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The Stolen Child

April 15, 2009

The Stolen ChildHenry was an unhappy little boy who one day decides to run away from home into the neighboring woods. Unknown to Henry, a wild bunch of fairy children had been spying on him and his family. His entrance into the woods gives them the perfect opportunity to make the switch. The fairy children are actually changelings, who kidnap unsuspecting children and send one of their own, an impostor, to take their place in the home.

Henry is now renamed Aniday and he finds himself with these children, being taught the changeling ways and forbidden to go home. The new changeling Henry struggles to integrate himself into his new family, hoping that no one realizes the switch. But as time goes on, both the changeling Henry and Aniday begin to forget their past lives. As Aniday ages mentally but not physically, he questions why he was chosen to be taken and desires to learn more about the family he left behind. At the same time, Henry grows into adulthood but struggles with suppressed memories of a childhood of German heritage before he even became a changeling.

Told by both Henry the changeling and Aniday in alternating chapters, The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue is a beautifully written fantasy novel. Even though I felt the chapters with Aniday were at first a bit slow, they eventually picked up and didn’t deter me from my overall enjoyment with the book. The author blends fantasy and realism seamlessly and I quickly became emotionally involved with both Anidayand Henry. The book is frequently haunting, sometimes sad andultimately un-put-downable.

Memory, which so confounds our waking life with anticipation and regret, may well be our one true earthly consolation when time slips out of joint.

Angels of Destruction: A NovelAudrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife said “The Stolen Child is unsentimental and vividly imagined. Keith Donohue evokes the otherwordly with humor and the ordinary with wonder.” I think she hit the nail on the head with this quote. The Stolen Child is simply a great book.

Keith Donohue just came out with another book, Angels of Destruction, and if it’s anything like his first one, I am sure it must be a winner. This was the second book I read for Carl V.’s Once Upon a Time Challenge.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2009 1:10 pm

    I LOVED this book!Angels of Destruction is waiting for me to pick it up from the library. I can’t wait to start it; it’s one of the books I plan to read for the Read a thon.

  2. April 15, 2009 1:14 pm

    This was such a great book. I loved the tone and mood Donohue created.

  3. April 15, 2009 1:46 pm

    This book sounds wonderful.

  4. April 15, 2009 1:51 pm

    I loved this book! I am so glad you enjoyed it! I have his other book here to read. I am a little nervous. That’s what happens when you love an authors first book so much, you worry the next one won’t live up to it!

    See, I do still read your blog… I wonder why my bloglines doesn’t tell me when it updates. So annoying!

  5. April 15, 2009 4:12 pm

    I read this book not that long ago.. i think the author was quite original in his thoughts on how Henry adjusted to his memories.

  6. April 15, 2009 4:19 pm

    Wow! That sounds fantastic!

  7. April 15, 2009 7:59 pm

    This sounds like another one I may have to borrow. You’re really finding some good fantasy, fairy-tale stories lately>

  8. April 15, 2009 9:25 pm

    I definitely want to read this one. Thanks for reminding me, and great review!

  9. April 15, 2009 10:03 pm

    This does sound like a good book!!

  10. Teresa permalink
    April 16, 2009 11:34 am


    You might want to go here and see if your book review has been plagiarized. Just as a formality, you might want to notify the owner of the blog in the comments section, but he/she never replied to comments to remove the purloined book review.

    This individual plagiarized one of my book reviews from, and when I contacted Google and filed a complaint they had the owner of this blog remove my review.

    You can see what happened to me at, and there is a link to another author who had their book review stolen by the same blogger.

    If you want to report it to Google, go to: and fill out their online form.


  11. April 16, 2009 12:00 pm

    I’m really looking forward to read this. So many people with similar taste to mine love it.

  12. April 16, 2009 10:39 pm

    Great review! I really enjoyed this one and can’t wait for the next one.

  13. April 16, 2009 11:15 pm

    I read The Stolen Child when it first came out because of the subject (and the title reminded me of a Yeats poem) and I remember really liking it. I think I may pick up his newest one.

  14. April 20, 2009 12:53 pm

    Initially, this sounds like it would be outside my normal reading, but your review has made me want to give it a try.

  15. April 21, 2009 1:43 pm

    I really enjoyed this book and am glad that you did too. It would have been easy to dislike the changeling that stole Henry’s place but the author did an amazing job portraying both boys as sympathetic characters. I also liked the way the author emphasized the similarities between the two boys who were leading such different lives. And it was so beautifully written. I am almost afraid to read the new book for fear of being disappointed. I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

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