Book Review | The Stolen Child

Author // Lisa Carey
Publication Date // January 2017
Publisher // Hachette Australia
Genre // Historical Fiction, Magical Realism


A gothic intrigue, for fans of The Snow Child, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Sarah Waters and M. R. Carey. 

St Brigid’s is a windswept island off the west coast of Ireland, home to a community which lives in the past.

Rose is a beautiful young woman, loved by all.

Emer is her disfigured twin. She is consumed by jealousy, and a fiercely protective love for her son. 

Brigid, named after the island’s saint, arrives from America, in search of a miracle.

Because St Brigid’s is no ordinary island. 

The islanders’ hostility quickly melts when Brigid befriends the twins. But little do they realise that her single-minded passion will endanger everything they hold dear.


The Stolen Child is an intriguing magical-realism story set in the early 1960s on a remote Irish island. It is steeped in Irish folklore about changelings and fairies and Saints.

In 1960, all the women from St. Brigid are being evacuated back to the mainland to government housing; the reasons for this are revealed slowly throughout the story as the actions of each of the main characters come to pass.

The story is told through flashbacks to the previous year when Brigid, an American woman with family history to the island, comes to live there, bearing secrets of her own. She builds a connection with local woman, Emer, and through her, Emer’s family and the local women. Through them all we unravel the history surrounding the founding of St. Brigid island, the superstitions of the good folk (aka fairies) who have a penchant for replacing those who go looking for them with changelings, something both Emer and Brigid have personal experience with.

Lisa Carey has a wonderfully suspenseful writing style which had me intrigued from the start. However, it did seem like the story dragged at times, which made the task of reading The Stolen Child a little on the laborious side. I did, however, enjoy the way she incorporated an LGBTQ relationship into the story, as well as the way the island shapes each of the characters we meet.

There is content in this book that may be triggering for some readers, including domestic violence and rape, so be aware of that prior to reading.

Over all this was a solid read, with a beautiful writing style. I gave The Stolen Child 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(I won a copy of this book in a Good Reads giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

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