FAERIE TALE (Suspense/Fantasy-Hasting Family-Pennsylvania-Cont) – VG Feist, Raymond, E. –Standalone
Doubleday, 1988, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780385236232

First Sentence: Barney Doyle sat at his cluttered workbench, attempting to fix Olaf Andersen’s ancient power mower for the fourth time in seven years.

Phil Hastings, his wife Gloria, his daughter Gabbie and their twin boys Patrick and Sean move from Sunny California to an old farmhouse in upstate New York whose land includes virgin forest. They soon find they have more to contend with than they expected. Unexpected, and unexplainable, encounters with strange creatures, the boy’s acknowledgement of “the Bad Thing” living under a bridge and Gabbie’s almost sexual encounter with a farrier who died over a hundred years ago are only some of the strange goings on which threaten the family.

I love this book and read it every year or so on Midsummer’s Day (June 24th). However, this is not your child’s faerie tale even though it involves brotherly love and courage. It is fantasy; it is horror. It is creepy, dark, at times violent, at times sexual and always a page-turner. Those who love Celtic myth and Shakespeare will recognize magical elements of The Fool, elf-shot, Trooping Faeires, and more. It is one of those rare books that makes you feel as though it “could” be possible and causes even non-Catholics to wish for a vial of holy water, a silver sword and a true faerie stone.. Each time I read it, I find myself researching the legends and faerie folk involved, looking for erl-king hills and avoiding faeire rings at midnight on Midsummer’s Night and All-Hallow’s Eve. Next year, I’ll remember to start earlier in the day so I’m not up until midnight finishing it. At least I wasn’t in the woods. It’s the blending of fantasy in contemporary life which, to me, makes this book so compelling, frightening and memorable.

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