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The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue
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's review
Oct 21, 09

bookshelves: read-in-2006
Read in June, 2006

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 the woods, never again but awaiting their chance to be re-introduced to our world. When Henry Day is taken, another hobgoblin morphs himself to look like Henry and takes his place. The story then unfolds from the first-person perspective of both Henry Days as they struggle to find their way back into their respective societies and families.

As their stories unfold, the lives of the two Henry Days slowly begin to intersect.

One of the fascinating things about the novel is the back and forth structure of the narrative. Each chapter is told by one of the two Henry Days, relating the events of his life to that point. Even without the visual clue of the hobgoblin taken Henry’s chapters having an image of the forest before each chapter begins, Donahue distinguishes each character by his voice.

The novel is a good one, along the lines of the Time Traveller’s Wife where a sci-fi or fantasy element is used more as a spring-board for the greater human-element to the story than actually exploring the fantasy implications. Donahue’s story is one that will hit home and tug on the heart strings at times, all while having you on the edge of your seat at others. It’s an entertaining, worthwhile, complex and fascinating fantasy story that I highly recommend.
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Nancy Great review. I loved this story.

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