Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola

Folklore is a way of passing on the stories of a people and their culture. It is also a way of passing on mythology and fairy-tales to the next generations. Folklore fuels fear, paranoia and mistrust, but it can also be conducive to bonding, feeling safe and a sense of community, especially on an isolated island.

Audrey has taken a job on the remote island of Skye in order to connect with her past and escape from the present. She has been employed to collect the stories of the islanders, the tales of the fae folk. The stories that can compel people to set fire to young girls or bury babies alive, in order to keep the fae happy.

They aren't the cute tiny magical beings of fairy tales changed to be more kid friendly, they are the creatures of nightmares and shadows of daymares. This is what the islanders believe, and also the reason every single possible crime and odd event is automatically blamed on the fae.

When young girls start going missing and one of them turns up dead the rumours are clear, the fae have reason to be displeased and are taking the girls. Audrey thinks there is a more human element to the situation, but is distracted and blocked at every turn of her attempt to gain clarity. It isn't long before the fae start to show her the error of her ways.

I really enjoyed the way the author hid a crime story in the middle of this tale of folklore, magic and paranoia. Mazzola hits the nail on the head when it comes to the seclusion of the population and the almost hermit-like behaviour of the majority of the population. She doesn't neglect the reasons for the hunger, despair and cruelty, which drives many of them into an early grave or on to supposedly greener pastures.

Mazzola gives the reader a combination of an old school classic vibe with a contemporary feel to it. A sort of Jane Eyre meets Christie, and a wee gothic atmosphere mixed in to boot.

Buy The Story Keeper at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Kindle Pub. Date 31st May 2018, Hardcover 26 July 2018 (Tinder Press)
Follow @Anna_Mazz @TinderPress

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