Hey everyone! Today is my day on the blog tour for The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola. I’m so grateful to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to read this one.
What the book is about…
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.
What I thought of it…
This Gothic mystery was an absolute delight to read. I immediately fell in love with the setting of Skye, with the author conjuring a perfectly gloomy picture that truly transported me. The atmosphere was practically dripping from every page.
It is not often that I am so absorbed by a book that I am never distracted by my phone or things going on around me. This one did it. Seriously, every line held my attention; I was captivated.
This is a wonderful portrait of a moment in history. Finding out in the author’s note that this book was based on real events added an extra level of awesome. Anna Mazzola has done a great job of capturing the misogyny of the era and the difficulties women would have faced.
The Story Keeper is very slow-burning (something which didn’t bother me but that other readers should bear in mind). Events in the novel unfold at a glacial pace but I enjoyed the creeping feelings of tension and the slow reveal of information.
Honestly, this book hit all of my buzzwords: an atmospheric setting, unreliable narrator, ambiguity and intrigue, and dark fairytales. If any of these things tick your boxes too, then you should definitely give The Story Keeper a try!
To find out more about this one, check out the other stops on the tour! x