The Stolen Child
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The Stolen Child

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  8,031 ratings  ·  1,139 reviews
Inspired by the W.B. Yeats poem that tempts a child from home to the waters and the wild, The Stolen Child is 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 hi...more
Paperback, 319 pages
Published 2006 by Jonathan Cape
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Tung
I don’t disguise that I’m a big geek, especially when science fiction is concerned. My Star Wars and Lord of the Rings (and Spiderman and X-Men and Batman and . . .) movie obsessions attest to my geekiness. So it is no surprise to anyone that I spent two or three years as a teenager reading only fantasy fiction. I literally read every fantasy fiction book our local library had on its shelves. It happens to be why the Harry Potter series drives me to the brink of rage: people think those awful ex...more
Nancy
The Stolen Child is a wonderful first novel told from the perspective of Henry Day, who was kidnapped by changelings as a child, and from the changeling who kidnapped Henry. The ancient changeling legend is woven into this very modern story and as the book progresses, the lives of Henry Day and the changeling who assumed his life gradually become intertwined. More than a fairy tale, this is a story about loss, loneliness, love, and finally acceptance. Highly recommended.
Amanda
Feeling ignored and tired of his infant twin sisters getting all of the attention, young Henry Day decided to run away one day in the 1940's. Henry never returned home; in fact, he ceased to exist, but no one noticed. Why? Henry was abducted by the hobgoblins who lived in the nearby forest and a changeling was left in his place--a changeling who had been studying everything about Henry and knew how to mimic him so perfectly that no one could tell the difference. The Stolen Child follows the boy...more
Brooke
Jun 12, 2007 Brooke rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: contemporary fairy tale fans
Shelves: own, fantasy
The Stolen Child, which takes its name and inspiration from the Yeats poem, tells the story of two characters: Aniday is a human child who is stolen by changelings and lives in their world, and Henry Day is the changeling who takes his place and grows up in the real world. Both spend the next few decades struggling with their identities, as neither is at peace with the change.

The format is interesting; every other chapter flips between the two narrators. Both speak in the first person, but it is...more
Kerry
I am a big fan of literature that retell or reconfigure old myths and fairy tales especially if the author can bring it into a modern setting and so I really liked the concept of The Stolen Child, a modern adaptation of the changling myth in which the fairies steal away a human child and replace it with one of their own. With all this to its credit, I should have enjoyed this book more than I did.

The Stolen Child is based on the poem by Yeats where the fairies lure a human child away from the ca...more
Whitaker
Remember that film Prelude to a Kiss? Meg Ryan gets kissed by an old man, and they swap bodies. She's stuck in his decrepit aging body and he's in her young lithe one. This book is Meg Ryan after the switcheroo.

The book looks like a pretty, fluffy urban fantasy: It is after all a story of a fairy changeling who switches places with a young boy. The changeling becomes Henry Day and grows up in his place; the young boy loses his name and becomes Aniday. But that's only its Meg Ryan surface. Insid...more
Minakshi
This is a strange, sad and beautiful novel inspired by W.B. Yeats poem "The Stolen Child" (1889) about chageling faeries. I vaguely remember reading about the Irish myths when I was younger. Interestingly, the novel touches on rational explanations for changelings: "failure to thrive," physical deformities, or mental illness in children. But Donohue's novel is about loneliness, the search for identity and belonging.

There are two narrators telling two intertwined stories - one adult trying to re...more
Francine
Jul 31, 2008 Francine rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Joy Macpherson, John McPartland
Shelves: favorites, modern-lit
What a FABULOUS book - great narrative, beautifully written, utterly captivating, a highly intelligent novel. After reading that abysmal Ken Follett book (Pillars of the Earth), I really felt like I needed something to cleanse me of that dross. Since every review I read about this book pointed towards the positive, I gave it a shot. And what a surprise - I was so completely drawn to it that I finished it in 2 days. I couldn't put it down. In fact, I didn't want it to end. I kept going back to ce...more
Irishcoda
I really enjoy books that are "different" and tell the story well. The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue is one of those books. It's the changeling story, a tale that is not new or different at all. Henry Day, a 7 year old boy, runs away from home one day and goes into the woods. He falls asleep and awakens to find himself being kidnapped by a troup of faeries that call him "Aniday". Meanwhile, another child--one who used to be a faery and has now molded his features to match Henry's exactly--goes "...more
Mark

When I told friends that I was reading a fantastic novel about hobgoblins who steal children and replace the kidnapped kids with members of their own tribe, I got what you might expect -- that's creepy. Or, really?

But it's true. This book, which I had snagged based on good reviews and only picked up recently, is a marvel. Set in the Pittsburgh area, it tells the story of Henry Day, a grade school boy who is none too sure he likes having younger twin sisters on the day he decides to "run away." U...more
penelopewanders
Here as a ring.
Very strange book... not quite sure why I didn't really enjoy it as much as I thought I would. While I was reading it I was intrigued by the fairy tale for adults aspect, but that isn't what would bother me - if anything I felt it didn't go far enough. The switching between the two characters chapter after chapter was effective, but perhaps due to the amnesia they suffered from, everything seemed to stay very superficial and hazy. Even the dramatic events and discoveries (the abdu...more
Tim
It's probably not really the book's fault -- the writing wasn't bad, even if it didn't do a good job of grabbing me -- but I just couldn't get into this one. I kept it on my shelf at work for months, but always found something else to read instead. Now that I'm really into the book I'm currently reading on my lunch breaks and have another queued up, I figured it was time to throw in the towel on this one.

I feel a little guilty about it, and am not sure I gave it a really fair chance. If anyone e...more
doreen
Feb 15, 2008 doreen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of fairytales and good fiction
I read this book all in pretty much one day, which is a feat considering work and regular day-to-day life. It's been a while since I had done that, and I have yet to have been so engrossed in a book as I was with The Stolen Child.

I had found out about the novel on NPR, and it intrigued me, so I borrowed it from the library and pretty much devoured it on sight.

Since we have two viewpoints and two stories to tell, although they both are intertwined, I couldn't help but develop a favourite between...more
Michael
Keith Donohue’s debut novel The Stolen Child has generated a lot of praise and interest in the publishing community. After hearing the near unanimous praise for the novel, I was intrigued enough to pick it up and give it a try myself.

And was pleasantly surprised by the story.

The Stolen Child is a fairy tale for adults about two boys, both kidnapped by hobgoblins. The hobgoblins will target and kidnap a child, taking him or her into their community (think the Lost Boys from Peter Pan) who live in...more
El
An alternate coming-of-age novel, The Stolen Child is a fairy tale for adults. Henry Day runs away at a young age and finds himself abducted by hobgoblins in the woods near his home. In his place returns a changeling, one of the hobgoblins who has waited his turn for centuries in order to live as a real child, to grow up. Henry Day, in the meantime, is brought into the hobgoblins' world and becomes one of them. The stories of the real Henry-Day-turned-hobgoblin (renamed Aniday) and hobgoblin-tur...more
Lola
**SPOILER FREE REVIEW**

What an unexpected read. I can't even remember what i was expecting when i was first intrigued by it on amazon's urging that i would love it based on another book i bought a while ago. But what i found inside its pages was not that. And at first i was disappointed because i just could not get into it, breaking into the first 50 pages was a back and forth struggle between excitement and boredom, but now that i have finished it and go back to look through it again i cannot f...more
Sammy
I hope that Donohue writes more novels after this one because if they are as unique and well-written as The Stolen Child I will be first in line to read them. With The Stolen Child being his first novel Donohue definitely does not burst quietly on to the scene. The only problem he may encounter for any future novels is that he now has set the bar pretty high for himself now. A problem not uncommon in the writing world.

What drew me to this book was the unique storyline and I was not disappointed....more
Krystle
I picked this book up because faeries, occasionally referred to as hobgoblins by the main characters, played a very major role in the novel. If you were thinking this was going to be some fun fantasy filled story, I suggest you step back, because the fantasy in this novel is very minimal, almost non-existent.

The story is told through alternating chapters from the first povs of Henry Day and Aniday. It’s a very slow and subtle progression from childhood to adulthood and each of them had their own...more
Mafi
Este livro conta a história de uma criança roubada. Henry Day que um dia foge de casa é raptado por trasgos (nao gosto do nome bah) que são umas fadas, uns seres fantásticos, que roubam a vida desta e de tantas outras crianças para viverem no lugar delas. Henry Day é uma dessas crianças que tem sua vida roubada e é rapidamente baptizado de Aniday.

O livro é contado de dois diferentes pontos de vista, Henry Day, o trasgo que assumiu o corpo da criança roubada e conta o seu dia-a-dia, agora numa no...more
Kelly
Light, tangy and juicy like the most perfect wild tangerine plucked in the high of summer, The Stolen Child shines brightly in it's readers hearts. the adventures of a certain Henry Day turns into withdrawals from his family after being captured by the faerie folk. Now, as Aniday, he learns the way of life for the rest of his kind and he gradually becomes accustomed to his surroundings. Meanwhile, the fake Henry Day lives out the real ones life, enjoying almost every minute of it. Fascinating an...more
Joyce
I'm not a big fan of fantasy, but I was intrigued by the premise of this book: child-like creatures swap places with children. This examines two such creatures/children. A changeling, once a little boy named Gustav, decides to swap places with 7-year-old Henry Day in a place that appears to be Pennsylvania in the late 1940s. The story, told by both boys in alternating chapters follows the next 30-some years of their lives. The novel never really grabbed me and made me care about either character...more
Nichole (Dirty H)
Apr 27, 2008 Nichole (Dirty H) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: fantasy, 2008
4.5 stars. I couldn't quite bring myself to give this five stars because it didn't completely engulf me, but it was better than most of the books I've given four stars lately. This was a beautifully sad story about a boy stolen by the changelings, the changeling who took his place, and the little ways their paths cross over the years. This is a book about love, family and secrets. Haunting, sad, beautifully told, short and simple. Everyone should read this book.
Shanon
This was an interesting story about a changeling and the life he stole from a young boy. It’s also about the young boy and his new life as a changeling. I enjoyed the folk lore behind it immensely. Both boys, the changeling and the human, narrate this book alternating chapters. It was fascinating to watch the progression of both boys. I don’t know what I expected from the ending but I found it to be a bit lacking – with no real climax.
Lightreads
In 1949, seven-year-old Henry Day is stolen by hobgoblins and replaced with one of their own. This is both their stories, intertwined in a double first-person narrative. The imposter Henry Day grows up, discovers his gift for music, falls in love, has a child of his own, is haunted by the memories of his time with the hobgoblins and the even more distant echoes of the autistic German boy he was a century ago, before he himself was stolen. The “real” Henry Day becomes one of the hobgoblins, agele...more
Julie
I don't know why I had put off reading this for so long! After sitting on my shelf collecting dust for months, I consumed this book in two days. Henry Day is captured and exchanged with a changeling, and thus, we have the changeling who becomes the boy Henry Day, and the boy who becomes the changeling Aniday. The chapters alternate being narrated between the two.

It was not as fantastical as I thought. When concluding his narrative, Aniday points out, "Having not been concerned with putting down...more
Jon Huff
I've been captivated by this title from the moment I saw the cover. Someone give the designer a bonus. The premise was intriguing, so after much hand-wringing, I finally purchased it. The opening had me a bit worried. Since the book switches its focus between two main characters, it takes about twice as long as another novel for you to get a grasp of the main characters (especially the ones with faerie names) and for the plot to really start moving forward.

The book is a fairly easy read, but th...more
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
I don't exactly know what I was expecting from this book - perhaps something more along the tropes of fantasy that I am used to... certainly not this psycho-drama with a thin veneer of fantasy...

I don't really understand how this book relates to the poem from whence its name comes aside from the obvious - yes, the boy is a changeling. But the poem has such promise for the faery world, at least I always thought it did - afterall, the faeries are taking the child away from a world full of weeping...more
Jillian
Let's clarify something up front: I'm a huge fan of fairy tale retellings. I love, love, love a good twist on an old favorite. That said-- it's got to be done right!

The narration switches between the real Henry Day (who becomes Aniday), and the changeling who becomes Henry Day. In my opinion, it's a rare novelist who successfully manages switching between first person narrators. I'm typically not a huge fan of this kind of narration--maybe this is why I'm not a huge Jodi Picoult fan. If the boo...more
John
Great Contemporary Fantasy on Searching for One's Identity

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.

It is truly a gripping, page-turning "bedtime story for adults", which will appeal to those familiar with novels replete with magical realism like recent bestsellers "Life of Pi", "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Nore...more
Andi
I love stories with a magical element that takes place in the “real” world. Perhaps that’s why “magical realism” appeals to me so much - writers like Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. So when I told our local librarian this, and she pulled The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue off the shelf, I was pretty excited to find new writers in this style (can it be called a style?).

The book tells the story of Henry Day, a seven-year-old boy who is stolen by the changelings (faeries, hobgoblins - pic...more
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What's The Name o...: Changeling children [s] 6 46 Nov 30, 2011 06:07PM  
Tale for grown ups 1 37 Apr 08, 2008 01:40PM  
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Keith Donohue is an American novelist. His acclaimed 2006 novel The Stolen Child, about a changeling, was inspired by the Yeats poem of the same name. His second novel, Angels of Destruction, was published in March 2009.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he earned his B.A. and M.A. from Duquesne University and his Ph.D. in English from The Catholic University of America.

Currently he is D...more
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