- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 49 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Tinder Press
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 26 July 2018
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B07C2NFT5D
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Story Keeper Audiobook – Unabridged
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Among the remaining islanders, anything remotely ‘unexplained’ still attracts an element of superstition, which threatens to silence the stark reality. Yet in an era where you could be judged simply according to your title, profession, or merely your gender, choosing whether to speak out provides a constant theme of ‘conscience vs consequence’ throughout.
Descriptions of the location and events are artfully atmospheric, and helping the mystery gather strength are the fairy tale snippets that introduce each chapter. I could easily imagine the inhabitants huddled in their sparse, stone cottages, keeping the stories alive even when the book was closed.
A captivating historical mystery bound by folklore and fear.
This is the atmospheric and haunting setting for the exploration of the myths and legends of the island. Audrey Hart has travelled from London, she has pretty much run away by the sound of it, though we don’t know why and she takes the long and wet journey to Lanerly Hall on Skye. Presided over by the matriarchal figure of Miss Buchanan, Lanerly Hall is an old, dilapidated house full of stuffed animals and creaking corridors.
Audrey has come in response to an advert placed by Miss Buchanan, seeking someone who can help her collect the stories of the islanders; the myths and legends of the legendary faerie folk that still form part of their daily superstitions and practices, especially around the sea.
For just as the islanders way of life is under threat, so is the tradition of oral story telling passed down through generations and Miss Buchanan is determined to capture the stories before they are lost for ever.
Arriving into this maelstrom of change, and with an agenda of her own, Audrey must contend with a hostile game-keeper, a laird who seems to have little or no compassion for his tenants; a minister who breathes fire and fury and a group of villagers who are less than impressed by incomers. When girls start to go missing, that suspicion only intensifies and Audrey has no idea who she can trust.
Anna Mazzola creates a beautifully dark and gothic atmosphere in which to explore the folklore and legends of the islanders. Her prose is fluid and flawless and she creates a magical and mysterious environment in which anything is possible.
Sitting at her metaphorical loom, Mazzola weaves a rich and varied tapestry with multiple threads and plot lines which come together to form a magnificent story of death, destruction and stubborn courage.
Most exciting of all was that I found the writing flawless. Ms Mazzola has made every sentence and word, every character and story beat count so that no flabbiness exists, no tedious author’s ego shimmies through. Clues are dropped in so gracefully that the reveal at the end is a delight and the reader, certainly this one, experiences a full, rounded, evocative, satisfying read.
The Story Keeper also reveals a brilliant and original story idea well told and feels as though the entire work is several notches up from The Unseeing. The impressive and remarkable leap in writing fluidity and the verve with which Ms Mazzola has told the tale makes me wonder if either she was holding back with her debut or the difference in the the writer’s maturity is due to some kind of voodoo magic.
Either way, this ones a keeper, story and all.
The story is also a personal journey about women trying to do the right thing for others in the face of the men who hold all the power. Young women are abused by the men who are responsible for their welfare with no hope of justice. But as one of the characters says, the good people can find a way to win.