As soon as I saw the cover of this new book, I knew I wanted to read it. The gothic William Morris design in bold red, black and yellow grabbed my eye and convinced me, even before I’d picked it up, that it would be of interest.
I was right. The story concerns the fictional island of Neverness and the small community living there. Told in a succession of brief episodes that gradually intertwine and- it becomes apparent- stretch out over decades, the novel has a strange aura of mystery and magic, yet these are at the same time deeply incorporated into the everyday lives of the island dwellers.
It’s not exactly a fairy story nor is it about fairies, but there is a supernatural presence throughout. There’s a witch, talk of changelings, a shadowy ‘Gorse Mother’ lurking deep in the thickets, there are hallucinatory drugs and there’s a ‘water bull,’ the scary and dangerous taroo-ushtey of the Isle of Man and tarbh uisge of Highland Scotland. This supernatural water creature seduces and carries off one of the local girls. His love is intoxicating, irresistible- and fatal.
The story is beautifully told, fast paced and enjoyable. Worth a read.
See a list of my own faery titles, here.