Seven-year-old Henry Day is kidnapped and renamed "Aniday" by changelings, ageless beings who inhabit the woods near his home. The changelings also leave behind one of their own, who flawlessly impersonates Henry except for one noteworthy detail: the new Henry is a prodigiously talented pianist. Both Aniday and Henry settle comfortably enough into their new existences, but both are haunted by vague memories of their former lives.
A fresh take on the search for identity that will appeal to fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.M. Barrie, The Stolen Child triumphantly announces Donohue as a fresh voice in contemporary fiction.
©2006 Keith Donohue; (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC
"An impressive novel of outsiders whose feelings of alienation are more natural than supernatural." (Publishers Weekly)
I very much enjoyed that this book took energy to listen to. The book spans several decades of the 20thC, and refers to individuals in the mid-19thC. It travels from Europe to California in its scope, and deeply explores the lives of two characters, the two Henry Days.
Having a different narrators for the two characters helped quite a bit in keeping the parallel narratives separate, though I wonder if the accents ascribed to some of the secondary characters were based on 'facts' of the book or were a result of the narrators' creativity.
I agree with another reviewer that Tolkien was a poor comparison. It reminded me most, in style, of Eugenides 'Middlesex' or some works of magical realism. And I liked it because it wasn't heavy fantasy but humanity in a fantastic situation (like the Martian Chronicles) -- the characters were distinctly, deeply human.
I loved this book. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. I recommend this book to anyone who still has contact with their inner 8 yr old.
It's hard to explain the premise of this book - but what a wonderful story! I was completely drawn in within the first few minutes and could not stop listening. This book is wonderfully read, the story moves along nicely and certainly makes you wonder about "life & death". I highly recommend this book even if (like me) you're not a big fantasy/science fiction fan.
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