The Stolen Child

The Stolen ChildThe Stolen Child by Keith Donohue
on January 1st 1970
Pages: 319
ISBN: 0099490595
Buy on Amazon

Ever read a book which just stays with you and you think about from time to time? This is that sort of book for me. I read this book when it first came out, and was fascinated by the premise. A young boy, Henry Day, runs away from home and is stolen by changelings. The changelings/fairies/hobgoblins who were once human children themselves who were stolen then forced to live in the wild in a family like pack until they can find a human child and switch places with them. The Changelings change Henry’s name to Aniday as one of their own takes Henry’s place with his human family. Aniday is now forever a child, who grows mentally but struggles to remember his family and what it was like to be human. He makes attempts to fit into his new world.

Henry/Aniday’s double is now in the human world and must adjust to living with humans while hiding his identity. He draws suspicion when he exhibits great skill at playing the piano – something the human Henry never showed aptitude for. His “father” begins to suspect something is not quite right with his son. This changeling child as he grows begins to remember when he was a young child and had a piano teacher. A time when he was human before he was stolen and made a changeling. Both Henry and Aniday try to find each other, to find who they once were before they both were changed.

This story has chapters dedicated to both characters in this book describing their struggles, their attempts to assimilate to their current living environment, and their attempts at being/staying human. The writing is haunting and atmospheric. This was a very nicely done debut novel.

This book is fantasy which typically is not my first choice of books, but I found this book strangely compelling. This felt like a blending of fantasy meets myth meets folklore meets Grimm fairy tale. It was oddly interesting, and I can’t quite figure out what I liked so much about it except to say that I loved how unique the story was.


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