We queried our top 100 reviewers as of April 6 from Amazon.com, and asked them to read The Stolen Child and share their thoughts. We've included these early reviews below in the order they were received. For the sake of space, we've only included a brief excerpt of each reviewer's response. Enjoy!
| Early Buzz From Amazon.com Top Reviewers |
: "Keith Donohue writes a great novel that will have readers debating the impact of nurturing and naturing as both Henrys adapt and adjust, but never feel whole. This is a fantastic fantasy that readers will enjoy immensely." W. Boudville
: "An updated and realistic Peter Pan. Keith Donohue has produced an exquisite first novel. Exceedingly polished prose with a compelling and original twist on a classic theme". John Kwok
: "Inspired by the W. B. Yeats poem "The Stolen Child", Keith Donohue's novel of the same title is a fine addition to the fantasy literature genre, yet told with the ample realism one expects from great works of mainstream literature." A. Joseph Haschka
: "The Stolen Child
is a fairy tale for adults that transcends standard fare. An ingeniously crafted tale about hobgoblins, is a coming of age story and one about identities both lost and found." Robert Morris
: "Donohue brilliantly explores all manner of themes, many of which are found in the most popular fairy tales and nursery rhymes (e.g. fear of separation from ones family, especially from parents). " Donald Mitchell
: "What would it like to be adopted and have your head full of fantasies? It might feel very much like this story. However, I think a story about an adopted child without the parallel changeling world would have been more interesting. Perhaps I lack a sense of romance and sympathy for the strivings of the dispossessed. If so, the fault is mine, not that of the story." Joanna Daneman
: "I found the writing stunningly simple and gripping. Within minutes, I was completely drawn into this book. I am a very finicky fiction reader, and I was delighted by Donohue's incredibly ability to make sensory experiences real, to make conversations flow naturally and logically--yet leading to surprise after surprise." Charles Ashbacher
: "The book moves back and forth between the two Henry's, how the substitute Henry handles his assimilation into human society and how the original adapts to the society that kidnapped him. It is an interesting story, as both "boys" have different perspectives on the life of a "growing" boy." Lawyeraau
: "This haunting and beautifully written debut novel had me compulsively turning its pages. I simply could not put it down! The author has created a fantasy world that exists on the cusp of the consciousness of humans. It is a world that is the stuff of fairy tales, only the author has turned it into one that is fitting for adults." Gail Cooke
: "It has been called magical, beguiling, remarkable, and vividly imagined. The Stolen Child
is all of that, and much more. Keith Donohue's debut novel is an intriguing mix of imagination and reality, a story that reminds us of the joys of being human and the transcendency of love." Grady Harp
: "Longing to belong is but one of the essential facts of life that author Keith Donohoe weaves into his debut novel, The Stolen Child
, a stunning work of fiction that brings alive an ages old myth involving faeries, hobgoblins, changelings and magical transformations to confront contemporary readers with food for thought about being careful of what you wish for!" Lee Carlson
: "The story is as much a celebration of memory as it is in belaboring its mysteries. Every character acts in concert to remind the reader of the subtlety of memory along with its power." Daniel Jolley
: "Keith Donohue has brought forth a magical debut novel full of insights into childhood and adulthood and the seemingly endless longing that largely defines both. He conjures a world of ancient legend and places it on the outskirts of modern civilization, thereby casting an insightful eye upon both."
Aisling Foster, The Times
Scotland on Sunday
"A welcome addition to the field of contemporary fantasy
sparklingly quirky... Overall it is a gently redemptive parable about becoming oneself."
Joanna Daneman, Top Reviewer at Amazon.com
I found the writing stunningly simple and gripping. Within minutes, I was completely drawn into this book
Gail Cooke, Top Reviewer at Amazon.com
It has been called magical, beguiling, remarkable, and vividly imagined. The Stolen Child is all of that, and much more
Lee Carlson, Top Reviewer at Amazon.com
Every character acts in concert to remind the reader of the subtlety of memory along with its power
The Stolen Child is the story of Henry Day, a seven-year-old kidnapped by a strange group living in the dark forest near his home. No ordinary kidnappers, they are the fairy changelings - ageless beings whose secret community is threatened by encroaching modern life. They give Henry a new name, Aniday, and the gift of agelessness - now and forever, he will be seven years old. In keeping with folk tradition, the group has left another child in Henry's place. This changeling boy, who has morphed himself into Henry's duplicate, must adjust to a completely new way of life and hide his true identity from the Day family. But he can't hide his extraordinary talent for the piano (a skill the real Henry never displayed), and his near-perfect performances prompt his father to suspect that the son he has raised is an imposter. As he grows older 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. Both Henry and Aniday search obsessively for who they were before they changed places in the world. Narrated in the alternating voices of Henry Day and his double, "The Stolen Child" is a classic tale of the search for identity and leaving childhood. With just the right mix of fantasy and realism, Keith Donohue creates a literary fable of remarkable depth and strange delights. The result is a bedtime story for adults, which will appeal to readers charmed and captivated by such recent bestsellers as "The Time Traveler's Wife" and "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" and by the classics by Tolkien and J.M. Barrie.
From the Publisher
Inspired by the poem by W.B. Yeats about the common folk legend of the fairy changelings, this beguiling and truly original tale moves from contemporary America to nineteenth-century Germany and deep into humankinds most basic fantasies and fears.
About the Author
Keith Donohue is Director of Communications for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives, and previously worked at the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Maryland, near Washington, DC. This is his first novel.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.