Pub: Tinder Press
Audrey Hart is on the Isle of Skye to collect the folk and fairy tales of the people and communities around her. It is 1857 and the Highland Clearances have left devastation and poverty, and a community riven by fear. The crofters are suspicious and hostile to a stranger, claiming they no longer know their fireside stories.
Then Audrey discovers the body of a young girl washed up on the beach and the crofters reveal that it is only a matter of weeks since another girl disappeared. They believe the girls are the victims of the restless dead: spirits who take the form of birds.
Initially, Audrey is sure the girls are being abducted, but as events accumulate she begins to wonder if something else is at work. Something which may be linked to the death of her own mother, many years before.
I loved this book.
Anna Mazzola’s first book The Unseeing was a definite favourite of mine and this one is high on my list of must read books.
Audrey, has gone to the beautiful Isle of Skye for two reasons. one is to work for the formidable Ms Buchanan, and the other is to escape her home and a sordid secret.
Miss Buchanan is a collector of Folklore. the tales which are told through generations of families, and ones which hold deep meaning, superstition and fear. Her nephew Alec, is a storyteller of fairy tales, and is set to become a published author. All three characters are brilliant and superbly portrayed.
Each chapter starts with a snippet of a tale and this is an integral part of the book as a whole.
This is an exceptionally atmospheric read, it is sad and it is one that I would happily talk about to everyone for days. It is told in three parts, the last part brings the story together and gave me quite a shock. I really thought I had it all worked out..but no, the author had something else up her sleeve and this gave this amazing read a definite WOW!!
It reminded me of The Woman in Black, and I think this too would make a stunning film. The whole tale is filled with magic and is beautifully captured in print.
About the Author
Anna is a writer who, due to some fault of her parents, is drawn to peculiar and dark historical subjects. Her novels have been described as literary crime fiction or historical crime. Anna’s influences include Sarah Waters, Daphne Du Maurier, Shirley Jackson and Margaret Atwood.
Her debut novel, The Unseeing, is based on the life of a real woman called Sarah Gale who was convicted of aiding a murder in London in 1837. Her second novel, The Story Keeper, follows a folklorist’s assistant as she searches out dark fairytales and stolen girls on the Isle of Skye in 1857
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