Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey

The Stolen Child (original 2017; edition 2017)

by Lisa Carey (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10422116,035 (3.91)8
Title:The Stolen Child
Authors:Lisa Carey (Author)
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:read, owned, fiction, Maine, Ireland, women, ex-patriots, birth, fairies, Early Reviewers, magic, magical realism

Work details

The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey (2017)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An American woman with a troubled past arrives on a tiny island off Ireland to claim her inheritance: a small cottage in a tight-knit, secretive community with its own demons - and fairies. Brigid seeks solace, solitude and a miracle in her mother's birthplace. But will the same demons that drove her mother away also chase off Brigid? Her hopes of solitude are cut short by strange, angry Emer and her day-dreaming son Niall, who all become close in spite of themselves.

This is a book that I wanted very much to like from the premise. And for the most part I was won over by Carey's moody descriptions of the island and its people, the private passions and deep terrors they contain. It took me time to forgive the jarring over-explaining of just how and how much of an outsider Brigid is -- a feeling I have experienced and which is altogether more subtle than she captures with some pretty broad stereotyping on both sides. But forgive I did for the rest of the story which grabbed me and got me reading again, after a long time away. ( )
  heidialice | May 19, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Set in the middle of the 20th Century on a small Irish island, where time seems to have moved more slowly than on the mainland, life is unsettled by the arrival of the Yank. Brigid has returned to her family's land from the States in search for a miracle from her saintly namesake. The islanders treat her with suspicion at the start, talking around her in Gaelic and initially keeping her distance, both because Brigid is an incomer and because of her own family's reputation. Emer is the first to come round, a bitter woman who has grown twisted in the shadow of her beautiful and beloved twin, Rose. Brigid has a gift, but using it has come at great personal cost.
I enjoyed the magical elements of the book, the faeries and changelings, as well as the richly drawn female characters. Carey portrays well the insular nature of the islanders, suspicious of change, but also wary of outsiders and those who are different.
The book draws you in, I thought it would be a much lighter read at the start, but Carey builds tension by highlighting the grey areas of life. The ending was a little abrupt, but I am not sure it could have ended any differently.
I would recommend this for a cold day, just curl up with a coffee and the book, or for a group read as there are lots of points to be discussed. ( )
  soffitta1 | Mar 11, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was an interesting read about an American returning to the isolated Irish island her mother was from. I liked the mixing of Irish folklore/fantasy with the main story, which was well done, although I felt the story was quite slow moving.

There were some strong female characters in the novel, whose motivations were largely covered, but I did feel like the men in the story got a bit of a raw deal - they didn't seem to have much characterisation beyond being a bit useless/aggressive, etc. The setting and world that was created was great, I just wish the characters had been fleshed out a bit more.

The main narrative was good, although I would have liked a little more plot and a little less sex, and the end of the book seemed a little forced and jarring. Probably the thing I enjoyed most about this book was how imagery was carried through – the repeated use of strong imagery throughout the book (often going back to bee imagery, for example) was done well. ( )
  Alfirin | Mar 8, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book tells the story of what happens when an American arrives on an isolated Irish island in the 1950s. She wants to have a child and there is a spring on the island which is holy water.

She befriends a woman on the island who is a social outcast and they begin an affair.

Friendship, death and a wee bit of magic all come together to create a storm which leaves the islanders having to make the decision as to whether to abandon their isolation for a council house on the mainland.

There was a real twist in the tale at the end which was slightly odd and I didn't feel added to the story in any way but despite that I enjoyed reading it, if more for the background of the lifestyle of the islanders than for the story itself. ( )
  chive | Mar 5, 2017 |
This book has everything I desire in a book and a few things I didn't know I wanted:

First, the language and visuals are utterly gorgeous. Richly drawn setting, dark and nuanced feelings, so much visceral, bodily action. In practically every paragraph I marked the margins for a sentence that absolutely stunned me.

Second, the novel is populated with a net of strong, complex women. Yes, this book passes the Bechdel test and then some. So many different balances of power between the women to shift and surprise you over the course of the book.

Third, the history behind the secluded island community that drives the story here is so intriguing. I found myself so worked up about knowing the'd have to leave the island (it's revealed in the prologue), that I sometimes had to step away. It seemed so hard to imagine how they'd continue to exist without the energy of the island beneath their feet, so alive is Carey's sense of place.

Fourth, the plot is absolutely riveting. Carey does a masterful job of marking time in this book. I missed my bus stop and put off prepping for classes and asked a friend with whom I was sharing a hotel room to wait just a minute (that ended up being many more) before talking to me while I finished a section. This is where the element of being introduced to something unexpected comes in, too. I had not been one to pick up a book that touted mystical powers or fairies as major elements of the story, but this book showed me I should not be so closed-minded. In Carey's hands, those details are handled with such grace and proficiency and deepen the meaning and resonance of the story so much that I felt willing to trust in a way I hadn't before, and the payoff is truly worth that trust.

I'm so eager to dive into Carey's back catalog now, and so grateful this book came to me at the time it did. I recommend it highly. ( )
  jacjemc | Feb 13, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
*Starred Review*

"Magical realism of the best kind, utterly devoid of whimsy."
added by axel | editKirkus Reviews (Nov 22, 2016)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand." - "The Stolen Child," by William Butler Yeats
For Liam and Timothy,
who don't hold back any love.
First words
The day of the evacuation, the first of May, 1960, dawned cloudless and still, weather so fine the islanders said it was stolen.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062492187, Paperback)

From the author of the critically acclaimed The Mermaids Singing comes a haunting, luminous novel set on an enchanted island off the west coast of Ireland where magic, faith, and superstition pervade the inhabitants’ lives and tangled relationships—perfect for fans of Eowyn Ivey, Sarah Waters, and Angela Carter.

May 1959. From one side of St. Brigid’s Island, the mountains of Connemara can be glimpsed on the distant mainland; from the other, the Atlantic stretches as far as the eye can see. This remote settlement, without electricity or even a harbor, has scarcely altered since its namesake saint set up a convent of stone huts centuries ago. Those who live there, including sisters Rose and Emer, are hardy and resourceful, dependent on the sea and each other for survival.  Despite the island’s natural beauty, it is a place that people move away from, not to—until an outspoken American, also named Brigid, arrives to claim her late uncle’s cottage.

Brigid has come for more than an inheritance. She’s seeking a secret holy well that’s rumored to grant miracles. Emer, as scarred and wary as Rose is friendly and beautiful, has good reason to believe in inexplicable powers. Despite her own strange abilities—or perhaps because of them—Emer fears that she won’t be able to save her young son, Niall, from a growing threat. Yet Brigid has a gift too, even more remarkable than Emer’s. As months pass and Brigid carves out a place on the island and in the sisters’ lives, a complicated web of betrayal, fear, and desire culminates in one shocking night that will change the island, and its inhabitants, forever.

Steeped in Irish history and lore, The Stolen Child is a mesmerizing descent into old world beliefs, and a captivating exploration of desire, myth, motherhood, and love in all its forms.

“Steeped in dark Irish mythology, The Stolen Child is a piercing exploration of regret and desire, longing and love. It is a gorgeously written, inventive, and compelling novel.”Ayelet Waldman



(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 10 Aug 2016 13:33:53 -0400)

No library descriptions found.

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Lisa Carey's book The Stolen Child is currently available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

LibraryThing Author

Lisa Carey is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio

Popular covers


Average: (3.91)
2 1
2.5 1
3 8
3.5 4
4 10
4.5 1
5 10


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 116,165,595 books! | Top bar: Always visible