...or why books and tv rank higher than sleep

Friday, August 6, 2010

Book Review: The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue

Donohue, Keith. The Stolen Child. Knopf Doubleday. New York. 2006. 336 pp. ISBN 0385516169

“I am a changeling–a word that describes within its own name what we are bound and intended to do. We kidnap a human child and replace him or her with one of our own. . .

The double story of Henry Day begins in 1949, when he is kidnapped at age seven by a band of wild childlike beings who live in an ancient, secret community in the forest. The changelings rename their captive Aniday and he becomes, like them, unaging and stuck in time. They leave one of their own to take his place, an imposter who must try–with varying success–to hide his true identity from the Day family. As the changeling Henry grows up, he is haunted by glimpses of his lost double and by vague memories of his own childhood a century earlier. Narrated in turns by Henry and Aniday, The Stolen Child follows them as their lives converge, driven by their obsessive search for who they were before they changed places in the world.

Moving from a realistic setting in small-town America deep into the forest of humankind’s most basic desires and fears, this remarkable novel is a haunting fable about identity and the illusory innocence of childhood.

This book is haunting, beautifully written, and the kind of book that stays with you afterwards. On the surface it's a story of 2 changelings; one now human and the other the child he stole his identity from. Once you move past the surface you realize there is a lot more to this than just a tale of supernatural creatures. It's a beautiful story about relationships, love, sense of self, and enduring tragedy with the help of others.

That is not to say that this book is perfect. The writing style was lyrical but the supporting characters were not well fleshed out. The ending left the reader with far too many answer, and the storyline became a bit predictable. This is a book that leaves the reader to reflect long afterwards.

I would give this 3 eyeglasses


4IQREAD said...

Hopping by to say hello. Thanks for dropping by my blog. I love to read concise reviews about childrens' books so I've added you to my google reader. Thanks.

Alissa said...

Dropping by to let you know that I've passed along the Versatile Blogger Award to your blog here, http://thegrammariansreviews.blogspot.com/2010/08/versatile-blogger-award.html.

I apologize if you've already received it! Even so, I've added your blog to my list. :]

Janet said...

this has become such a common practice these days i became so angry last weekend when this thing happened to me i contacted this company and they recover my stolen identity info http://bit.ly/9AmT7f