Title: The Stolen Child
Author: Lisa Carey
Published: January 12th 2017
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Length: 336 pages
Source: NetGalley eARC
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
St Brigid’s is a windswept island off the west coast of Ireland,
home to a community which lives in the past.
Rose is a beautiful young woman, loved by all.
Emer is her disfigured twin. She is consumed by jealousy, and a
fiercely protective love for her son.
Brigid, named after the island’s saint, arrives from America,
in search of a miracle.
Because St Brigid’s is no ordinary island.
The islanders’ hostility quickly melts when Brigid befriends the twins. But little do they realise that her single-minded passion will endanger everything they hold dear.
I didn’t know anything about this book going in. I requested it because the cover had caught my eye and I was intrigued to see what the story to go along with it was. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite hit the mark for me.
St Brigid’s has been a sturdy island for generations but now the residents find themselves potentially having to move to the mainland and giving up their island lives. Emer and Rose are twins who have grown up on the island. Emer is disfigured and scorned while Rose is beloved by all. An American woman, named Brigid after the island’s saint, arrives to live in the cottage of her distant relative. She’s seeking the secret that the island holds.
I liked this story for the setting, the mysterious magical elements, and the relationships between the women on the island. I can’t quite pinpoint what it was exactly that I didn’t like but something about the story felt off for me and I found that I wasn’t really enjoying it as much as I would have liked.
It’s difficult to write this review without spoiling some part of the plot so I’m going to do my best to describe my thoughts without creating spoilers.
Emer is a jealous woman who just wants the love of her little boy and nothing and no one else. She thinks of her sister Rose, and the numerous twins Rose has given birth to, and she envies her even though she doesn’t really want that life for herself. When Brigid arrives, she befriends Emer and things seem to look up. The women share a secret power but it’s what eventually pushes Brigid away from Emer.
I think part of the problem I had with this book was that I didn’t particularly like any of the characters. None of them grew on me over time and I just found myself almost plodding through the book. I was a little bored at times, I’ll admit.
While I wouldn’t personally recommend this one, I don’t actually think it’s a terrible book. It wasn’t for me but I’m sure others will find it much more enjoyable. Worth giving a shot if the idea sounds appealing to you.
About the Author
Lisa Carey was born in 1970 in Boston, Massachusetts to Irish-American parents. She grew up in Brookline and later moved with her family to Hingham, Massachusetts.
She attended Boston College and received a B.A. in English and Philosophy in 1992.
Pursuing her MFA in Writing, she took a semester off and lived in Inishbofin, Ireland for six months. There, Carey began her first novel, The Mermaids Singing. This novel was her creative thesis for her MFA and she graduated from Vermont College in 1996.
For five years, Carey divided her time between Ireland and New England, where she wrote her next two novels, In the Country of the Young and Love in the Asylum.
In 2003, she married Timothy Spalding. They moved to Portland, Maine, where she finished her fourth novel, Every Visible Thing. They live there still with their son, Liam Patrick. She returns to Ireland whenever she can.
She recently finished her fifth novel, The Stolen Child, which will be published by HarperCollins in January, 2017.
*Picture and Biography from Goodreads