Upon finishing Suzanne Kelly's poetic novel Stolen Child I marvel at how accurately and completely the author captures the complexities of the Irish-American experience. Every page sings with particulars--familiar customs, superstitions, song lyrics, dance steps, history, snippets of the Irish language, clan loyalty, upward mobility, and the fierce Catholicism that spawns the familiar wry humor on one hand and coexists with belief in the faeries on the other. The book is a remarkable read if one is looking for authentic cultural immersion.
Nine-year-old Lucy Fahey is punted to her paternal grandmother during the summer of 1960--as her mother endures a summer of hospitalization for a cancer we see only through Lucy's eyes--a mysterious force that disrupts the family and removes her from communication. Grandma Fahey is charged with teaching Lucy the catechism which the dreamy girl has failed to master during the school year and she seems a perfect choice--strict, straight-laced, devout to a tee, and armed with defenses that have removed her from her own roots in western Ireland's County Mayo. The novel is a testament to extended family, especially elder members of the family, who provide the links to culture. ~Mary Minock, author of The Way-Back Room: A Memoir of a Detroit Childhood