivey, Sarah Waters, and Angela Carter.

May 1959. From one side of St. Brigid’s Island, the mountains of Connemara can be glimpsed on the distant mainland; from the other, the Atlantic stretches as far as the eye can see. This remote settlement, without electricity or even a harbor, has scarcely altered since its namesake saint set up a convent of stone huts centuries ago. Those who live there, including sisters Rose and Emer, are hardy and resourceful, dependent on the sea and each other for survival. Despite the island’s natural beauty, it is a place that people move away from, not to—until an outspoken American, also named Brigid, arrives to claim her late uncle’s cottage.

Brigid has come for more than an inheritance. She’s seeking a secret holy well that’s rumoured to grant miracles. Emer, as scarred and wary as Rose is friendly and beautiful, has good reason to believe in inexplicable powers. Despite her own strange abilities—or perhaps because of them—Emer fears that she won’t be able to save her young son, Niall, from a growing threat. Yet Brigid has a gift too, even more remarkable than Emer’s. As months pass and Brigid carves out a place on the island and in the sisters’ lives, a complicated web of betrayal, fear, and desire culminates in one shocking night that will change the island, and its inhabitants, forever.

Steeped in Irish history and lore, The Stolen Child is a mesmerizing descent into old world beliefs, and a captivating exploration of desire, myth, motherhood, and love in all its forms

My review:

There a handful of books that leave scars on your soul and re surface once in a while so you never forget them. This is most definitely one of them.

Let’s start with the cover on this one. Amazing – I fell in love with the cover and didn’t really care about the blurb. But after reading that as well I was sold on this book. It was intriguing and didn’t really give that much away.

And oh my, I was in for a treat.

I can only describe this novel as beautiful. Set on a Irish island of St Brigid’s, the story follow one of the island women called Emer, twin to the more beautiful and popular Rose, and a newcomer Brigid, whose arrival will change the island in ways people could not imagine.

I don’t like to give the story away, so I would just say that I loved how the relationship between Emer and Brigid developed. Emer was so quietly desperate for her own friend and Brigid so desperate for the one thing she always wanted and never got. Their loneliness and despair brings them together and rip apart everything they believed in.

The island life was so stunningly portrayed I could just imagine the scenery when the women were walking the hills or having a picnic. The idea of fairies and changelings, superstition and healing magic is so well incorporated into the whole story and makes it that much more special.

Thank you to the author and TBConFB for access to this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 5/5

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