The Faerie Tree, by Jane Cable

Publisher: Troubador Publishing / Matador | Version: Kindle

I admit I almost didn’t download this one – why? I was guilty of judging a book purely by its Netgalley cover. Yes, yes, shame on me.

The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover – this is an edgy, pacey story.

It was only when Jane Cable, the author, contacted me via Twitter to ask if I’d seen her book and would I like to review it. So I gave it another look, and you know what, I’m so glad I did.

I’m sorry, Jane, I still don’t like the cover – in my humble opinion, it doesn’t reflect the edgy story you’ve written. Your writing is much punchier and pacey than I’d have expected, and writing has to be good to keep my short attention span happy!


Enough about the cover already, let’s get to the story:

Love, relationships, grief, depression, hope. The Faerie Tree covers it all, yet it’s not all doom and gloom. Nor was it overly soppy either. Nothing dwells too long and the pace makes it a very quick read.

Izzie (Isobel O’Briain) is a 44 year recently widowed lady, who lives with her headstrong daughter, Claire. She is grief stricken, trying to face life again without her husband, Connor.

During a visit to into town she unexpectedly bumps into a tramp and by doing so, she recognises a face she hasn’t seen for over twenty years. Despite his dishevelled appearance, Izzie could swear it was Robin Vale, someone she was close to but lost touch with under very difficult circumstances following the death of his mother.

Izzie can’t stop thinking about their old life and tries to track him down. She finds him, but he’s in hospital. Being ill, he can’t be discharged back on the streets and needs to stay somewhere to recuperate. So, she invites him to stay with her and Claire until he can sort things out for himself.

During his stay, it becomes clear that time has passed differently for both of them. Their lives have each taken different paths, yet both of them are filled with their own grief and are dealing with it in their separate ways. In fact, each recollects a different memory of their own time together – prompting them to ask themselves: exactly how close were they all those years ago?

In alternating chapters, Izzie and Robin tell their story from their own point of view. They battle for the truth, each believing they are to blame and questioning their state of mind, whilst neither is confiding in each other. Forever wondering if they can move on from their past – is it something that will always haunt them, or can they pick up where they left off, wherever that may be?

faerie tree

Example of a faerie tree, where wishes are made and traditions are followed.

The only real constant in the entire story is a Faerie Tree with its roots still standing firm, its many branched arms holding everyone’s secrets. For many years people have visited it to make their wishes and for kids to write letters to the little folk who supposedly inhabit it.

Following a wish Robin and Izzie made in 1986, he still holds respect for it all these years later with his quiet pagan beliefs. But what actually happened that day? You don’t know until near the end whose memory will unlock the true version of events and what the future holds for them both.

For anyone wondering whether a book that mentions Paganism will appeal, never fear; the presence of ‘The Faerie Tree’ and its associations are not the main theme, so the story has a much wider audience.

I do love a story that surprises me and this certainly did. I also loved Jane Cable’s writing style. If it wasn’t for a couple of personal ‘irritations’ I would have rated it five stars (I so wanted to):

  1. I just can’t see a teenager who has recently lost their dad being so content with moving a tramp into their house (especially if the tramp’s an old flame of their mother’s).
  2. And, despite Izzie’s obvious alcohol issues, you’d think if Robin cared enough he wouldn’t buy / serve a bottle of wine to accompany every meal, even if it is at her request.

Like I said, irritations really. Just ignore me. I’m a miserable old cynic and analyse everything  x

Still highly recommended.

Rating: 4/5

(My thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review, and to the author for bringing it to my attention.)

You can follow the author on Twitter:  @JaneCable