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The Folk Keeper

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  2,127 ratings  ·  218 reviews
She is never cold, she always knows exactly what time it is, and her hair grows two inches while she sleeps. Fifteen-year-old Corinna Stonewall--the only Folk Keeper in the city of Rhysbridge--sits hour after hour with the Folk in the dark, chilly cellar, "drawing off their anger as a lightning rod draws off lightning." The Folk are the fierce, wet-mouthed, cave-dwelling g ...more
Audiobook, 5 pages
Published September 20th 2009 by Listening Library (first published October 1st 1999)
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So this is another awesome recommendation from Miriam, and as per the usual I can’t remember what prompted the suggestion. But it was a good one!

Corinna, our heroine, is a Folk Keeper. There’s no real explanation of Whys or Hows in this book, but as far as we learn, the Folk inhabit houses like termites or rats, souring the milk and causing the chickens to panic and withering crops. They suck, basically. Which is why specially-trained Folk Keepers are needed to live in the basements of large man
Sharman Russell
I finished The Folk Keeper in just a few hours and almost in one sitting. I was reminded: this is one reason I like middle-grade literature. Short powerful stories you can enter and leave in a short time, something like a movie, rather than that other experience of reading a book over days or weeks. The latter is so stretched out, dipping your feet back in the water, getting into the flow again. The Folk Keeper was a plunge, into the waves! I was impressed. I felt like a ten-year-old again. (Thi ...more
Nandakishore Varma
I usually don't read YA: just picked up this book at a garage sale without knowing what it was, read two pages and abandoned it. I went back to it only because I wanted a slim volume to keep up my book count for the reading challenge... but now I am glad that I did. Good for goodreads!

I am in two minds about this book. The premise and story are superb, and the characters are drawn with a few deft brush-strokes. But this book is too thin, almost an outline for a novel than a novel itself. The beg
Once I started reading I couldn't put this book down. It was storming outside my window and I was huddled by my lamp devouring Billingsley's words. I stayed up the entire night reading and when I finished I was left wishing for more. I can probably credit this book for making me realize that writing doesn't have to be a boring and daunting activity. If I could find the right words I could make the exciting stories in my head come to life on paper for other people to enjoy.

I still get a little t
The Folk Keeper is like a prototype for Chime. Something about the narration, the tone, the characters. I still liked it, though, even if not as much as Chime -- it's shorter, lighter, and it does have details all its own: Corinna has her own lovely-strange powers, her own story.

If you liked Chime, The Folk Keeper may seem like an easier, shorter version, but it's still very good. I read it all in one go, and apparently my train stopped in Cheltenham without me even noticing...
The Folk Keeper is set sometime in the past when we travelled by horse and coach and villages grew and raised their own food … and people had to worry about controlling ‘The Folk’. Corinna, the main character, cuts off her beautiful long hair, wears trousers and masquerades as male adolescent, Corin. Only males can be Folk Keepers and this is what Corinna, now known as Corin, wants to do with her life. She’s secretly listened into the conversations of other Folk Keepers, bribed secret lessons fr ...more
Sarah Mayor Cox
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Franny Billingsley has magic in her fingers. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that she has magic in her mind. There are conventional ways to create characters and then there's the Franny B. way. Her protagonists (I've read three of her books so I know what I'm talking about) have this certain quality of otherness. This, how do I say it, unearthliness to them that make all of them just so fascinating to read.

Corinna is no different. The story is told in the first person and from the v
jo mo
Very, very unusual book. It would have been a great advantage being more fluent in English, because I'm not sure I understood all of it. Don't get me wrong, the story as a whole was easy enough to understand, but being doomed to failure, because of the little things? I have this feeling, I could have enjoyed it a little more, without this hindrance.

Corin/na is brave, vengeful, patient, stubborn and very, very smart. She's afraid that people will constrain her freedom, take away her rights once t
Corin/Corinna is the ‘folk keeper’ at Rhysbridge. She controls and tends to them, so that they will not create havoc on the people of the village. They have been known to sour the milk, kill the crops and harm the animals. So they must be appeased. Corinna knows that only boys can be folk keepers. She disguises herself. She is called to a new village to become the folk keeper of Lord Merton’s people. Lord Merton mysteriously knows her secret and eventually Corinna learns of other secrets, too. H ...more
Bjørnar Tuftin
This short and sweet book tells the story of Corin. Corin lives in a rather horrible orphanage, but by being determined and ruthless he's gained the position of Folk Keeper. This entails spending a lot of time in the cellar by the Folk door, bringing the otherworlders necessary sacrifice to keep them from spoiling milk, cheese and meat and sickening the livestock. It's not a glorious existence, but a Folk Keeper is given respect, even when he's a grubby orphan.
Then one day a fine lady comes sear
Jun 16, 2014 Millenia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!! I mean it. EVERYONE!!!
There is so much to love about THE FOLK KEEPER, but if I had to say one thing about it, I would say that it is a perfect example of the Iceberg Theory.

In case you don't know, the Iceberg Theory describes the writing style of Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway thought that if the writer was skillfull enough, she could give the reader minimal information in the narrative, a surface story if you will, but write in such a way that the underlying story "shines through" (as Wikipedia puts it), even if none o
Alpa Dedhia
It is a day of yellow fog, and the Folk are hungry. They ate the lamb I brought them, picking the bones clean and leaving them outside the Folk Door.

writes Corin(na), The Folk Keeper of Rhysbridge in his journal, Folk Record (this novel).Dear readers, The Folk Keeper as a book, as a novel, is a personal journal of Corin Stonewall.So please bear with me as i refer to the book, this story, as the Folk Record henceforth in this review.

Corinna Stonewall is a 15 year old orphan who changes herself to
Corinna Stonewall deigned avoid her fate as a servant girl, and knowing that boys have it better, she dons boy's clothing, cuts off her hair everyday (her hair grows two inches every night), and learns the trade of the Folk Keeper. The folk keeper tends to the feared Folk, who lives underground constantly angry and ravenous, spoils the milk, rots eggs and meat, and ruins crops. But when she is summoned to Merton Hall to be its new Folk Keeper, she discovers haunting, dangerous, and liberating se ...more
Sarah BT
Franny Billingsley has a new book coming out this month called Chime, which has everyone raving and already has six starred reviews. The kidlit world was buzzing with news of a new book by this author and I felt very out of loop-I had never heard of Franny Billingsley before! But then I realized it's been 11 years since her last book and I was in high school when it was released, so I felt a bit better about not knowing anything about it. While The Folk Keeper was critically acclaimed, it didn't ...more
I read this because I loved Chime so much and raved about it to everyone. A friend said she had no idea Chime was coming out, but she had read The Folk Keeper many moons ago and enjoyed it, and did I want to borrow her copy?

The answer was obviously yes. Reading The Folk Keeper illuminates my reading of Chime a bit more--the similarities are striking, both in tone and plotting. But as I collect more people's reactions of Chime, I have to acknowledge that it does maybe start slowly. Billingsley's
Blurb from the back cover

Corinna Stonewall is fifteen years old and an orphan. She is also Rhysbridge Foundling Home's Folk Keeper - a difficult and dangerous job which consists of looking after and controlling 'the Folk' - spiteful, maverick, savage creatures who live in the cellar and will only be prevented from spoiling the milk, terrifying the livestock and other disruptions by gifts of cream, salt pork and similar luxuries. But there are many questions about Corinna. Who are her parents? Wh
I grabbed this off of the shelf of new books at my elementary school library. (Thanks Alice!) While it seems from the outside to be a young adult fantasy based on folk legends, the first few lines tell us immediately that this is another thing altogether. "It is a day of yellow fog, and the Folk are hungry. They ate the lamb I brought them, picking the bones clean and leaving them outside the /folk Door." These are not your everyday sprites, trolls, tree spirits, or mermaids from the fairy tales ...more
Somehow, Mrs. Billingsley always write a love interest who is not necessarily a perfect Adonis and not handsome in the general sense of terms. But he still ends up being an endearing man who continues to entertain and tug at my heartstrings. This book has given me some sound advice: a guy need not be physically attractive to serve as an amazing lover. This love story though, was only a subplot compared to the viscous counterpart of the mystery of The Folk Keeper herself. The mysterious circumsta ...more
Corinna is a survivor. Not only was she able to transform herself into a boy named Corin to escape the drudgery of life as a female orphan but taught herself to become a Folk Keeper in the process. As a Folk Keeper, Corinna is responsible for watching over the elusive and sometimes dangerous Folk that live underground. Relatively happy with the control she now has over her life, Corinna suddenly finds herself at a loss after she is whisked off to Marblehaugh Park, a wealthy family's seaside mano ...more
I get the feeling selkies are always a little know-it-all-ish, judging by this book and some others I've read. It seems harder for them to see the good in others, maybe as a result of being part beast. Sometimes it's like this for werewolves too, I notice. Not that I see this as an excuse for them to treat others as inferior. We're all just trying to live our lives, no single intelligent race is better than another.
I intsantly loved the cover to The Folk Keeper. It was one of the main reasons I picked it up. It's so very different to other covers of YA books. It has somthing magical to it. And do you know what? The Folk Keeper it self was truly magical.

Corinnna Stonewell. Gotta love her name! She's fifteen years old and an orphan. Although, she remains strong and is one hell of a charcter. However, there's something about her that's lost. Corinna has many quaestions. And so obiously, she wants some answers
Hmmmm. I'm still compiling my thoughts on this one, mainly wondering if I would be more impressed if I'd read The Folk Keeper before the superior Chime. This book feels like the precursor to Chime, the I'm-still-working-things-out on the author's part - things like mood and the delicate balance of eerie and fey, like better-integrated descriptions and language. I realize that some might think Chime to be overly long or endlessly narrated, but its language was so nuanced and lovely that the The F ...more
First Second Books
The language in this book is wonderful!

The other thing that I love most about this book is the vindictiveness of the main character. Corin (or Corinna, as the main character is a girl masquerading as a magical boy) is very clear about always having to reinforce his chosen position in the universe, generally by making unpleasant things happen to people who do not respect his position in the universe. Aside from this not being very nice (niceness being possibly an overrated quality anyways), it is
Wandering Librarians
Years ago orphaned Corinna became Corin and started a new life as a Folk Keeper. A Folk Keeper is important. It is they who keep the Folk satisfied so they don't cause the crops to spoil and animals to sicken and die. Everything changes when she is taken to be Folk Keeper at Marblehaugh Park, a manor house by the sea. By the sea, Corinna is suddenly overwhelmed by powers she didn't know she had, and begins to piece together who she really is.

I loved Chime by Franny Billingsley but hadn't read an

Insufferably full-of-herself Mary Sue alert.

And the funny thing is, I'm really not at all impressed with such a narcissistic, shallow, self-centered fool (who we're supposed to think is wise or something...?)

The over-dramatic prose will have you rolling your eyes as well.

"I was dragged and bounced up the path behind Finian, setting off waterfalls of stone from the cliffs, but mere rivers of blood from my knees."


And who says "But not I" nonsarcastically?? *facepalm, facepalm, facepalm*

Janice (Janicu)
Young adult fantasy. Corinna is a folk keeper, someone who lives in the cellar and keeps evil spirits from escaping from below and entering the castle and world above. Disguised as a boy named Corin, she learns her craft and becomes very good and soothing the Folk, but one day she is offered a new job at Cliffsend by a dying man and dark secrets start to come to light..
Despite how dark Corrinna's job seems, this story is much more lyrical fantasy than horror. I found this story satisfying.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
a most unusual fantasy, set in a world somewhat orthogonal to (Victorian?) England (?). The fairy folk, selkies, a lost's a bit like a classic melodrama mixed in with some folk-infused fantasy on one level, but the power, strangeness and evocativeness of the narrative kicks it into another level. A somewhat tidy ending for my tastes once again but I'm starting to realise that I possibly only like incredibly bleak endings or open endings.
Dana Clinton
The Folk Keeper is a nice young adult fantasy novel and an easy read once you get through a dozen pages or so and start understanding the underpinnings of the story which most likely takes place in Ireland or somewhere around the British Isles. It is the story of Corinna Stonewall, who is a "Folk Keeper" ... because there are non-humans in this tale, "Others" which include Sealfolk (in other tales these are called Selkies) and the Folk, who live underground and feed only on meat or meat products ...more
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While Billingsley's first novel, Well Wished (1997), was warmly received by critics, a year ago she was a virtual unknown within a publishing climate that regarded fantasy as a specialty genre. Today, her name is on the lips of booksellers and reviewers throughout the country.

Franny Billingsley was not always a writer. She graduated from Boston University law-school in 1979, and worked for 5 years
More about Franny Billingsley...
Chime Well Wished Big Bad Bunny

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“It is true that I can trip over anything and nothing – a speck of dust, a patch of sunlight, an idea. I move through life like a person with one eye, through a landscape that looks flat, but is really tricked out with hidden depths and shallows. It didn’t use to be so, but no matter. I navigate the world well enough in my own way.” 19 likes
“I like rain and mist. I've never understood why people exclaim over bright skies and bushels of glaring sunshine.” 14 likes
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