Faery Tale


Faery Tale by Signe PikeGuest Reviewer: Donna Smith

Full Title: Faery Tale: One Woman’s Search for Enchantment in a Modern World
Author:
Signe Pike
Publisher: Perigee Trade (2010)
Number of Pages: 295
How long it took me to read: 3 days
Where I bought this book: Barnes & Noble
ISBN: 978-0-399-53617-5

Like a Moth to a Flame

The concept of the book inspired me to want to read it: a woman grieving for her deceased father decides to search for something wondrous and unexplainable in life. Her quest takes her to Mexico, England, Ireland, and Scotland—countries steeped in centuries of history and mythical stories. I understand how disorienting it is to lose a parent. You want to discover things that point to more than what you can physically feel and see. I also know what it’s like to travel after one of them passes. My trip was a family vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina where we could rest, enjoy the beauty of the area, and reminisce. Knowing what she must have gone through, I’m curious to see how Pike’s journey turned out.

Favorite Five

I propose that the top 5 quotes from this book are:

5. “In the last few centuries, the archeological community has made some fairly astonishing discoveries, many of which point to the alarming number of myths and legends that possess at least a thread of historical basis.” (p.10)

4. “ ‘Yes. ‘Tween places occur where two things overlap and become, for a moment, neither one thing nor the other,’ she explained. ‘Faeries love anything ‘tween. There are ‘tween times, too—between night and day, between morning and afternoon.’ ” (p.44)

3. “I thought a moment. ‘My motive is…I suppose…to help people believe in magic again.’ ” (p.125)

2. “When the veil begins to draw back, it changes everything.” (p.131)

…and my pick for the No.1 quote is…

1. “Will you step across the threshold with me? Here, in Glastonbury, where the veil between the worlds is thin. From here, everything will change, and me, I will change with it. If you want to believe, I will tell you everything, just how it happened to me.” (p.131)

Conversation with the Reader

While I read, I write, and as I write, I read. Here’s some of what I wrote while I read this book:

Faery Tale is an encouraging memoir radiating in hope. Leaving her hectic Manhattan lifestyle as a book editor to grieve for her deceased father, Pike travels looking for signs that faeries live. I like the mix of travelogue descriptions, regional stories, history, and personal experiences that Pike writes about. She also includes a dash of environmental consciousness, which resonates with me; we need to appreciate our natural world and make an effort to cause less destruction.”

“The things that Pike observes could either point to the existence of faeries, or a skeptic could just as easily chalk up her encounters to mere coincidence. It doesn’t matter to me. I enjoy following Pike on her way to enchantment.

“I remember, as a child, reading Hans Christian Andersen and not questioning the reality of mermaids, possessed red shoes, or the magical powers that could change princes into swans. Perhaps those stories were retold versions of something that lies between truth and fiction. After all, we can cross oceans by flying through the air and we can talk to people that are a continent away, so why can’t faeries also exist in our world?”

“The author isn’t the first to embark on the faery quest. She continues the hunt that W.B. Yeats started in the 1800s. He trekked through Ireland trying to uncover proof of faeries by collecting local folklore and writing about it. For me, learning about faery paths, faery forts, and faery bridges invokes the sense of wonderment that Pike strives to capture. I now look at things differently when I’m out walking. Possibly a faery left that rock, shell, or feather lying across my path. Who knows? After reading Pike’s book, I do look a little closer at the trees, pause at the rustling in the bushes, and pay more attention to the movement around my flowers. Pike’s magical search for faeries leaves me wishing her exploration lasted longer, so she could gather more evidence and prove what I secretly hope is true. Maybe I’ll set out on my own adventure to unearth the magical things that surround us.”

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