The Faeries of Fable Island

Alicia Cahalane Lewis

Publisher: Tattered Script Publishing Pages: 154 Price: (paperback) $17.00 ISBN: 9781737521969 Reviewed: May, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

This fantasy novel from Alicia Cahalane Lewis is a deeply philosophical and contemplative reimagining of Scottish novelist J. M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan narrative.

In 2024, Megan Elida Fay, 16, lives in a dilapidated house on the Maine coast with her aunt. The remote stretch of coastline is a tourist hotspot, as it has been rumored for decades to be the place where believers can sometimes see an imaginary island, allegedly inhabited by Peter Pan himself. Meg’s family has been believers for generations; her great-great-grandmother (named Wendy Darling) apparently visited the island, which featured golden rainbows and fields of transparent poppies. Meg’s mother was a believer as well, but when she died after a battle with cancer, and Meg’s alcoholic father abandoned her, she feels “trapped in a story someone else wrote for [her].”

With the weight of her family’s generational secrets and expectations (as well as her still unprocessed grief) weighing heavily on her, Meg must decide between solving the mystery of the island or walking away from it all to begin her own story.

One of the novel’s strengths is its audacious unpredictability; the narrative doesn’t go where readers will expect it to. There’s also an impressive focus on rich, immersive description, as well as thematically powerful statements: “I look around the room crowded with fading antique books, dark dusty Victorian furniture, chipped glass vases, an umbrella stand filled with rotting silk umbrellas, a carriage wheel, a green parrot feather under glass, and a couple of dried moth carcasses pinned to a board. I wheeze, “We’re collectors of dead things…”

Readers expecting a whimsical story about fairies and the faerie realm will be disappointed. This is a much deeper novel, exploring complex issues like children struggling with loss, dealing with grief, environmental stewardship, the power of belief, and the magic created by embracing wonder.

Deep readers will find this novel unconventional, perceptive, and profoundly moving.

Also available as an ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Lake Frederick, Virginia
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