The Stolen Child: Book summary and reviews of The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey

The Stolen Child

by Lisa Carey

The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey X
The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey
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Book Summary

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.

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Magical realism of the best kind, utterly devoid of whimsy." - Kirkus

"Carey (Every Visible Thing, 2006) has written a mesmerizing tale about motherhood, superstition, betrayal, and the porous boundary between the real and the magical." - Booklist

"Returning to the magic found in Carey's The Mermaids Singing, her newest release will enchant readers. Reminiscent of works by Susanna Kearsley and Lauren Willig, this is a good choice for those who are interested in Irish lore and the feminine mystique." - Library Journal

"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, author of Love and Treasure

"St Brigid's Island is the sinister, seductive home to several individualistic, spiky women. These women know that their world is peopled with more than can be seen and they collude with and push against those sources, often with frightening results ... Compelling, eerie and beautiful." - Nuala O'Connor, author of Miss Emily

"Oh, my! I could not help but surrender to Lisa Carey's dark, dazzling, quintessentially Irish plot, her lush prose, and her magical, gratifying ending. The Stolen Child is completely and utterly ravishing." - Monica Wood, author of The One-In-A-Million Boy, When We Were The Kennedys, and Any Bitter Thing

"The Stolen Child is captivating - savage and tender, with a deep respect for the transcendent truths that lie in human pain. It grabs you, shakes you to your core and keeps you turning those pages. Leaving you reeling, sated and in love with its characters, landscape and utterly believable magic." - Mia Gallagher, author of Hellfire and Beautiful Picture Of The Lost Homeland

This information about The Stolen Child shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Kathy K

Irish Escape
It has been approximately eight years since Lisa Carey's last novel, so I was thrilled to see a new novel on the way, and even more excited to see that it is set in Ireland. Carey writes beautifully and transports her readers, whether to different time periods, countries or realities, and The Stolen Child is no different. Her writing is gorgeous, lyrical at times and replete with the Irish mythology and magical realism that she is perhaps best known for. Part of what makes The Stolen Child unique is the complexity of the characters and Carey's ability to make a seemingly unlikable character such as Emer sympathetic. All of the characters become embroiled in tragedy at various points in the novel but the reading rarely feels overly dark, perhaps because the setting (St. Brigid's Island off the coast of Ireland) is so lush and embedded in its own history and lore of saints, a goddess, fairies and a magic well. It is a place where anything can happen, and unbelievable things do occur, but in Carey's hands they are deftly and carefully handled so the book never treads into the realm of a children's fairy tale; there is a gravitas to the magic at work here.

The plot itself is also complex and sometimes a bit tricky to follow as it meanders between several different characters' storylines in different time periods. Eventually the stories are seamlessly brought back together but the novel can feel a bit fragmented at times. While The Stolen Child may not quite rival the turn-paging magic of The Mermaids Singing, it is a wonderful escape.

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Author Information

Lisa Carey

Lisa Carey is the author of The Mermaids Singing, In the Country of the Young, and Love in the Asylum. She lived in Ireland for five years and now resides in Portland, Maine, with her husband and their son.

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