From prize-winning author Su Bristow comes a fascinating coming-of-age novel about magic and the choices that define future generations.
It’s 1959. To eight-year-old Felicity—who lives on a dying farm in England—the fairies in the woods have much more to offer than the people in her everyday life. As she becomes more rooted in their world, she learns that their magic is far from safe. Their queen, Elfrida, offers Felicity a gift. But fairy bargains are never what they seem.
As an adult, Felicity leaves for university. Unfortunately, books are not her only company at school: Elfrida and Hobb—the queen’s constant companions—wield the ability to appear at any time, causing havoc in her new friendships and love life. Desperate, Felicity finally begins to explore the true nature of the Fair Folk and their magic. Her ally, the folklorist Professor Edgerley, asks, ‘What do they want from you?’ The answer lies in the distant past, and in the secrets of her own family.
As the consequences of the “gift” play out, Felicity must draw on her courage to confront Elfrida, and make the right choice. Interwoven with traditional stories and striking characters, The Fair Folk poses questions about how we care for our children, our land, and our love-hate relationship with what we desire most.
Su Bristow won the Exeter Novel Prize for Sealskin in 2013. A consultant medical herbalist by day, she is also the author of several short stories, as well as two books on herbal medicine and the co-author of two on relationship skills.