Steeped in dark Irish mythology, THE STOLEN CHILD is a piercing exploration of regret and desire, longing and love. It is a gorgeously written, inventive, and compelling novel.
St Brigid’s Island is the sinister, seductive home to several individualistic, spiky women. These women know that their world is peopled with more than can be seen and they collude with and push against those sources, often with frightening results. THE STOLEN CHILD is a gorgeously written book about female bonds and the ferocious pull of motherhood. Compelling, eerie and beautiful.
Oh, my! I could not help but surrender to Lisa Carey’s dark, dazzling, quintessentially Irish plot, her lush prose, and her magical, gratifying ending. THE STOLEN CHILD is completely and utterly ravishing.
THE STOLEN CHILD is captivating - savage and tender, with a deep respect for the transcendent truths that lie in human pain. It grabs you, shakes you to your core and keeps you turning those pages. Leaving you reeling, sated and in love with its characters, landscape and utterly believable magic.
Some books set up house inside your soul. THE STOLEN CHILD is one such book. Utterly magnificent.
Startling, bewitching and new; the world of Lisa Carey’s THE STOLEN CHILD is less a tiny island than a multi-layered universe. Fierce and vivid in its portrayals of community, superstition, sexuality and the human need to believe and to connect, it’s a novel which resists sentiment and instead plunges into the visceral quick of myth and legend, while keeping a clear and intelligent eye on the reality of how people are. Carey’s women in particular are unforgettable: this is a novel to devour.
Haunting...It’s a brave author who names their book after a Yeats poem. But Carey’s understated tale of complex women living complex lives is steeped in the strange, chilly tone of the 19th century verse.
Fans of Gothic intrigue have a treat in store. THE STOLEN CHILD by Lisa Carey has all the right ingredients for a good yarn: a windswept island, a jealous twin and a woman in search of a miracle.
Carey paints an ethereally vivid picture of a legend drenched in fear, betrayal, love, and desire—proof of her lyrical genius. Carey’s bewitching novel—which is as beautiful as it is savage and as dark and mystical as it is surprising—[I’d] read again in a heartbeat.
There is magic realism of a fine order in this book, and it works. The sheep tracks over the wild hillsides, the crumbling cottages, the fierce elements, the austere grandeur: all are beautifully caught. Carey has a great ear for the Irish vernacular, the music of the speech; and the domestic scenes and exchanges are excellent.
[Carey’s] distinctive voice shines throughout The Stolen Child, which casts a spell upon the reader in its opening prologue and does not let go until the final devastating moments.
Carey employs a generous dose of magic realism to leave you guessing, crafting a dark, devastating fairy tale that will keep you up into the wee hours. The Stolen Child is beautifully written, well-paced, and at times heartbreakingly bleak […] you get an intoxicating sense of the island as you read. […] An enchanting, razor-edged expoloration of desire, belonging,motherhood, and the bonds between family.
A powerful, bewitching gothic tale of betrayal, superstition, and desire.
The all-nighter read…THE STOLEN CHILD does what few tales dare to—get inside your head and refuse to leave...This is a captivating, eerily beautiful tome; full of mistrust, dark magic, and superstition.
With some artful weaving of fact and fiction, history and legend, harsh reality and Celtic myth, Carey has created an elegant and deeply evocative work of fiction. Although the story is drenched in sea spray and heavy with the perfume of island heather, this is no idyllic ramble. THE STOLEN CHLD…is beautifully written and has all the page-turning ingredients of a psychological thriller, along with a large dollop of distinctly Irish-flavoured magical realism.
St. Brigid is a small island off the Irish coast steeped in magic and folklore. Inhabitants barely eke out an existence from the sea and are suspicious of strangers. American Brigid is made to feel even more unwelcome when the island women learn that she is searching for St. Brigid's Well—a secret spring of water that is rumored to heal wounds and give barren women a child. Emer is a lonely housewife who lived briefly in the twilight world of myth, but her expulsion left her with scarred hands that leach happiness from all she touches. Convinced her son must be protected from the fae, Emer obsesses about shielding him from harm. In an unlikely friendship with the new stranger, Emer finds comfort and love in Brigid's healing hands. However, after Emer is betrayed, her vengeance endangers the entire island and the magic that dwells there. VERDICT Returning to the magic found in Carey's The Mermaids Singing, her newest release will enchant readers. Reminiscent of works by Susanna Kearsley and Lauren Willig, this is a good choice for those who are interested in Irish lore and the feminine mystique.—Melissa Lockaby, Univ. of North Georgia Libs., Dahlonega
The story of a bleak, isolated Irish island where everyone believes in, and justifiably fears, fairies.St. Brigid, a saint often conflated with a druid goddess of the same name, chose the remote (and fictitious) isle that bears her name as a haven for her order of nuns. In 1960, a prologue reveals, St. Brigid's, which lacks electricity, telephone, or any other modern convenience, is about to be evacuated, its inhabitants—women, children, and one elderly man—resettled in council housing on the mainland. The main plot begins a year earlier, when a "Yank" named Brigid arrives to claim her late uncle's cottage and land. Brigid plans to stay despite the fact that the islanders still live as their ancestors have for centuries: fishing, farming, heating and cooking with peat fires. The first to welcome Brigid are Emer and her young son, Niall. Emer, who, as a child, tried to consort with fairies and lost an eye as a result, needs a friend: her pervasive aura of gloom has alienated all but her closest kin. Brigid inherited her gift of healing hands from her mother, who was, like Emer, reputed to be "touched" by fairies. Back stories swirl, heightening the stakes: Brigid, who has been an orphan, a midwife, and a child bride, is now nearly 40, infertile, and desperate to be a mother. She hopes to locate the spring of St. Brigid, which is said to work miracles—but the islanders keep the location of these waters a secret. Emer's sister Rose married Austin, the man Emer loved, and has a large brood, while Emer had to settle for Austin's brother Patch, a loutish drunk. Her biggest fear is that the fairies covet Niall and, as is their wont with certain children, plan to steal him when he turns 7 and leave a changeling in his place. Vividly and soulfully described, love and curses, roiling in a supernatural stew, bring about the large and small calamities that will render St. Brigid's uninhabitable. Magical realism of the best kind, utterly devoid of whimsy.