This book came to my attention after winning The British Fantasy Award for Best Novel. The author Graham Joyce received a standing ovation at the awards ceremony last week, which marked his first public appearance since he was diagnosed with cancer earlier on in the year.
Initially I was asked to help publicise the Best Novel Award win, but after reading the press release for the book, I was intrigued and had to give this novel a read.
It tells of Tara, who after vanishing in local woodland at the age of sixteen, unexpectedly turns up on her parents’ doorstep twenty years later.
Her parents, brother and the besotted boyfriend she left behind are all rocked by her return, and the fantastical explanation she offers for her disappearance leave them all questioning the girl they love and the ordinary world they thought they knew.
I don’t want to give away too much of Tara’s story, but we are described a tale of world hidden from ours, almost without limits but with overlaps that can prove to have dangerous consequences.
I liked how the story was told from different viewpoints; from Tara’s storytelling to her family’s experiences of her reappearance. We also get to read the case notes of the psychiatrist who is hired to figure out Tara’s outlandish claims, which I thought was an interesting and intelligent addition amidst the reality of the family life and the dreamy quality of Tara’s tale.
The descriptions and the plot lines are enchanting; in a raw and truthful way with an element of magic too. I really felt for all the main characters surrounding Tara and the story as a whole was incredibly touching.
I often enjoy stories where fairy theme and everyday life collide; it makes you want to believe that possibly, some of it could happen. Intriguing and wondrous, Some Kind of fairy Tale is a heartfelt and imaginative novel that deserves every shred of its praise.