22 May 2006
Book Banter -- The Stolen Child
Title: The Stolen Child
Author: Keith Donohue
Length: 319 pages
Genre: Literary fiction
Plot Basics: Hobgoblins, or changelings, live in the woods. And they pick Henry Day as the next child whom they will take and replace with one of their own. But neither the real Henry, nor the changeling who replaces him is never quite comfortable in his new life.
Banter Points: This book is Donohue's first novel and it's gotten some pretty good reviews which is why Word Nerd picked it up. And the good reviews are totally deserved. Donohue is so subtle with the emotions of his two protagonists. The plot lines parallel as he tells the story of the two Henry Day's, but seeing some of the events from both perspectives doesn't hurt this story at all.
The book was inspired by a William Butler Yeats poem (one that Word Nerd studied in high school, in fact), about changelings and faeries. Excellent jumping off point for a story.
Bummer Points: Donohue's talent lies in his subtlety, but sometimes it's almost too subtle. Some events are hinted at, or circuitously mentioned and while it works, the reader has to be paying attention or some things could easily be missed.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Yep. Read it.