‘The American. You could tell even by the way that he walked, he wasn’t a local. He cut a tall, lean figure in a tweed suit, with his trousers tucked into his socks. He carried a satchel over his shoulder and walked with his head erect and open to adventure. For some reason, he looked to me like a man chasing butterflies and all he was missing was a net.’
Evie Gaughan tells stories and she tells them so well. In a recent article in The Irish Times (Read HERE) Evie explains how she was ‘inspired by an American anthropologist, WY Evans Wentz, who came to Ireland in the early 1900s to complete his thesis on the Celtic Fairy Faith’ to gather her thoughts and write what we now know as her gorgeous new book The Story Collector.
Just published today (June 14th 2018) by Urbane Publications I am so thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour and to be part of Evie’s story with my review…..AND THERE’S MORE….
I have three signed copies for three very lucky winners with an international giveaway on TWITTER… details below!!
So, without further ado, please join me with an OVERVIEW of The Story Collector, my REVIEW, the fabulous GIVEAWAY, further details of the BLOG TOUR and some news of a PARTY!!!
About the Book:
Thornwood Village, 1910. Anna, a young farm girl, volunteers to help an intriguing American visitor, Harold Griffin-Krauss, translate ‘fairy stories’ from Irish to English. But all is not as it seems and Anna soon finds herself at the heart of a mystery that threatens the future of her community and her very way of life…..
Captivated by the land of myth, folklore and superstition, Sarah Harper finds herself walking in the footsteps of Harold and Anna one hundred years later, unearthing dark secrets that both enchant and unnerve.
The Story Collector treads the intriguing line between the everyday and the otherworldly, the seen and the unseen. With a taste for the magical in everyday life, Evie Gaughan’s latest novel is full of ordinary characters with extraordinary tales to tell.
I follow Evie Gaughan on Twitter and am always so very excited when I spot a new post. There is something about Evie’s writing that just emanates warmth, with a very positive energy jumping out of every word. I find Evie an incredibly inspirational person, so when I heard there was a new book on the way I was a tad excited. I have read and really enjoyed The Mysterious Bakery on Rue de Paris, so to find out that Evie had been signed up with Urbane publications with The Story Collector was wonderful news.
Evie forwarded me a copy of the book, beautifully packaged with a gorgeous bookmark and a beautiful handwritten message. I was immediately smitten…but there was more. When I turned the pages shadows of butterflies flitted across in front of me as their shapes were imprinted behind the written words. I knew I had a treat in store.
The Story Collector revolves around Thornwood village in Co. Clare on the beautiful west coast of Ireland. Sarah Harper on an impulsive whim, changes her flight destinations. It’s Christmas Day and her sister is expecting her to fly into Boston from her home in New York, but Sarah takes a flight to Shannon airport instead. Sarah’s life is at a halt, with her marriage on the edge and her personal life in tatters. Unsure of where she now fits in, this out-of-character trip to Ireland may be what Sarah needs. But what Sarah was not expecting was how caught up she was to get in the stories and lives of this local rural community.
Sarah comes upon a diary of a young girl, Anna, a local girl who grew up in Thornwood, in the vicinity of the estate house of the same name. It’s 1910 and Ireland is a very different place, a place filled with mysticism and superstitions. Anna writes about the arrival of an American student, an anthropologist named Harold Griffin-Krauss, who is studying the folklore of many countries, including Ireland.
Anna grew up surrounded by stories centred around the divilment of the fairy folk. Many truly believed in their existence, many were afraid to speak of them. There were folk who claimed to have witnessed otherworldly events and there were also of course the cynics. Anna believed and with the arrival of ‘The American’, Anna jumped at the opportunity to be his assistant. They soon became a recognisable pair cycling around the village, gathering up stories and travelling to places where the fairyfolk have been witnessed. But as Sarah continues to read Anna’s diary she soon discovers a darker side to Anna’s story.
Sarah, in reading Anna’s words, becomes intrigued by the history of the village. She soon learns of the Irish fascination with the Seanachaí (Story Teller), the Piseogs (superstitions), the Fairies and The Other World. She becomes immersed in the lives of Anna and Harold, a tale that enraptures her completely. Will Sarah find the peace she is craving? Will Ireland whisper in her ear and bring her the tranquility and hope that she has so far been denied?
Evie Gaughan has written an enthralling tale, filled with fabulous references to an Ireland of old, an Ireland that once held strong beliefs in the existence of The Good People, an Ireland that moved at a much slower pace, an Ireland that was filled with superstition and mysticism.
The Story Collector is a very charming book that will enchant you and capture your heart. I grew up always aware of Fairy Forts and such like and there are plenty of piseogs that I still believe in. Reading through this book has reopened my eyes to the magic of this very special country that I oft-times take for granted.
I highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Story Collector (also check out the giveaway below) and find escape between it’s butterfly enhanced pages.
Captivating. Intriguing. Romantic. Pure magic!
Purchase Link ~ The Story Collector
THREE BOOK GIVEAWAY
HOW TO ENTER
Head over to my Twitter page www.twitter.com/swirlandthread
2. Like & RT pinned post
3. Tag a friend or five
This is a flash giveaway with winners announced on Friday 15th June 2018
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!
About Evie Gaughan:
Evie Gaughan is a novelist and lives in the medieval city of Galway, on the West Coast of Ireland. Her books are an eclectic mix of genres, incorporating her love of history, folklore and finding magic in the everyday.
She graduated from the Universite de Paul Sabatier, Toulouse with a marketing diploma in 1996 and spent the next few years working abroad and discovering that she didn’t like marketing one bit. Evie abandoned the corporate world to follow her dream of becoming a writer and an artist.
Since then, she has written two novels, The Heirloom and The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris, and contributes articles to The Irish Times and Women Writers, Women’s Books.
Her third novel, The Story Collector, is published by Urbane.
Website ~ https://eviegaughan.com/
Twitter ~ @evgaughan