Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World

Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World

4.4 10
by Signe Pike
     
 

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One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2010

A skeptic's search for magic, one faery at a time.

In search of something to believe in again, Signe Pike left behind a career in Manhattan to undertake a magical journey-literally. In a sweeping tour through England, Ireland, Scotland, and beyond, she takes readers to dark glens and abandoned

Overview

One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2010

A skeptic's search for magic, one faery at a time.

In search of something to believe in again, Signe Pike left behind a career in Manhattan to undertake a magical journey-literally. In a sweeping tour through England, Ireland, Scotland, and beyond, she takes readers to dark glens and abandoned forests, ancient sacred sites, and local pubs, seeking those who might still believe in the mysterious beings we've relegated to the dusty corners of our childhood imaginations: faeries. But as Signe attempts to connect with the spirit world, she'll come to view herself and the world around her in a profoundly new way.

Engaging and full of heart, Faery Tale is more than a memoir-it's the story of rekindling that spark of belief that makes even the most skeptical among us feel like a kid again.

Editorial Reviews

Women's Adventure Magazine
Pike's wit, wisdom, and wide-eyed view of the world will help you to develop your own sense of traveler's whimsy.
Harper's Bazaar
A sparkling memoir of make-believe and real life. ... [Pike's] discoveries are heartwarming and spellbinding. With a distinctive voice and elegant prose, Faery Tale captures the hopefulness of childhood and the magic of believing.
-Marianne Williamson
"Pike's enchanting journey into the land of the faeries is more than a memoir; it's an earnest search for what is real in a world that is filled with illusion, and what is true in a world that is filled with falsehood. It makes you smile, and it makes you think...."
-A. J. Jacobs
"Faery Tale is enchanting."
- A. J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically
-Women's Adventure Magazine
"Pike's wit, wisdom, and wide-eyed view of the world will help you to develop your own sense of traveler's whimsy."
-Brian and Wendy Froud
"Faery Tale has given people so much-permission to explore, to question, and most of all to believe-not just in faeries, but in themselves, in each other, and in the rest of the world, both seen and unseen. We absolutely love this book."

-Harper's Bazaar
"A sparkling memoir of make-believe and real life. ... [Pike's] discoveries are heartwarming and spellbinding. With a distinctive voice and elegant prose, Faery Tale captures the hopefulness of childhood and the magic of believing."
- Jeanine Cummins
"Pike went looking for enchantment; well she found it, and she left its light and gracious footprints across every page of this delightful book."
From the Publisher
"Pike's enchanting journey into the land of the faeries is more than a memoir; it's an earnest search for what is real in a world that is filled with illusion, and what is true in a world that is filled with falsehood. It makes you smile, and it makes you think...." — Marianne Williamson

"Faery Tale is enchanting."
- A. J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living BiblicallyA. J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Livin

"Pike's wit, wisdom, and wide-eyed view of the world will help you to develop your own sense of traveler's whimsy." — Women's Adventure Magazine

"Faery Tale has given people so much-permission to explore, to question, and most of all to believe-not just in faeries, but in themselves, in each other, and in the rest of the world, both seen and unseen. We absolutely love this book."

Brian and Wendy Froud, authors of The Heart of the Faerie Oracle and ot

"A sparkling memoir of make-believe and real life. ... [Pike's] discoveries are heartwarming and spellbinding. With a distinctive voice and elegant prose, Faery Tale captures the hopefulness of childhood and the magic of believing." — Harper's Bazaar

"Pike writes of her various encounters with faery-believers and faery lands... in a winning voice that roams freely from melancholy to mirth, incredulity to bright surprise." — Kirkus Reviews

"Pike went looking for enchantment; well she found it, and she left its light and gracious footprints across every page of this delightful book." — Jeanine Cummins, bestselling author of A Rip in Heaven and The Outs

"Finding happiness is an adventure that everyone should take, and Faery Tale inspires you to go on that journey."
- Lucy Danziger, Editor-in-Chief of SELF Magazine and author of New York Times bestseller of The Nine Rooms of Happiness

"It's hard to decide what's more enchanting, Signe Pike's writing or the magical world she uncovers. This is a book for hopeful skeptics and believers alike. Proceed with caution, because Faery Tale may cast a spell that transforms the way you see the world forever." — Jillian Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls: My

Kirkus Reviews

A search for faeries—and magic in general—allows former book editor Pike to reclaim a happier, more engaged life.

While working for two different publishers in New York City, a fog of disgruntlement had settled over the author. She was weary of the hustle and bustle, as well as reading piles of manuscripts, but there was also a greater malaise involved. The whole world seemed to be going to hell in a hand basket, and somewhere along the line she had lost her sense of wonder and the joy of surprise. She hungered for a little magic and a belief in something to restore the pleasurable ache of innocence and reinvigorate her daily life. So, Pike decided to go looking for faeries. One of the most appealing aspects of her book is that she does it all with ringing earnestness—even when she's a witty smart-aleck—and without a hint of frou-frou spirituality. "I wanted to travel the world, find the people who are still awake in that old dreamtime, hear their stories," she writes. "I was going to find the goddamned fairies." As the author discovered, there are plenty of them out there, and numerous people for whom faeries are a fact of life to be reckoned with. Through these people, Pike re-engaged with the world in a way that was more typical of her youth. Her deceased father—a complicated, pungent soul who wends his way through the story—had been an energetic guide to the mystery and myth of the outdoors, and he effectively conveyed that to the author, despite her being a fearful kid. Pike writes of her various encounters with faery-believers and faery lands, fromNew York to MexicotoIrelandtoScotland, in a winning voice that roams freely from melancholy to mirth, incredulity to bright surprise.

"In chasing the beliefs I had as a child, I'd somehow managed to grow up"—into a person easily as captivating as her quarry.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399537004
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
677,788
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

I wake up every morning with a sense of purpose: I am a tastemaker. As a book editor in New York City, I think about it constantly: What do people want to read? What will they want to read in one year? What about two? Mostly I acquire books that entertain women, that engulf them. When I think about the reader, I think about you. I buy books that I hope will make you smile, make you believe in the magic of love at first sight—I buy books that I hope will heal your heartbreak. I read all the time, big, thick manuscripts. It’s part of the job. Each night I take home chunks of pages in an extra shoulder bag. I read on the treadmill. I read while I’m eating my take-out dinner. I read before bed, propped up with a pillow, my glasses slipping down toward the tip of my nose. I’m beginning to wonder if carrying all the paper is the reason my right shoulder feels like it’s filled with marbles.

In the morning I get up and I flip on the radio. NPR and a cup of coffee. I’m always running late—I can never figure out what to wear.

I’m almost twenty-eight years old and I’m always trying to look older. I hate blazers and button-up shirts. I hate walking the streets of New York in high heels; the men gawk and the concrete wears them down until the metal pokes out the bottom. I lock the door and say goodbye to the cat, hoping for her that today, there will be pigeons.

I read on the subway, pressed up against a big man whose breath smells like rotten eggs and stale coffee. Next to me is a fat, middle-aged stockbroker, staring over the top of his Wall Street Journal at the gap between the taught fabric of a blond woman’s skirt. He has a slim gold wedding band on, and I wonder if the woman who gave it to him believed in love at first sight.

The train shoots underground and the faces around me look ashen in the yellow lights. I close my eyes for a moment, and everything, the lights, the people, the rapidly receding subway walls, slips away and I am rushing out into the bright sunshine. I walk up a long dune that leads to the beach, where I can hear the sound of the ocean. It sounds like a sigh. I open my eyes to see people looking back.

Has she fallen asleep?

I focus again on the pages in front of me. I tell myself, All I want is to heal some heartbreak. Upstairs in the glass-walled building, I flick on the desk lamp in my third-floor interior office. Without windows, the fluorescent lights give me a raucous headache, and I’m not usually a headache kind of girl. Glancing at my calendar, my eyes find the familiar photo pinned near the top of my bulletin board.

Have you ever looked at a photo so much that you can’t even truly see it anymore? I examine it again, trying to break it down into pieces. I see a man who looks far older than his sixty years, walking down a winding set of stone stairs. At his feet, a small brown-and-white dog is captured mid-movement, and he has turned to face the camera above him, his eyes gazing back at mine. The expression he wears is one of faux surprise: he hardly ever plays it straight for the camera. I know this, because neither do I. In a moment he’ll call out, Hey, you coming?

I see a flash of fabric breeze past my office door.

“Good morning, Signe,” my boss says.

“Good morning to you,” I say brightly. I flick on my computer and glance at the persistent blinking light on my phone.

You have five new messages.

I reach for the phone with one hand and my coffee with the other. Lately, I think, my face hurts from smiling.

“Hi, this is Signe Pike, returning a call . . .”

I am going to heal your heartbreak, because I have no idea how to heal my own.

What People are saying about this

- Jillian Lauren
"It's hard to decide what's more enchanting, Signe Pike's writing or the magical world she uncovers. This is a book for hopeful skeptics and believers alike. Proceed with caution, because Faery Tale may cast a spell that transforms the way you see the world forever."
From the Publisher
"Finding happiness is an adventure that everyone should take, and Faery Tale inspires you to go on that journey."
- Lucy Danziger, Editor-in-Chief of SELF Magazine and author of New York Times bestseller of The Nine Rooms of Happiness
Marianne Williamson
Pike's enchanting journey into the land of the faeries is more than a memoir; it's an earnest search for what is real in a world that is filled with illusion, and what is true in a world that is filled with falsehood. It makes you smile, and it makes you think....

Meet the Author

Signe Pike is an editor and writer living in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful book about not only a search for magic but a journey to reconcile the author with her difficult father and his death. Very powerful.
Sue_G More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Signe Pike is feeling disconnected from the world, and still deeply grieving the death of her father. She decides to take a three month trip to England, Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man to find out if faeries really do exist. Starting out with wanting to believe, but feeling skeptical and blocked by fear, she connects with people along her journey who, with the guidance of faeries, help her slowly begin to experience the joy and magic of believing, and trusting her intuition to guide her where she needs to be. If you're feeling a bit lost, and out of touch with nature, read this book. If you remember, as a child, being fascinated with faeries and the magical realm, rediscover that fascination. I myself feel lighter and happier after reading this book. I can't wait to revisit my flower gardens next spring; if I'm lucky enough, maybe I'll experience some magic!
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Freckles314 More than 1 year ago
Let me just say that I am in love with this book. I recommend it to travelers, memoir readers, and for anyone who has felt the inevitable disconnection from childhood fairy tales that the hustle and bustle of adult life causes. Signe Pike, a young editor working for two publishing companies in New York City, decides that mundane, day-to-day, corporate lifestyle is not working for her, and that she needs more. Mourning the loss of her father, she doesn't realize for sometime how heavy a burden is on her shoulders....so she does something about it. She Travels to Mexico, England, The Isle of Man, and Scotland and gets in touch with not only her love of nature instilled by her father, but also her adventurous childhood self. In her search for fairies, she reclaims a bit of magic she lost and a stronger sense of self.
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