The Stolen Child

The Stolen Child

A Novel

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
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Inspired by the W.B. Yeats poem that tempts a child from home to the waters and the wild,The Stolen Childis a modern fairy tale narrated by the child Henry Day and his double. On a summer night, Henry Day runs away from home and hides in a hollow tree. There he is taken by the changelings--an unaging tribe of wild children who live in darkness and in secret. They spirit him away, name him Aniday, and make him one of their own. Stuck forever as a child, Aniday grows in spirit, struggling to remember the life and family he left behind. He also seeks to understand and fit in this shadow land, as modern life encroaches upon both myth and nature. In his place, the changelings leave a double, a boy who steals Henry's life in the world. This new Henry Day must adjust to a modern culture while hiding his true identity from the Day family. But he can't hide his extraordinary talent for the piano (a skill the true Henry never displayed), and his dazzling performances prompt his father to suspect that the son he has raised is an imposter. As he ages the new Henry Day becomes haunted by vague but persistent memories of life in another time and place, of a German piano teacher and his prodigy. Of a time when he, too, had been a stolen child. Both Henry and Aniday obsessively search for who they once were before they changed places in the world. The Stolen Childis a classic tale of leaving childhood and the search for identity. With just the right mix of fantasy and realism, Keith Donohue has created a bedtime story for adults and a literary fable of remarkable depth and strange delights.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Nan A. Talese, c2006
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780385516167
0385516169
Branch Call Number: FIC Donoh 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 319 p

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fytob
Aug 23, 2015

A great story and once I got into it, I was hard not to put down. Maybe it's a bit harsh but I only gave 3.5 stars as the beginning was a bit slow.

I liked how they told everything from the viewpoint of both characters. At the end, does one have it better than the other?
The book delves into how th characters become at peace with who they are... Looking forward not back.

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barlesc
Jun 11, 2015

Sad and creepy - I remember it 8 years after reading it, which isn't true of everything.

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coastalkate
Jun 07, 2012

Slightly dark, slightly old country fairies, very well written. Liked the way the author wrote both an adult fairy-tale and a modern novel, weaving both seamlessly. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this one.

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lorcha
Oct 14, 2011

Once I got past the first few chapters which were rather depressing, I could not put this novel down. The story drew me in so much that even after I finished I even re-read the some of the chapters. Donohue has very unusual take on Faeries, not quite like anything I’ve read before. If you are expecting your usual Faerie novel, you’ll be in for a surprise! Beside the changelings this novel is very rooted in reality. I look forward to reading more books by Keith Donohue!

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kalio
Sep 27, 2010

In the woods behind seven-year-old Henry Day?s house, there is another world. Hobgoblins, or changelings, inhabit the country wilderness; they are fairy-like sprites that kidnap children and leave one of their own behind. This is destined to be Henry?s fate. Nabbed from his hiding spot in the forest one day, the boy Henry is transformed into a fairy and renamed Aniday. Forever trapped in a child?s body, Aniday learns the woodsy brand of stealthy magic that ensures the survival of the wild little band. The changeling who takes his place becomes human and lives out his life as Henry Day, identical in every way to the original boy save for a new prodigious talent at the piano. As the now-human Henry and the new hobgoblin Aniday mature, they are both haunted by the past. Bookish Aniday, using stolen scraps of paper and found pencil stubs, keeps track of his new life amongst the changelings and clings to fading memories of his first family. Henry settles into the grooves of modern American life in the 1960s, but he is plagued by recollections even more distant?his own original human life, from way back before his wild fairy days, back when he was a human boy who was replaced by a changeling and became one himself in turn. As the lives of Henry Day and Aniday separate and twist and turn to collide once more, author Keith Donohue relates the cycle of human to changeling and back again with an eerie precision that is anchored in everyday details. Haunting and strange, The Stolen Child will make readers firmly believe in the ageless children of the woods?and maybe even question their own true identities and histories.

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Bethannk
Jul 09, 2009

Great story about changelings. Love the way it is presented in two different viewpoints.

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KarenW
Dec 19, 2006

Although this is not my normal cup of tea for fiction, I found drawn into this story of two boys who swap places unwillingly - one to fairyland and one back to the normal world. In fact, other stolen children are waiting for their turn to be delivered back to the world and practice disguising themselves as the unsuspecting kidnap victim long before the switch occurs. Each chapter deals with the fairy child and then the human child. As the years go on, the fairy children remain the same age as when they were stolen, but the human children grow up. Intriguing up to the end, each fine detail is rendered with unbelievable realism.

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ByStephanie
Jul 11, 2015

"I looked to Speck for reassurance, but her eyes were fixed upon the violent spot, as if she were burning revenge into her memory."

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