The Story Collector

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request. Sign In or Register Now
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date Aug 13 2024 | Archive Date Sep 14 2024
Harper 360 | Harper360

Talking about this book? Use #TheStoryCollector #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


An evocative and charming novel full of secrets and mystery, from the million-copy bestselling author of The Lost Bookshop

In a quiet village in Ireland, a mysterious local myth is about to change everything…

One hundred years ago, Anna, a young farm girl, volunteers to help an intriguing American visitor translate fairy stories from Irish to English. But all is not as it seems and Anna soon finds herself at the heart of a mystery that threatens her very way of life.

In New York in the present day, Sarah Harper boards a plane bound for the West Coast of Ireland. But once there, she finds she has unearthed dark secrets – secrets that tread the line between the everyday and the otherworldly, the seen and the unseen.

With a taste for the magical in everyday life, Evie Woods's latest novel is full of ordinary characters with extraordinary tales to tell.

Readers have fallen in love with The Story Collector:

‘I highly recommend this book if you enjoy historical fiction and want to learn more about Ireland and its folklore history surrounding the faeries.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Romantic and magical, an adventure to be enjoyed.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Painted beautifully.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'A bewitching story which I will treasure.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘A mystical treasure that echoes with the fairy world power of Ireland. A mesmerising tale told in two timelines where the past unfolds and ripples like a wave into the future.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'This is the perfect book to read on a winter afternoon in front of the fire.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'A delightful tale of love and loss and magical stories.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

An evocative and charming novel full of secrets and mystery, from the million-copy bestselling author of The Lost Bookshop

In a quiet village in Ireland, a mysterious local...

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9780008707460
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 54 members

Featured Reviews

'The Story Collector' by Evie Woods is a whimsical and enchanting novel that transports readers to a quiet village in Ireland, where a mysterious local myth begins to unfold. The story weaves together the past and the present through the experiences of two protagonists: Anna, a young farm girl from a century ago, and Sarah Harper, a modern-day traveler from New York.

Anna's journey starts when she volunteers to help an American visitor translate fairy stories from Irish to English. She finds herself entangled in a mystery that threatens her way of life. In parallel, Sarah arrives in Ireland with a mission that leads her to uncover dark secrets blending the everyday with the otherworldly.

Evie Woods has written another story that is both magical and grounded in the charm of everyday bookish life. Her ordinary characters have extraordinary courage, making the novel a delightful escape. As Sarah and Anna's stories intertwine, the book explores the transformative power of stories and their emotional impact on our lives.

One of my favorite components of this novel is its exploration of antiquarian books. Readers will find themselves learning about rare books and lost manuscripts, enhancing the novel's appeal to book lovers and literary enthusiasts alike. The search for a vanishing bookshop adds an element of mystery and adventure that keeps the narrative engaging.

Favorite quotes from the book include:
"There was an awkward silence in which I realized that being an expert in rare books and lost manuscripts could sometimes be construed as quite boring."
"He was letting me into his world and it felt good to be out of my own for a while."
"There's no limit to what I want to know about a book."

'The Story Collector' is a charming literary escape for anyone who loves books and the magic they hold. Evie Woods successfully captures the essence of how stories can forever change us, making this novel a must-read for scholars, book dealers, and literary enthusiasts. Thank you to the author and publisher for the e-arc copy!

Was this review helpful?

My favorite, a book about books! And it was awesome! I loved this book. It’s a must read for the book lovers!

Was this review helpful?

A charming story that skillfully blends past and present with folklore and romance! I finished this book with a smile on my face. Definitely one to buy for my bookshelf!

Was this review helpful?

The Story Collector weaves an Irish tale so intriguing, even the most skeptical of the paranormal would be caught off guard. It blends the stories of two women, one from 2011 and the other from one hundred years earlier, as they struggle to find bits of themselves. Sarah, "the American," on the surface is dealing with overcoming a new divorce. Near the end of the book, however, readers learn the pain there goes far deeper. When Sarah makes a split second decision to travel to Ireland, she doesn't realize the implications it will have on her personal life and the lives of everyone she meets.

Was this review helpful?

Sarah, a woman devastated by the stillbirth of her daughter and the end of her marriage, embarks on a spontaneous journey to Ireland. Upon her arrival, she stumbles upon the diary of Anna Butler. Anna’s life takes center stage as she meets Harold Krauss, an American deeply immersed in his thesis on the local beliefs in fairies. Through Anna's diary, Sarah is transported back to a time when the belief in fairies was more than just folklore.
An uplifting read that celebrates the power of belief, where the past and present collide in magical ways.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to NetGalley and Harper 30 for the.opportunity to read The Story Collector by Evie Woods. I loved it! Magical a delightful.

Was this review helpful?

This was another fun read by Evie Woods. Filled with nostalgia, romance, and mystery it will definitely warm your heart. This is one I will read again at Christmastime.

Sarah’s marriage has ended at Christmastime and she spontaneously boards a plane from Manhattan to Ireland. Upon arrival, she finds herself in a unique cottage and discovers a diary, lost for 100 years. As she spends Christmas in this beautiful place and meets wonderful people, she dives into the diary of Anne and learns about local fairy legends and a young romance.

Thank you NetGalley for this ARC and allowing me to provide this voluntary review.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for this advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. This review will appear on goodreads and the opinions expressed are my own.
For anyone interested in learning more about Ireland and its local legends, this book explores both. There is romance and magic as we learn about the some of the mythical characters of western Ireland (or are they a myth?) The book is told in two simultaneously developed timelines as visitor Sarah finds a journal in a tree (which was a little weird) and learns a lot about herself while the story of Anna unfolds in the journal's pages.
It was a delightful surprise, this read. Its clean with no swearing or anything too graphic.
It looks its due out in America next month, so put yourself on the hold list. Its a nice little journey and a nice diversion from some heavier topics in the news for sure.

Was this review helpful?

Two timelines, two women, born a hundred years apart. Sarah’s story set in 2011 briefly begins in America as Christmas is approaching, and she can’t bear to spend it with her family. Sarah’s grieving over a recent divorce, and another loss, as well, and she just wants time to heal, to not be around people who know what she is going through, to grieve in her own way, and in her own time.

This is not planned, but she just knows she wants to get away, away from those who know what she is going through, and just allow her to process her grief on her own. And so, she takes a flight to Ireland, where no one knows her or what she is going through.

When she arrives, she finds a place to stay, a quiet village where she learns of a local myth which seems to become a part of her story, as well. When she is settling in, she comes across an old diary that shares the life of Anna Butler, which she finds fascinating. A time when most people in Ireland believed in fairies.

A story that shares some magical moments, of believing in oneself, and perhaps a sprinkling of what seems like magic.

Pub Date: 13 Aug 2024

Many thanks to for the ARC provided by Harper 360

Was this review helpful?

The Story Collector, a charming historical fiction novel written by Evie Gaughan, showed up on my NetGalley feed and immediately captured by interest. Ireland. Secrets. A curse. Love. Death. Drama. Books. Everything I need in my reading! From the elaborately woven descriptions of the magic with fairies (minor fantasy element) to the divine local stories of all the villagers, every chapter offered something new. Created a wonderful imaginary space to transport temporarily to, and left me excited about the adventures of love for both the main characters, one in the past and one in the present. I always prefer a tightly sealed happy ending, but you will not find that here. Love escapes some. Truth comes hurdling forward. Things settle, but I wanted some more. Definitely intrigued my reading urges, so I'll check out more from the author.

Was this review helpful?

The Story Collector by Evie Woods is a charming novel steeped in secrets and mystery. Set in a quiet Irish village, the story unfolds across two timelines. A hundred years ago, Anna, a young farm girl, becomes entangled in a mysterious adventure while helping an American visitor translate fairy stories. In the present day, Sarah Harper's journey to Ireland uncovers dark secrets that blur the lines between the everyday and the otherworldly. The author blends historical fiction with elements of Irish folklore, creating a narrative that's both romantic and magical. The richly painted settings and enchanting characters enhance the beauty of this story.

Was this review helpful?

Loved this one! Great and fun read. Highly recommend.
Many thanks to the publisher, Netgalley, and the author for my ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Running from her grief, Sarah finds herself in a tiny Irish village where residents have successfully defended their century’s old culture and traditions from the unrelenting march of progress.

While there, she discovers the journal of Anna Butler, a young girl fighting to come to terms with a loss of her own. As Sarah follows Anna’s journey, she realizes that though a hundred years separate their lives, some struggles transcend time.

Evie Woods masterfully weaves both women’s stories into a compelling narrative that is hard to put down. Her exploration of the fairy world enchants readers, prompting them to wonder what supernatural forces might be at play in our own lives. She also shines a light on how we handle - or sometimes avoid handling - the pain and complexity of grief.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.l

Was this review helpful?

I highly recommend this wonderful book. The story was mesmerizing and I became lost in it. There was a mystical feel to it that I adored. The characters are well thought out and have great depth, I found myself thinking about them long after I finished the book. This is my first read by this very talented author and it won't be my last. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up, you will not be disappointed.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper 360 for an ARC copy of The Story Collector.

The Story Collector is set in dual timelines, the early 1900's and 2010/2011. Sarah Harper is leaving her broken marriage behind, to return home to her family, when a spontaneous decision at the airport takes her to Ireland. There she finds a diary from 100 years ago, written by a young farm girl named Anna. As Sarah settles into her new surroundings and meets the people of Thornwood, she begins to heal from the tragedy that ended her marriage, while also becoming invested in Anna's story. Anna led a simple life in her village, until the arrival of Harold Krauss. She becomes his assistant and travels the village gathering fairy stories from the locals, for his thesis, but Anna is hiding her own story from Harold.

The Story Collector is a book after my own heart, with the dual timelines of the past and present, fairy stories, and being set in. Ireland. It's a great historical fiction story, where we see the problems that both women face in their own timelines, and how they try to overcome them. I did find Anna's story to be the more interesting of the two, because I loved the relationship that developed between her and Harold, and the visits they made to the fellow villagers to hear their fairy stories. My favorite part about Sarah's story, was how Woods tied her and Harold together at the end of the book. I thought it was really well done and a great way to end the book.

Even though I really enjoyed the book and the characters, I felt like the chapters of Anna's diary entries did not read like diary entries. The language and style of the writing didn't differ from Sarah's chapters, and I think it would have added an extra element to the book, if they were written in a diary format.

If you love Historical Fiction, Irish Folklore, and books about books, then I highly recommend The Story Collector.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this story! Imagination required but still neat. Books and bookshops ARE magic and can change lives.

Was this review helpful?

Ireland - 1911 and 2011

1911 - Young Anna Butler lives on her parents small farm in western Ireland. It's a simple life although Anna yearns for some excitement. That excitement turns up when American scholar Harold Griffin-Krauss turns up in the village. His anthropology studies are centered on Celtic folklore, fairy faith in particular. Much to Anna's delight, he hires her to accompany him around the area to speak to those who believe in fairies, and why. As they interview various members of the village, they are drawn to the Thornwood Estate, and the story of its origin when the Hawley family purchased the land and built the house. Lord Hawley was told by locals that he should not cut down the ancient hawthorn tree on the site, as it would bring his family bad luck. Well, of course, he cut it down, and after his wife gave birth to twins, she soon claimed that they weren't her babies, and days later threw herself out of the second floor window - dying. Harold was determined to learn more.

Anna and Harold are drawn into the odd lives of the Hawley twins. While Anna thinks George is handsome and overly friendly, she is not sure what to think of his twin sister, Olivia, who seems brittle and at times, cruel. Are they affected by their mother's death, and would that explain their differences? Soon, it becomes clear that there are secrets that may not be safe to learn.

2011 - Sarah Harper makes a rash, last-minute decision to fly to Ireland instead of retreating to her family in Boston after leaving her husband. When she lands at Shannon Airport, she is confused, and heads to the airport hotel. But there are no rooms available. Taken under the wing of the hotel manager, Sarah finds herself ensconced in a tiny cottage in a small village. Exploring one day, she finds a box stuffed into the crevice of a tree. Inside she finds a diary written by a young girl who used to live in the very cottage Sarah is renting. Delving into the book, she is drawn into the life of Anna Butler.

THE STORY COLLECTOR is an inspiring, emotional, and lovely tale of people finding answers in their lives, whether good or bad. Do the fairies truly hold sway in some people's lives? Do they affect the outcome of decisions, right or wrong? A sweet, and sad at times, story of everyday people dealing with everyday lives, but with a touch of magic.

Was this review helpful?

The Story Collector is an enchanting story in which the past and present are intertwined in a mysterious web of love, loss, myth, and lore. I loved the element of the past rippling into the future and the power that folklore and myths have through generations as shown through the alternating lenses of 100 years past and present. As someone who gravitates towards historical fiction, this novel had enough historical and geographical references to satisfy that interest, while the introduction of fantasy and myth offered a refreshing spin. The author does a remarkable job at bringing the fairies of Ireland to life and making the reader believe in their power. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy and captivating read.

Was this review helpful?

Whew, I am NOT a crier but I am still wiping tears from my eyes after just finishing this book! I'm not quite sure what I was expecting from this book but I got 100x more than expected. I feel like a small part of my heart that needed healing, which I didn't know needed it, was healed after reading this story. I need a prequel...I need a sequel...I need supporting novellas...I need them all!
The author has created a tale that is both enchanting and thought-provoking, leaving readers with a lingering sense of wonder and a renewed appreciation for the stories that define us. Central to the novel is the theme of the power of stories themselves — how they shape lives, connect people across generations, and reveal universal truths.
This would make an incredible movie...Benicio del Toro needs to read this book!

Was this review helpful?

An endearing story that magically whisks you away to the Irish countryside!

Have you ever wished you could drop everything and flee the country to escape the drama in your life? Sarah does that in ‘The Story Collector’ as she impulsively travels to Ireland for Christmas leaving behind her overbearing family and failed marriage. I immediately appreciated Sarah’s witty and refreshingly honest internal dialogue.

Through Sarah’s journey, we are immersed into the Irish countryside in a charming cottage and welcomed into the fold by the people in her small town (think The Holiday meets Eat, Pray, Love). Soon Sarah discovers a diary written over 100 years ago by a young local farmgirl, Anna Butler, that details the complicated feelings of the locals and their fairy folklore. It’s ultimately a poignant story about love and loss, with enough whimsical fairy magic to nudge us to consider whether our lives are ever truly within our control.

My favorite quotes from the book:
* “The easiest thing would have been to fall into his arms and bury her pain somewhere neither of them could find it, but she’d tried that already and two years later, it still wasn’t working. They were living in a house of unspoken needs and muffled emotions.” 🥴
* “She couldn’t recall the last time she had done something so impulsive and purely for herself. She kept expecting the panic to set in, but as she took in her new surroundings, all she felt was joy. ‘Maybe’, she thought, ‘this is what following your heart feels like.’ 💫
* ‘If I’m honest, I thought it would kill me. The grief. But you know what’s worse? It doesn’t kill you. You go on, living… surviving, whether you want to or not.’ ❤️
* “My ankle has healed well enough, though I still have a slight limp. Billy says I’m beginning to waddle like a duck, so I’m doing my best to remedy that. Paddy is keeping a sensible distance from my father, and despite warnings from my mother to keep our family matters private, today I spilled the beans about Danny to Harold before we were even past our gate.” 😂

Content warnings for sensitivity:
* Loss of a child
* Attempted rape
* Divorce

Ultimately, Sarah tries to find love again, and while I would have enjoyed seeing more of that relationship develop, we see a glimpse through a few sweet encounters. I especially appreciated how relatable the main characters were; they often had me nodding along and laughing out loud.

‘The Story Collector’ would be the perfect cozy read fireside over the holidays! THANK YOU to Evie Woods, NetGalley, and Harper360 for the e-arc copy in exchange for my honest review!

Was this review helpful?

I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely story! It’s a charming historical fiction novel that weaves a bit of fairy folklore into modern day reality. The dual time line narrative begins when Sarah Harper, still reeling from a broken marriage, impulsively boards a plane for Ireland. A borrowed cottage in the Welsh countryside of Thornwood makes the perfect setting for Sarah to pause and reexamine the state of her life. These timeless landscapes and cozy village are the perfect ambiance for an unfolding story as she stumbles upon a journal nearly one-hundred years old.
This dusty tome transports us to our second timeline, also in the village of Thornwood. In fact, in the same cottage where 100 years in the future, Sarah Harper is reading this very book. In this timeline, our main character is Anna Butler an intriguing farmer’s daughter on the precipice of womanhood. We are also introduced to Harold Griffin-Krauss an American scholar who’s come to record the stories of fairy folklore firsthand from Celtic villages across Ireland. Harold is drawn to these first-hand accounts and rumors of fairy mischief. Anna eagerly offers to serve as his translator and assistant to this task. Together they work to compile a scholarly record of fairy lore and superstition. One such account is of Thornwood House, ancestral home of the wealthy Lord and Lady Hawley. According to the local seeress Maggie Walsh, it is cursed by the fairies!
The weaving timelines held my attention and kept me turning pages right up until the very end. A great read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction mixed with a bit of superstition.
*I received an advance reader copy of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Sarah Harper is going through a divorce. She leaves her husband to fly home but she doesn't make it home. Sarah decides mid flights to fly to the West Coast of Ireland. She finds a wonderful little village known for their fairy tree. She visits the tree and discovers a diary written a hundred years ago by a girl named Anna. Anna a farm girl helps a man named Harold to explore the local folklore about fairies. This story has a wonderful cast of characters and is beautifully written. I loved the Irish folklore and the tales of love and loss. One of my favorite reads of 2024.

Was this review helpful?

I’m a reader that typically has five to six books going at once. With that being said, I couldn’t stay away from Evie Wood’s “The Story Collector.” The Irish setting is enchanting with the lush landscape descriptions and the incredible details of all of the homes and lifestyles (both in 1911 and 2011). The story explores Irish folklore and beliefs while toggling between two different time periods. I really enjoyed the pacing of jumping back and forth between both timelines. Although there is a romantic element to the characters’ stories, it is by no means the main focus. I found the read to be equal parts cozy and suspenseful with a general sense of foreboding that creeps along in the shadows.
Thank you, NetGalley, One More Chapter, and Evie Woods for allowing me to read the ARC of this charming story! I rate it a 4.5.

Was this review helpful?

The Story Collector by Evie Woods which takes place in Ireland is full of Irish lore, mythical creatures, and about finding oneself after loss. I love a story with a dual timeline and this book keeps the reader enthralled with a present day artist going back in time while reading the journal of a young girl from the early 1900’s. It’s so interesting to see how each young woman finds herself, each in a different time period, while in the exact same place. I couldn’t wait to finish this one to see how it would end!
#TheStoryCollector #NetGalley

Was this review helpful?

4.25 stars!!!

“Our wills and fate so contrary run” - Shakespeare

The Story Collector is a cozy, magical, wintry novel. Think fall/winter season, sitting by the fireplace… or at least a YouTube video of a fireplace with the crackling sounds and wrapped in a blanket.

I enjoyed reading the dual timelines centered around life in the same setting/location in Ireland. It was interesting how similar the experiences were between the two main FMCs throughout the story. The way the author paced the story so that their experiences were volleyed back and forth to each other made me excited to read both journeys.

There are times in dual timeline or dual POV novels where one is far more interesting than the other, but I’m thankful that wasn’t the case here. I was rooting for both characters.

There are topics that could be triggering to some, such as attempted rape and dealing with grief due to the loss of a loved one. I feel that these topics were handled with grace.

Also, finding out that parts of the story is inspired by a real-life anthropologist who also traveled to Ireland to collect similar stories discussed in the book was exciting! It makes me want to read his published thesis as well. 😊

Was this review helpful?

This is a beautiful historical fiction book that was overwhelming delightful. The novel is rich in Irish folklore and superstitions.

The book alternates between the present and the past. It was beautifully written. I enjoyed the interweaving stories.

I highly recommend this magical book. I intend to read more from this author.

Was this review helpful?

This is what a warm hug feels like.

From the outset, Sarah's story drew me in. Her impulsive actions felt familiar as if I was encouraging her. Her trip to Ireland and the chance discovery of the diary were pivotal moments. The diary, a magical life jacket, was the answer she had been seeking, even if she hadn't known it.

I thoroughly enjoyed the quaint Irish country life that the author painted for us. I felt transported there, drinking my magical tea and dunking my biscuits until they were teetering on their soggy ends. The stories of Anna and Sarah were beautifully interlaced. I learned so much about Irish folklore, which has intrigued me and made me want to learn more. I absolutely loved what Harold speaks about folklore, how a scholarly man, despite his skepticism that perhaps comes with the territory of being a scholar, believed that the beliefs of the people were the most touching and thought-provoking.

Sarah’s pain and anguish were palpable throughout the pages, and Fee’s remarks of “believing in yourself and trusting your heart” almost brought me to tears.

The book's message about the power of serendipity and the right words at the right time resonated deeply with me, inspiring me to believe in the magic of life.
This book is a masterpiece, a tapestry of emotions and beauty that left me spellbound.

A 4.75 stars for me

Thank you Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to review this beautiful book

Was this review helpful?

The STory Collector
by Evie Woods
Pub Date: August 13, 2024
Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
An evocative and charming novel full of secrets and mystery, from the million-copy bestselling author of The Lost Bookshop
In a quiet village in Ireland, a mysterious local myth is about to change everything.
I highly recommend this book if you enjoy historical fiction, learning about Ireland and Irish beliefs of fairies, and superstitions.
This book was totally unexpectedly delightful. I read it all in one day, and that alone says something! The book is written in a way that it's alternating between past and present, which is a style I love. It's very beautifully and skillfully written in my opinion. I loved the main characters. I loved the different stories integrated into the main stories.

Was this review helpful?

Evie Woods is the author of The Lost Bookshop. This one looks cozy and magical - I can't wait!

From GR:
In a quiet village in Ireland, a mysterious local myth is about to change everything…

One hundred years ago, Anna, a young farm girl, volunteers to help an intriguing American visitor translate fairy stories from Irish to English. But all is not as it seems and Anna soon finds herself at the heart of a mystery that threatens her very way of life.

In New York in the present day, Sarah Harper boards a plane bound for the West Coast of Ireland. But once there, she finds she has unearthed dark secrets – secrets that tread the line between the everyday and the otherworldly, the seen and the unseen.

With a taste for the magical in everyday life, Evie Woods's latest novel is full of ordinary characters with extraordinary tales to tell.

I appreciate NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC of this book. My review rating is based on the summary of this book.

Was this review helpful?

This is my second novel by Evie Woods so I was delighted at the chance to read this.

This involves dual timelines, 100 years apart, in a small town in Ireland.

I like how the author did manage to connect the two FMCs very nicely by the very end. The two FMCs are two ladies you do want to root for.

However, for a book said to explore Irish Fairy Folklore.. i felt this didn’t really touch on that too much. It felt like an afterthought for the most part.

Regardless, solid ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. I did enjoy this and would recommend to someone looking for a historical fiction with some fantasy elements woven in (even if very loosely).

Was this review helpful?

4 ⭐️ Set in Ireland with two timelines , 1911 and 2011, this story focuses on two women Anna and Sarah.
Sarah goes to Ireland on a whim after her divorce and finds Anna’s diary from 1911 in an old tree. Anna is a 17 year old farm girl who is enlisted to help Harold, a professor from America to document the local Fairy Faith. I really liked Anna’s story in 1911 the best. The ending tied everything together very well.

I was totally immersed in this tale steeped in Irish tales of Fairies and the two different stories and lives of Anna and Sarah. Great characters and fast moving plot. Quick read! Well written, loved it!

Thanks NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishing for the ARC in exchange for my honest review

Was this review helpful?

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Harper 360 in exchange for my honest opinion.

I originally gave this 4 stars because after the first chapter it seemed to be slow going for a bit. Upon reflection I think that was necessary to fill in the story and round out the characters. Some of it was my own life getting in the way of delicious, unspoiled reading time. I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I've always wanted to visit Ireland and I felt as though of all of the books I've read about the country I probably learned the most from this one. The author created a world that I could envision in my mind as I read. She portrayed the people as realistic with their gifts as well as faults included.
The story begins with the main character Sarah making a life altering decision to travel home after her marriage has fallen apart. During a layover she suddenly decides to impulsively buy a ticket for Ireland with absolutely no plans for once she arrives. Perhaps it was the alcohol making the decision for her but I saw it as a courageous move. She was listening to that inner voice telling her that going home to stay with family while she sorts her life out was just going to be an extension of the same life she was trying to leave behind. She would be stuck in the same cycle of depression and despair which is something I can relate to. Life isn't going to happen to you, you have to go out and find it! Sarah finds a diary written 100 years earlier to the date that she discovers it. The rest of the book winds in and out of the story lines of the two women, one living a complicated life that seems out of her control in 2011 and one living in 1911 who doesn't have a lot of control over her life due to economical and cultural circumstances but mainly due to the accident of being born a female. I love historical fiction because I find it fascinating to read about characters who lived lives long before my own however, in this case I found myself often anxious to get back to Sarah's present.
I loved the dual timelines and the magical aspect of the fairy faith in western Ireland. I also loved the use of the Irish language throughout. Unless I missed it (which is possible) not all of the phrases, names and words were translated which was a little frustrating to me as I'm someone who likes to learn how to properly pronounce so I can get a feel for the language of the characters. I highly recommend this book. I'm looking forward to going back to read more from this author.

Was this review helpful?

Any story set in Ireland with ties to myths and folklore is a win in my opinion. This one is quite unique in that it takes a 100-year-old diary, mixes it with a present-day woman running from a failed marriage and trying to forget her grief and loosely weaves them together. It sort of works. If I'm being brutally honest, I actually think this might have been better as two separate stories; but, to be fair, they do come together in the very last chapter in a satisfying way. I think some of the other parallels that the author tries to draw between the two throughout the book are a stretch though. Having said that, I did enjoy this book. The premise of the 100-year-old story was especially intriguing, and I enjoyed Anna as a character. I also loved the myths and fairy stories woven throughout the story and the bit of mystery surrounding some key events. I would definitely recommend this to those looking for a walk through the Irish countryside with the possibility of one or two of "the good folk" along for the journey.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this book!
The alternating view points were easy to follow.
I loved Sarah's spontaneous travel and the subsequent places she managed to go.
I love that SHE found HERSELF. ♡
I really enjoyed the journal she found and the way the story flowed.

Great book! Thanks #netgalley!

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: