Wednesday, 6 June 2018

The Story Collector by Evie Gaughan (2018)


A beautiful and mysterious historical romance from the author of The Heirloom and The Mysterious Bakery on Rue de Paris. Thornwood Village, 1910. Anna, a young farm girl, volunteers to help an intriguing American visitor, Harold Griffin-Krauss, translate 'fairy stories' from Irish to English. But all is not as it seems and Anna soon finds herself at the heart of a mystery that threatens the future of her community and her very way of life..... Captivated by the land of myth, folklore and superstition, Sarah Harper finds herself walking in the footsteps of Harold and Anna one hundred years later, unearthing dark secrets that both enchant and unnerve. The Story Collector treads the intriguing line between the everyday and the otherworldly, the seen and the unseen. With a taste for the magical in everyday life, Evie Gaughan's latest novel is full of ordinary characters with extraordinary tales to tell. Perfect for fans of Jess Kidd and Eowyn Ivey.


Review

A wonderful, magical and charming tale. It is rich in folklore, superstitions and old Irish traditions. It struck a familiar chord with me as my grandmother was from Anna's generation and she would have grown up with the same values and traditions. 
I loved the use of the Irish language. It is practically impossible to talk about Irish folklore and culture without using some of the language. Its use added to the touch of magic and supernatural that was running through the story. 
The fairy stories presented here are very authentic and beautifully written. The author drew from real life cases; the burning of Bridget Cleary is very similar to one of the fairy stories talked about in the book. 

Anna's story was beautiful, romantic and poignant. There was an air of mystery surrounding her as well as the people of the Big House. The history of Thornwood was quite creepy, dark, and with a menacing air of suspense. I loved it. The historical sections of the book were definitely my favourite because of all the strange goings on. I couldn't put it down. I also enjoyed the light romantic element here too and I kept hoping for Anna to finally see Harold and recognise his feelings for her.
The contemporary part of the book was also great. I loved watching Sarah find herself in Ireland, learning to be at home here, falling in love with the place and its people. There is a great feeling that things happen for a reason. Sarah's arrival in Ireland and her discovery of the diary were two very important points in her life. She found romance and a sense of inner peace after her impromptu trip to Ireland. It reminded me that some things in life are meant to be.......or as my mother is fond of saying 'What's for you won't pass you.'

A truly beautiful and captivating book. 

The Story Collector will be published on the 14th of June and is available to pre-order on Kindle for only 99p!

Buy Links: 
Amazon and all good bookshops. 
Kennys and BookDepository offer free shipping worldwide.


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