Monday, February 10, 2014
Book Review: Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce
Author: Graham Joyce
Enjoyment Rating: ****
This book would be rated: R for language and sex
Back in the day when I publicized how many books I was reading each year, I used to shy away from buying long books on Audible. They took too long to listen to, which would decrease my numbers for the year. But one thing I've learned is that I like epic stories-- I like the ones that twist and turn and keep me guessing where they're going (or even if they're going somewhere, I'm enjoying the journey). I like stories that are long and detailed, and even kind of weird. I've decided that maybe these books wouldn't mess with my numbers, after all, because they're the kinds of books that keep me listening long after my run is done.
Some Kind of Fairy Tale is the kind of epic story that I love. The story opens on Christmas Day, when Tara Martin shows up on her parents' doorstep after an absence of more than twenty years. At first (if you don't pay attention to the title), it seems like a pretty straightforward story-- Tara was a pregnant teen who had a fight with her boyfriend and was presumed murdered, and when she returns, her family, particularly her older brother Peter, want to fill in the gap of where she'd been. The only problem is that Tara is extremely reluctant to share her story, and to make matters stranger, she doesn't look like she has aged at all in the twenty years she was gone.
What unfolds is a story of family life, the fairy world (which is nothing like most readers would expect), psychological analysis, trust, and belief. I loved the way that Joyce created complex characters, and the way that the side stories ended up being integral to the plot as a whole. Perhaps my favorite interactions were those with her psychiatrist. It's a really fascinating read-- not for kids (despite the title). The fairies are pretty randy! The story definitely kept me listening (and blushing, from time to time).