To continue yesterday's post about what I read while on vacation, I stopped reading Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle (for now) once I was on Terra Firma again and had access to the pile of books on my bedside table which I had not packed.
First up: The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue, the story of six year old Henry Day who runs away from home and is replaced by a hobgoblin or changeling. The childlike changelings live in the woods and wait for their chance to kidnap a small child and replace him with one of their tribe. The kidnapped child then becomes a changeling and has to wait many years to find the opportunity to get back into the human world. Meanwhile, the parents with the replacement child do not notice, or refuse to acknowledge, that their child seems somehow different. In Henry's case, the new Henry comes with an incredible musical talent that the original Henry lacked. The book alternates between the human world and the immortal, feral world of the changelings.
Somehow this summary does not do the book justice; it's one of those books which is hard to describe. If you are thinking, 'no, not interested in such a weird topic,' I would advise you to read some other reviews and most of all to give the book a try. If you liked The Time Traveler's Wife (the book, not the movie which has been soundly panned by all) the element of being outside of one's life waiting to get back in is similar. Or it would interest readers who like elements of the mystical underside of everyday life, vampire fans, perhaps, or readers of fantasy. Although I don't like vampire books or fantasy much, so the book would seem to fall between the genre cracks. Whatever niche this book is assigned, it is well worth reading.
Wikipedia's article on Yeat's poem, the Stolen Child, which inspired author Keith Donohue
more Stolen Child Reviews on BookBrowse
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