Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue

Fairies, trees, switching places, family, trust, secrets, longing to return........

Henry Day was tired of babysitting his sisters and ran into the woods after his mother insisted that he help more with them.   The changelings took him that very afternoon. 

The changelings steal children after watching their daily routines for about a year to see if the child is the right one for the change and if it is the life the fairy would want to live.   The "stolen" child who replaces the fairy has to adapt to new surroundings, learn new things, and become used to a new life without any familiar people or family.  The fairy duplicate usually makes out better since he knew everything about the stolen child and his family thus making acclamation to the new life in the human world a lot easier.

The changelings that lived in the forest were scavengers, thieves, and had mean dispositions....they ate bugs, berries, killed rabbits and squirrels, and stole things from the humans…they went directly into homes and businesses.  The descriptions of their antics, how they lived, and what they did “grabbed” you so much that it made you afraid to go into the back yard in case they were hiding there doing their nightly stealing of clothes off the line or food in the houses since they could slip through any cracks by making their bodies squeeze thin.  :)

The book goes back and forth describing the lives of the switched children...each telling his story...the one growing into adulthood and the other remaining a child.

A childhood stolen is what I would call what happened...I felt bad for the AniDay (Henry Day), the child who was taken by the changelings and went into the fairy world...he seemed to have a difficult time with the change…he wanted to go back, but couldn’t…he had to wait his turn.  It would be difficult to forget everything from your past, but eventually they do.

The book was interesting, definitely different, and also so mysterious that you couldn't stop reading, but you also kept looking over your shoulder....4/5.

I enjoyed it as the pages continued to turn…the ending was thoughtful and heartwarming.

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