Tina Rath's Reviews > Some Kind of Fairy Tale

Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce
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's review
Jul 07, 2012

it was amazing

I really enjoyed this book. I read it quickly to see what happened - the ending was very satisfying, but left things just teasingly not quite resolved, and I shall read it again, more slowly to enjoy it thoroughly. It is the story of an abduction into the Other World which is sometimes called Tir na n'Og, the Country of the Young, sometimes Elfland, sometimes Fairyland, and sometimes the land of the dead...or, is it? Can Tara's version of what happened during her twenty year absence be an elaborate fiction she has constructed because she cannot face the terrible memory of whatever happened to her in the bluebell woods (or was she really murdered, and does she return as a ghost a Christmas 'about the Hallow days of Yule'?) The story is full of ambiguity, as you might expect from its very ambiguous subject and even at the end you are not quite sure...

Don’t skip the quotations at the head of each chapter. There is a great deal from the terrible case of Bridget Cleary who was killed in 1895 by her husband who believed she was a changeling - although unlike Joyce's heroine she had never actually gone anywhere - her husband was almost certainly a victim of the Capgras delusion, a rare mental condition that makes the sufferer believe a close family member has been replaced by a double. Tragically there was a body of folk belief about changeling that Michael Cleary could use to bolster his delusion, and draw neighbours and family into it (it seems likely that he was not alone in this - a programme on popular amusements in the nineteenth century recently threw up pages from the Police Gazette, one of which referred to the case of a woman who had put a baby on the fire - there was no further information, but I wonder if she believed she was dealing with a changeling...). But we are never sure if Tara is deluded, or telling a scary, dangerous truth.

I thoroughly recommend this book, (there is a small, sad cat incident, but it is very quick and does have a not-too- unhappy resolution) and I shall be looking up the rest of Graham Joyce's work.

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July 7, 2012 – Shelved
July 7, 2012 – Finished Reading

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