The Story Keeper, by Anna Mazzola
The stark, brooding beauty of Skye looms over The Story Keeper, setting the tone for an atmospheric and dark tale, where the line between reality and superstition is tantalisingly blurred.
In 1857 Audrey Hart arrives on the island; ostensibly to help collect the folk and fairy tales of the highland communities, but also to escape a story of her own and learn more about her mother, who died long ago on the island. But soon after she arrives, she discovers the body of a young girl washed up on the beach.
The pages keep on turning, as all the wonderful, historical detail is wrapped up in a clever and satisfying whodunnit. But my favourite aspect of the book was discovering, alongside Audrey, the tales and superstitions that form the background of so much of our culture. Mazzola references the real-life contemporaries to the fictional Audrey; the Brothers Grimm. The twisted tales uncovered in The Story Keeper are the dark roots of the fairy stories we still tell our children now. Fascinating.