Review: Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce

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  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (July 10, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0385535783
  • Source: Publisher

Twenty years ago, sixteen-year-old Tara Martin disappeared from her small English town.  Her boyfriend Richie, whom just also happened to be her brother Peter’s best friend, was the prime suspect. Little evidence of any crime was found and for the past two decades, Richie has walked the streets a free man, although deemed guilty by the townspeople. Peter is now married with young children of his own. Unable to overcome the accusations made against his best friend, they haven’t spoken in decades.

One Christmas morning, the Martin family is shocked to find Tara standing in the doorway. Not the adult-form of Tara, but instead appearing just as she did when she disappeared. Her explanation is haunting: she was abducted by a man, a fairy, and escorted to another world in which time passes at a slower rate. In her mind, she’s only been missing for six months. Scrambling for explanations, Peter takes his sister to an assortment of doctors for a battery of tests to determine her health…and definite age. One of the doctor’s Tara visits is a psychologist, Vivian Underwood, one of the few people with which Tara will share details of her experiences.Underwood believes Tara is suppressing memories to difficult to face, suffering a combination of amnesia and delusion.

Her family can’t help but wonder what really happened. They tip-toe around her, not really facing and accepting what has transpired. Her parents are in denial and Peter struggles to find a logical explanation for what has happened. The only individual who seems to embrace Tara for who she is presently is Richie. Her reappearance has allowed him to face medical issues he’s been facing for years. All in all, Tara’s return, despite all the questions, is a gift to those around her. In Tara’s case, however, her past isn’t what is in question to her personally but instead her future…and just where she intends to spend it.

Told from varying viewpoints, readers are allowed to experience what transpires from a number of key characters, each of their stories ranging in credibility. We learn a great deal about each of the main characters through their actions. Characters that may seem minor to the storyline surprise readers when their value and impact to the storyline is discovered. Joyce uses a great deal of imagery and folklore in this novel, enveloping the reader in the mysterious fairy world in which Tara was held captive. Known for his talent at portraying reality with a tinge of fantasy, Joyce truly embraces all of the elements of fantasy, and in a sense, magical realism as well. Bottom line, Some Kind of Fairy Tale is not merely a novel but an experience in and of itself, destined to gain the interest of fans from a number of genres. Highly recommended.

 

One thought on “Review: Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce

  1. this book was highlighted at a science fiction readers convention this year and it’s been on my list ever since. you just bumped it up!


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