I’m delighted to be helping kick-start the Blog Tour for The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola, author of the superb novel The Unseeing which I read and reviewed last year for my blog.
Both are historical novels based around factual events and the author demonstrates her penchant for detailed research and well-honed writing skills in both of these seductively intriguing books.
The Story Keeper begins in 1857 with the protagonist, Audrey Hart on a ferry to the Isle of Skye where she is headed to take up a job offering her the only chance of a little freedom, she is to be an assistant to a wealthy woman who is researching folk tales, myths and legends around the island.
Following the recent Highland clearances local folk are wary of strangers and reluctant to trust anyone, but they are also keen to pass on superstitions and Anna has family links to the island as her late mother was a Skye lassie so maybe she is not as much a stranger to the lives of these country folk as her boss is. As stories emerge of several missing girls, Audrey determines to unravel the mystery, which bears parallels to the disappearance of her own mother many years ago.
What she begins to reveal will test her to the limits as she tries to work out whether the old legends bear any truth or if there is something even more sinister at work.
I loved the setting on the Isle of Skye, the historical details following the Highland clearances, an appalling true event, the wealth of richly painted characters and the themes of folklore, fairy stories and myth.
The main character of Audrey, a determined young woman whom I could admire and empathise with, this likeable heroine soon had me rooting for her.
The location of Skye and descriptions are highly evocative, the story has enough hints of the supernatural to lend a shiver whilst reading it and the mystery is compelling and quite awful enough to be scary as well as gripping.
A wonderful read, especially for anyone who loves a well-researched and superbly written historical mystery in a great setting.
My thanks go to Anne at RandomThings Tours for inviting me along on this virtual book tour.
Find it on Amazon and other good bookshops.
From the author of THE UNSEEING comes a sizzling, period novel of folk tales, disappearances and injustice set on the Isle of Skye, sure to appeal to readers of Hannah Kent's BURIAL RITES or Beth Underdown's THE WITCH FINDER'S SISTER ( I also reviewed this you can read my review here).
'A wonderful combination of a thrilling mystery and a perfectly depicted period piece' Sunday Mirror
Audrey Hart is on the Isle of Skye to collect the word-of-mouth folk tales of the people and communities around her. It is 1857, the Highland Clearances have left devastation and poverty, and the crofters are suspicious and hostile, claiming they no longer know their stories. Then Audrey discovers the body of a young girl washed up on the beach and the crofters tell her that it is only a matter of weeks since another girl has disappeared. They believe the girls are the victims of the spirits of the unforgiven dead. Initially, Audrey is sure the girls are being abducted, but then she is reminded of her own mother, a Skye woman who disappeared in mysterious circumstances. It seems there is a link to be explored, and Audrey may uncover just what her family have been hiding from her all these years.