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Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  550 Ratings  ·  146 Reviews
In search of something to believe in once more, Signe Pike left behind a career in Manhattan to undertake a magical journey-literally. In a sweeping tour through Mexico, England, Ireland, Scotland, and beyond, she takes readers to dark glens and abandoned forests, ancient sacred sites, and local pubs, seeking people who might still believe in the elusive beings we call fae ...more
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by Perigee Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,339)
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Nov 30, 2010 Alexis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well now. This book came to me at exactly the time that I needed to read it ! What a fabulous, magical ride ! What is so amazing about it, is that it is all true. I truly could not put it down from start to end and it has changed my perspective. Do I believe in faeries now ? Perhaps. But more importantly, I agree with the author "But now I knew there were many kinds of magic in life." Take some time and get back to that magical place inside, with this read.
Courtney Leigh
Dec 19, 2010 Courtney Leigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know what to expect when I went into this. All I knew is that I loved Fairy Tales, and I loved the UK. This memoir involves both.

What Signe Pike manages to do is deftly intertwine her own personal story and loss into her journey through these inspiring lands. And it didn't seem too preachy. I flew through the pages, and even felt myself getting a little choked up every once and again. More than anything, though, this made me want to travel back to Skye and Oxford and London and Edinburg
Mark Rice
Dec 12, 2011 Mark Rice rated it it was amazing
Following the death of her father, with whom her relationship had been tempestuous, Signe Pike set off on a journey to magical sites in Mexico, England, Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. Her voyage of discovery proved to be as much an exorcism of inner demons as an open-minded immersion in the magic of the faery folk. Each country Pike visited has its own folklore involving 'little people'. This begs the question: how is it that - many thousands of years ago - tribes without common roots al ...more
Jul 28, 2011 Caroline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
I'm sure any criticism by ardent devotees of this book will be met with accusations of having lost the innocence of childhood or the sense of magic in nature or some other New Age shortcoming. And that may well be true. I don't believe in fairies, and I'm not going to start clapping my hands now either. And I have to admit that, yes, I would look askance at any grown-up adult claiming to believe in fairies, and particularly one who gave up her job, left her fiancee in New York and spent two and ...more
Apr 14, 2012 Shannon rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
Faery Tale's title is misleadingly appealing. The title itself is far more interesting than the actual content within its covers. The title might lead you to believe this is the memoir of a woman seeking mystery, looking within herself and her world for more than meets the eye and finding beauty in the everyday moments of life. Instead, you'll get the story of a girl who heads to the British Isles ostensibly to prove that faeries are real, but in reality wants to avoid dealing with the recent de ...more
Mar 24, 2011 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a memoir/travelogue that I didn't want to end - I wish I was still reading it!

You don't have to believe in faeries to be drawn into the spell of Signe Pike's frolicking memoir. Stifled by the concrete jungle of Manhattan, Pike embarks on a journey to England, Ireland, the Isle of Man (in the middle of the Irish Sea) and Scotland, in search of magical faery realms. With equal parts skepticism and childlike wonder, Pike welcomes the unknown and allows her "faery journalism" to guide her t
Carolyn Hill
Jan 04, 2012 Carolyn Hill rated it really liked it
I zipped through this memoir/travelogue of a young woman's search for faeries, which was fun and engaging. I wish I could have had a book contract to travel to Glastonbury, the Isle of Man, Ireland and Scotland in search of magic and enchantment - why didn't I think of that? The author tried to tread somewhere in the middle between a rationalist's look at world folklore (though giving only the briefest examination of a very extensive subject) and the psychic/intuitive exploration of a metaphysic ...more
I've only ever read one other memoir and I didn't enjoy it; horrible writing, and the story was just too sad for me. I was really glad that I found Faery Tale to be so different. It read like a novel, which was great, and I really felt like I was able to connect to the author, Signe, as a character of her story. Of course, a faery believer myself (though I have no proof), I loved Signe's skeptic search for proof of faery existence and though, in the end of the book, she still had no hard proof, ...more
Ilana Waters
Jun 07, 2012 Ilana Waters rated it it was amazing
True story: I kept putting off finishing the book. Not because it was bad, but because I didnt want it to end!! There are so many things to like about Pikes work that its hard to know where to start. I think what I enjoyed best (besides the authors easily-readable prose) is her self-awareness.

She knows how strange it sounds that, in the 21st century, she is looking for evidence of tiny magical creatures. She approaches the situation with an adult-like practicality and an open mind at the same t
Sep 05, 2011 Heidi rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
There seems to be a genre now of women given a book advance on the premise of traveling abroad for the purpose of self discovery. I'm not convinced that this is necessarily the best way to fund a book. This book seemed a bit unpolished. I'm still not sure the author is even convinced of her thesis.
Jan 23, 2011 Offbalance rated it did not like it
I could barely get into this. Two rules for would-be nonfiction writers:

1. Don't say your book is about a topic when it's really about you.

2. Don't write a memoir unless you have a unique experience to write about.

Feb 20, 2014 Tina rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2011 Kristi rated it it was amazing
If you like Elizabeth Gilbert's 'Eat, Pray, Love' and you're open-minded to the mystical possibility of the fae, you'll like this book. Pike's writing style is engaging as you travel with her on a journey to "see" beyond the faery veil and incorporate magic in everyday life.

The book chronicles her experiences as she travels to different parts of the world to learn more about the stories involving magical creatures. Well-known places that she visits include Glastonbury and the Isle of Man, where
Kate S
Apr 27, 2011 Kate S rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book a lot. The best part was easily the Isle of Man, but it's overall a fun read. I've been to a few of the place she mentions, and now I want to go to all of them.

There are some parts that don't deserve the four stars, but the bulk of the book IS about faeries and Signe Pike's strange experiences with their sites in the British Isles. She had some neat experiences and talked to interesting people, and her research is good. What I didn't like was when she started
Marta Fabianek
Sep 25, 2011 Marta Fabianek rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book very much and in a way find it a brave thing for someone to not only pursue and risk such a journey, but also to write a book that most probably will be loved by many readers, but also really disliked by others. Faeries are always a theme that can get you ridiculed by people.
So... go Signe Pike for taking this journey!
A journey like this most likely calls for you to set your intuition free and to let go of the natural scepticism we're used to (nothing wrong with that, a heal
Dec 15, 2010 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: faery lovers and faery seekers
Shelves: memoir

This enchanting memoir is sort of Eat Pray Love for faery lovers. Signe Pike is a young woman who quit her job as a book editor for a New York publisher and went on a quest to find out if faeries are real. I was maddened, delighted and inspired many times over during my reading of this truly modern faery tale.

Because that is what it is, a faery tale in the voice of a modern young woman who wanted to believe in magic, in things that cannot be seen and in happy endings. Signe Pike is young enoug
Lynne Wallace-lee
May 16, 2012 Lynne Wallace-lee rated it it was amazing
I was both pleased and impressed that Signe Pike wrote as honestly and personally as she did about her quest to both deal with the loss of her beloved father and to find a bit of enchantment in the modern world, in the form of seeking out fairies and the people who still believe in them. I myself was touched and empathized with her struggles to grieve the loss of her father (I lost my own father to cancer when I was 28 years old)and her journey to find something lost from her childhood, the beli ...more
Nov 17, 2011 Terry rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erica Leigh
Jan 02, 2011 Erica Leigh rated it really liked it
“Maybe, I mused, it’s not us who are helping the faeries by believing in them. Perhaps it’s the humans who stand to benefit, if only we could make the faeries believe in us once more.”

The whimsical title and lovely book jacket caught my eye, but it was the dedication and poem at the beginning for the author's loss of her father that led me to purchase this book. I found myself thinking “suspend disbelief” when I started it, and had to smile when the author echoed those exact words toward the en
Aug 26, 2011 Sienna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I liked the idea of this book more than the book itself, though it was a quick, enjoyable read. The fact that faeries don't automagically (ha) turn up when sought pleased both my inner skeptic and the little girl who had to keep other books on top of Froud and Lee's Faeries lest Jenny Greenteeth and Peg Powler emerge from their swampy pages hoping to drag me back in with them.

There are a number of lovely anecdotes, particularly in the Isle of Man section, but Pike's writing is a mixed bag, with
Lisa Redmond
May 17, 2012 Lisa Redmond rated it it was amazing
Do you believe in Fairies? Signe Pike does. Faery Tale is a memoir and travel book recounting Signe’s travels through Britain and Ireland looking for the magic which is everywhere in childhood but which in our modern era we as adults dismiss so easily. Signe examines the mythology and traditions of England, The Isle of Man, Ireland and Scotland and the stories which were fireside favourites not so long ago and she travels to the places associated in folklore with Fairies such as Glastonbury, Dun ...more
Jo Bennie
Nov 30, 2014 Jo Bennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: p
I really enjoyed this book but did have to constantly struggle against my inner sceptic saying 'yes but' and being rational all the time. Signe Pike, disillusioned by city life in America, goes in search of fairies, first in Mexico and then to the great Celtic heartlands of fairy lore in England, the Isle of Man, Ireland and Scotland. But it's less simple than a deluded new age hippie searching for magical beings. Pike is desperately trying to come to terms with the death of her beloved, brillia ...more
Carly O'Connell
May 07, 2013 Carly O'Connell rated it it was amazing
Magical. This memoir was magical. It made me want to drop everything and chase after fairies just like the author did. It made me want to Believe with all the innocence of childhood. It brought the magic back to the woods outside and the dignity back to believing in fairies. The author's skepticism, lucidity, down-to-earth-ness is a nice contrast to the airy-fairy nature of many of those who pursue and write about fairy encounters. Whether or not she truly finds fairies is debatable (even in the ...more
Jan 04, 2011 Dani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book. It was such a great way to end 2010 and begin 2011. I found enchantment, magic and my childhood again. I only wish that I had attended the author signing when I had the opportunity. This memoir is wonderfully written with vivid imagery, beautiful details and just enough sarcasm and skepticism to keep the reader enthralled. Everyone asks me if this is a fictional memoir, I mean who goes in search of faeries? But if you ever think back to the time in your life when the magical s ...more
Feb 22, 2011 F. rated it really liked it
After the loss of her father, Signe Pike travels to different parts of the world to search for enchantment in a modern world. Signe travels to parts of Mexico, England, Ireland, Scotland and Man of Isle. As she discovers the world of faeries and other enchanted creatures, Signe is able to bring closure of her father's death.

This could be classified as a travel or personal memoir. The reader is able to read about beautiful descriptions on Signe's travels. Readers are also able to see Signe grow a
May 17, 2012 Helen rated it it was amazing
This book was, in a way, life changing for me. Now a lot of that was down to my situation and possible over-identification with the author's situation, but the quality of writing was such that it inspired me to make my own (admittedly small) changes in my life. Initially I borrowed it from the library, then bought it, read it again, loved it again,and my husband read it and loved it too. I can't really describe it too well, but it was incredibly inspiring and also a joy to read. Please give it a ...more
Lissa Sloan
Aug 06, 2014 Lissa Sloan rated it really liked it
At the age of 28, Manhattan editor Signe Pike was disillusioned with the modern world. Grieving the death of her father, with whom she had had a complex relationship, she needed something to believe in. After leaving New York to settle in Charleston with her fiance, Pike took a journey to the British Isles to discover the truth about faeries. Pike's travels led her to sacred sites in England, Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. But her journey was an emotional one as well as a physical one, ...more
Jun 25, 2015 Sonya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enchanting story about a young woman's journey through Great Britain. She is looking for many things fairies, understanding the death of a loved one and turning that corner between being a young woman and a mature one. Everyone needs to believe in something. For most of us that is religion. Who am I to judge someone who wishes to believe in fairies. The notion is very sweet and reminds me of my childhood when I was less skeptical. I am a person who loves nothing more than being close to the l ...more
Dec 17, 2013 Alison rated it liked it
You must be willing to suspend disbelief completely in order to really enjoy this book, because it's not particularly well-researched or well-organized, but if you can just go with the flow, it is an enchanting journey to follow.
Laura Morrigan
Originally Read from May 17 to 27, 2014. Re-reading Jan 2016-May 2016.

If you read one book this year make it this one! Truly life changing, even for those of us who believe in magic! Very inspirational!
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Signe Pike worked as a book editor for Random House and Penguin before leaving New York City to write full time. Her first book, a memoir entitled FAERY TALE, earned a "Best of 2010" nod from Kirkus Reviews in addition to receiving glowing reviews from Harper's Bazaar, Women's Adventure Magazine, and renowned spiritual leader Marianne Williamson. Pike has been featured on National Public Radio's “ ...more
More about Signe Pike...

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“In prehistoric times, early man was bowled over by natural events: rain, thunder, lightning, the violent shaking and moving of the ground, mountains spewing deathly hot lava, the glow of the moon, the burning heat of the sun, the twinkling of the stars. Our human brain searched for an answer, and the conclusion was that it all must be caused by something greater than ourselves - this, of course, sprouted the earliest seeds of religion. This theory is certainly reflected in faery lore. In the beautiful sloping hills of Connemara in Ireland, for example, faeries were believed to have been just as beautiful, peaceful, and pleasant as the world around them. But in the Scottish Highlands, with their dark, brooding mountains and eerie highland lakes, villagers warned of deadly water-kelpies and spirit characters that packed a bit more punch.” 44 likes
“I'd heard people say that as a traveler, you have to be careful not to get attached. Now that I'd felt it, I'd say that's garbage. If you are lucky enough to find people worth getting attached to, attach yourself with nothing less than all of your heart. Because if you find a companion to walk a stretch of the road with you, a person whose warmth and kindness makes your journey feel much brighter, you have no other choice - you are among the very, very fortunate.” 14 likes
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