I don t disguise that I m a big geek, especially when science fiction is concerned My Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and Spiderman and X Men and Batman and movie obsessions attest to my geekiness So it is no surprise to anyone that I spent two or three years as a teenager reading only fantasy fiction I literally read every fantasy fiction book our local library had on its shelves It happens to be why the Harry Potter series drives me to the brink of rage people think those awful excuses for fantasy fiction stand up to the classics of Tolkien, Le Guin, Eddings, Donaldson, and all the others I spent countless hours devouring It has been years since a book made me feel like a child again The Stolen Child is such a book and not because its fantasy setting brought back feelings of nostalgia, but because for the first time in I don t know how long, I had a book in my hand I didn t want to put down, and whose plot drew me in so completely, finishing the book was both the first and last thing I wanted to do The book s basic storyline is based on the mythology of the changeling, a breed of fairies that steal children and replace them with a changeling that looks exactly like the child and that grows up in its place The stolen child hence the title becomes a changeling himself, and waits his time to return to the real world in the form of another child This unique premise sets up a narrative that swaps back and forth between a changeling Henry Day , and the stolen child whose identity he stole and who now must grow up as a changeling Aniday The switching narratives allow the author to present different perspectives on the same event as Henry s and Aniday s lives crisscross each other in ways that will surprise you The simple prose is beautiful and spare in ways that break your heart, and that keeps you reading until you finish it a day later There is an underlying melancholy throughout the book as you feel the struggle that Henry the changeling has in living a life not his own, and that Aniday has in living a new life while struggling to remember the one he lost There are many themes at play here the fleeting nature of memory, nature vs nurture, growing up and leaving childhood, the truth of identity and the author s prose and story drive the themes into your subconscious without taking any time to expound on them, leaving the story to linger with you days after you complete it In fact, I read this book twice in three days, and still keep thumbing through it to reread my favorites scenes Do not let the fantasy plot prevent you from picking this one up Other than the changeling mythology, the rest of the book is completely rooted in reality the fantasy plot is no less approachable a storyline than the mystical powers of the characters in Rushdie s Midnight s Children This book is one of my favorites of the last few years an elegant and touching fairy tale for adults I think it s simply lovely. Feeling ignored and tired of his infant twin sisters getting all of the attention, young Henry Day decided to run away one day in the 1940 s Henry never returned home in fact, he ceased to exist, but no one noticed Why Henry was abducted by the hobgoblins who lived in the nearby forest and a changeling was left in his place a changeling who had been studying everything about Henry and knew how to mimic him so perfectly that no one could tell the difference The Stolen Child follows the boy and the changeling for the next 30 to 40 years and tells their story in alternating first person narratives that, in the beginning, are a little confusing, but rightly so as both children are confused about their identities as they each adapt to their new world Their lives run parallel to one another and occasionally intersect to disastrous results A friend of mine described this book as melancholy, and I think that s the perfect adjective to sum up my feelings after reading this book For one, the changelings are not villains They are all children who had their lives stolen from them and are now biding their time until they can reclaim what was forcefully and brutally taken from them As a result, I feel sorry for both Aniday the name given to Henry after he becomes one of the changelings and Gustav the changeling who takes Henry s place Often in a fantasy, you get the joy of hating the evil doer or the monster lurking in the dark, but here the evil is something nebulous and never clearly defined I think this is partially due to the allegorical nature of the plot In a sense, life is the monster in that it s a force of nature that can t be stopped or reasoned with For each of us, our childhood must eventually end and, as children, we often can t wait to grow up and find out who and what we ll be To do so, we have to cut ourselves away from the child we were so that we can embrace the adult we ll become We leave a changeling a collection of memories, childish desires, and emotions that revisit us throughout our lives, but the child version of ourselves is like a stranger we once knew Also, as we get older, many of us look back on the innocence of childhood with a sense of nostalgia and think, if only upon occasion, if only I could go back or wouldn t it be great to be a child forever The answer provided by Donohue is no that the romantic view of childhood is just that the tinge of rose colored glasses The changelings are not The Wild Boys sure they are given to fun, frivolity, and mischief, but theirs is not a life to be envied It is a constant struggle for survival against the harsh elements and the encroachment of man as civilization and suburbia threaten the wilderness where they are able to secret themselves away They long to grow up and are trapped in tiny bodies while their emotional and mental maturity continues, unimpeded They wait and they yearn and they think about all they will never have and all they will never be.In presenting the changeling myth for modern times, Donohue has given us a haunting and beautiful examination of childhood and the search for identity And he has done so in humanity s most enduring medium that of myth Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder and at Shelf Inflicted The Stolen Child is a wonderful first novel told from the perspective of Henry Day, who was kidnapped by changelings as a child, and from the changeling who kidnapped Henry The ancient changeling legend is woven into this very modern story and as the book progresses, the lives of Henry Day and the changeling who assumed his life gradually become intertwined More than a fairy tale, this is a story about loss, loneliness, love, and finally acceptance Highly recommended. If you must give me a name, call me hobgoblin Or better yet, I am a changeling a word that describes within its own name what we are bound and intended to do We kidnap a human child and replace him or her with one of our ownpg 7, ebook The Stolen Child is the story of a changeling and the boy whose place he took, Henry Day.The chapters alternate between the real Henry Day and the false Henry Day It is a captivating story about magic, family and belongingThis is my confession, too long delayed, which I have been afraid to make, and only now reveal because of the passing dangers to my own son We change I have changed It also addresses the issues of the modern world and how technology and humanity has driven nature into corners.The changelings are basically immortal children but they can die through accidents who live in the woods until their turn comes to rejoin the human world Years before, they were all ripped from their families and made a part of the same group their replacement just deserted.Their world is brutal, cold and always on the verge of collapse One of their only rules is they don t discuss a new changeling s prior life during his new one.The adjustment period from human to changeling is difficult enough without keeping the memories alive through the long years of their unchanging childhood.But things aren t much easier on the changelings who take the child s place If they are discovered, in the past, the changelings have been killed or their family members have gone mad from the strain.They must carry a secret with them for the rest of their lives It is as a lonely an existence as the changeling group separated from humanity in the forest.I enjoyed this story Keith Donohue has a way with making the fantastical seem real and the miraculous into the mundane.But that ending It didn t complete the excellent characters and storyline Donohue had constructed, in my mind.Recommended for those who like to read modern fairy tales Just don t expect a life changing finale. Numa Noite De Ver O, Henry Day Foge De Casa E Esconde Se No Interior De Uma Rvore Oca Ent O Que Encontrado Pelos Trasgos, Uma Tribo De Crian As Que N O Envelhecem E Que Existem Na Escurid O E Em Segredo Levado Por Eles E Baptizado De Aniday Para Sempre Uma Crian A, Aniday Cresce Em Esp Rito, Esfor Ando Se Por Recordar A Vida E A Fam Lia Que Deixou Para Tr S Tamb M Tenta Compreender E Adaptarse Terra Das Sombras, Enquanto A Vida Moderna Chega N O S Natureza Mas Tamb M Ao MitoNo Seu Lugar, Os Trasgos Deixam Um S Sia, Um Rapaz Que Rouba A Vida De Henry No Mundo Este Novo Henry Day Tem De Se Ajustar A Uma Cultura Moderna Enquanto Esconde A Sua Verdadeira Identidade Da Restante Fam Lia Day Mas N O Consegue Esconder O Seu Extraordin Rio Talento Para O Piano Um Dom Que O Verdadeiro Henry Nunca Possu Ra E As Suas Maravilhosas Exibi Es Deixam O Pai Desconfiado De Que O Filho Que Criou Um Impostor Enquanto Envelhece, O Novo Henry Day Assombrado Por Vagas Mas Persistentes Mem Rias De Uma Vida Noutro Tempoe Local, De Um Professor Alem O De Piano E Do Seu Aluno Prod GioA Crian A Roubada Uma Hist Ria Cl Ssica Sobre A Inf Ncia Que Deixada Para Tr S Em Busca De Uma Identidade Com A Mistura Perfeita De Realismo E Fantasia, Keith Donohue Criou Uma Hist Ria De Embalar Para Adultos E Uma F Bula Liter Ria De Grande Profundidade This is a superb dark fantasy from Keith Donohue Wonderful characters and a magical story await you in these pages Great Britain has Graham Joyce, and our version is the brilliant Keith Donohue I highly recommend THE STOLEN CHILD. I am a big fan of literature that retell or reconfigure old myths and fairy tales especially if the author can bring it into a modern setting and so I really liked the concept of The Stolen Child, a modern adaptation of the changling myth in which the fairies steal away a human child and replace it with one of their own With all this to its credit, I should have enjoyed this book than I did.The Stolen Child is based on the poem by Yeats where the fairies lure a human child away from the care filled world of the humans to live in the idyllic world of the fairies But in the book, there is no lure It is simple abduction and the life of the hobgoblin tribe is feral, hard and misreable, which each member trying desperatly to get back to the human world But their efforts to do so are constrained by arbitrary rules that are never explained or put into context These rules start out being followed and enforced as if they were of life and death importance but later get abandoned or ignored with little fanfare or consequences The tone of the book was like an alien abduction story than something ancient and fairy tale ish It may be a matter of taste but I think that if you are going to draw on Old World mythology, there should be some Old World flavor and foundations to your story The mirrored quests by both the changling and the abducted boy to recall and reconcile their identities had its interesting points but overall, I would have preferred a little attention to the mythology of the world and a little less angst The mirrored quests by both the changling and the abducted boy to recall and reconcile their identities had its interesting points but overall, I would have preferred a little attention to the mythology of the world and a little less angst. This is a strange, sad and beautiful novel inspired by W.B Yeats poem The Stolen Child 1889 about chageling faeries I vaguely remember reading about the Irish myths when I was younger Interestingly, the novel touches on rational explanations for changelings failure to thrive, physical deformities, or mental illness in children But Donohue s novel is about loneliness, the search for identity and belonging There are two narrators telling two intertwined stories one adult trying to remember his stolen childhood and one child trapped in time at age seven interlocking like a Celtic knot Both fantasy and emotion are understated yet powerfully delivered Charming, rare and engrossing The Stolen Child, which takes its name and inspiration from the Yeats poem, tells the story of two characters Aniday is a human child who is stolen by changelings and lives in their world, and Henry Day is the changeling who takes his place and grows up in the real world Both spend the next few decades struggling with their identities, as neither is at peace with the change.The format is interesting every other chapter flips between the two narrators Both speak in the first person, but it is easy to grasp whose story is being told at the moment In case there is any confusion, Aniday s side always has a small graphic of a forest at the beginning of the chapter.Although I finished reading this about a month ago, it took me a long time to decide how I felt about it.com promoted the hell out of it supposedly on its merits, rather than monetary incentives from the publisher and professional reviews were hailing it as one of the best books of the year, but it left me a little cold This is probably because most of the characters spend the majority of the story being so unhappy and conflicted The resolution helps them find some peace, but it s definitely not the Feel Good Story of the Year.As I was browsing through.com reviews after finishing it, I noticed that one of the bigger complaints was that it doesn t explain about how the changelings turned into humans, why they exist, where the first changelings came from, etc I thought the level of explanation in the book was satisfactory, since it s essentially a fairy tale No one ever demands to know how a kiss woke Sleeping Beauty up.One thing I did think needed explanation was Aniday s obsession with who had taken his place in the real world None of the other changelings seemed to have similar issues, and they all encouraged him to forget his past They had other issues, such as longing to re enter the real world, but no hang ups about their histories Nothing seems to explain why Aniday kept obsessing while the others were able to forget.The Stolen Child is very well written and approaches the changeling tale from an interesting angle, but it never made me care for the characters too much I will definitely look into Keith Donohue s next novel, if he writes one I think he would do well with a story that s a little less depressing. I really liked the premise fairies steal forlorn, lonely children and replace them with themselves The stolen children don t die, they become fairies who then have to wait hundreds of years to repeat the process Every other chapter is told by the stolen child and then his replacement over many years of their lives All in all I enjoyed this but it was a bit of a slow mover, took me a couple of weeks to finish This is the author s debut so I would be willing to read of his work as he hones his skill.
Keith Donohue is an American novelist Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he earned his B.A and M.A from Duquesne University and his Ph.D in English from The Catholic University of America.Currently he is Director of Communications for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the grant making arm of the U S National Archives in Washington, DC Until 1
- 288 pages
- The Stolen Child
- Keith Donohue
- 23 January 2017 Keith Donohue