The Story Collector is set in an Irish village in two time zones, a hundred years apart. On a last-minute whim, Sarah Harper has boarded a plane from America to Ireland rather than face her family after the break up of her marriage. Arriving with no place to stay she soon finds the kindness of strangers providing her with accommodation and companionship. And then she finds a diary written by Anna in 1910. Between sketching and drowning her sorrows in drink, Sarah follows the young woman’s life story page by page.
Anna works hard helping her parents on their small farm while admiring from afar the wealthy Anglo-Irish twins in Thornwood House. Her everyday life becomes more interesting when Harold Griffin-Krauss, an American academic, arrives in the district. Investigating Irish folklore for his book. Anna is employed to translate the tales told to him, from Irish into English. They soon become good companions, but she is unsure whether to admit her deepest secret to him.
Sarah is also intrigued by the stories of fairies and the beautiful setting. As an artist she appreciates the countryside, so well described by Evie Gaughan. There is a touch of magic but also a feeling of sadness and menace. Both Sarah and Anna have suffered loss, but both will finally have to make new beginnings. This lovely novel is a great pleasure to read and definitely a page-turner.
The Story Collector is available on Amazon UK