Picture, if you will, a beautiful remote island off the coast of Ireland. If you look to the east on a good day, you’ll see the coast of Connemara. If you look to the west, all you’ll see is the vast Atlantic Ocean. The island is isolated from the world, without electricity or running water, and the few people who still live there are very old fashioned, living the way their ancestors did, and believing in many of the things their ancestors did.
Welcome to the world of The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey. On St. Brigid’s island, people still believe in fairies, and believe that the fairies take people, give people gifts and curses. Emer, one of the women on the island, has been cursed with a deadly gift by the fairies, and as a result is bitter and suspicious, and afraid that the fairies are going to come and take her son as well. Her twin sister, Rose, is as beautiful and open as Emer is suspicious and scarred, and they live in a web of interdependency.
Along comes Brigid, an American, to reclaim the house her deceased uncle left her, but she has other reasons for coming to this remote island: she’s looking for the fabled well of St. Brigid, which has the power to make women fertile and give her the baby she desperately wants. Just the presence of an outsider changes the delicate balance of the island, and Brigid is more than just an American and an outsider. She has secrets of her own and when her secrets and those of the other people on the island intertwine, things get out of hand.
If you like magical realism, if you’ve read Lisa Carey’s The Mermaids Singing and liked it, if you just want to get lost in a magical place where magic is both beautiful and terrifying, then read The Stolen Child.