Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Book Review: "The Stolen Child" by Keith Donohue

The Stolen Child is one of those books that's hard to categorize.  While it's a coming of age story it has a bit of a twist.  The twist being the mixing of the mythos of faeries,hobgoblins and changelings.  Keith Donohue got the inspiration for this book from the Poem of the same name by William Butler Yeats, in which a child is lured away from home and into the woods by a changeling.

In Donohue's book he asks the question, "What happens next?"  "The Stolen Child" is about a young boy named Henry Day who runs away from home and is taken by the changelings.  Now the myth of the changelings is that a changeling takes the place of the young child abducted and in this case Henry Day is replaced by a changeling and Henry becomes a changeling.

That is just where the story begins.  The rest of the book follows both versions of Henry Day (the changeling/hobgoblin version changes his name to Aniday). The "now human" version grows up to be a piano virtuoso, because of a past he had before becoming a changeling. The changeling version learns to accept his life as a changeling but always wondering what his life would have been and missing his family.  While the "now human" version is constantly seeking information on his past life.

Both versions fall in love and seek their pasts while one loses his love the human form gets married and has a son and worries about the son being taken by changelings.  The soul searching through this book never seeks an apology for what has been done but rather, an acceptance and moving on of lives.  

It was purely concidental that I read this book around halloween, but while reading I did keep an eye on my son and one over my shoulder.  This book is beautifully written, poignant at times and with some humor thrown in.  A very good read that could easily become a classic.

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posted by Gil T. @ 9:32 PM Comments: 0