#500 ~ Some Kind of Fairy Tale

Cover of Some Kind of Fairy Tale
Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce

Published by: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Published on: July 10, 2012

Page Count: 320

Genre: Fiction

My Reading Format: Audiobook sent to me by the publisher for consideration

Audiobook Published by: Blackstone Audio

Narrator: John Lee

Audiobook Length: 10 hours

Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook, and Audiobook

My Review

Tara Martin had been missing since she was a teenager. Presumed dead, her parents and her brother Peter moved on with their lives as best as they could. Peter is married with a family of four, his oldest daughter a teenager herself. When Tara shows up on her parents’ front step unannounced one Christmas morning, it should be cause for celebration, but Peter is leery. He leaves his family that Christmas Day and drives to meet her alone. He does not understand why she simply left them without another word. When she tries to fill in the blanks of those missing years, Peter is suspicious. He doesn’t believe her story. That she doesn’t look a day older than she did the day she vanished doesn’t help matters. While his parents are simply happy to have her home again, Peter wants the truth from Tara. What he couldn’t know is that he’s no prepared for the truth than anyone else.

Some Kind of Fairy Tale took me well out of my comfort zone. While this appears to be the story of a young woman who disappears, just where she goes and what happens while she is there is as hard for me to accept and even believe as it is for Peter. I wanted to be happy for Tara’s return, but I found myself siding with Peter. I kept her at arm’s length for much of the novel. Her story seemed blatantly false and I wanted to know what could have been so awful that she would make that up. It isn’t until she begins to visit the psychiatrist that I gave her story more credence. Its connection to Peter’s family and his children could not be dismissed.

As I have come to expect, John Lee did a fantastic job as narrator. The major characters all had a distinct voice and his tone and pacing matched the story to perfection. I especially liked the way his narration never took sides. It’s a hard quality to describe, but I never once felt as though the way he told the story impacted my perception.

Graham Joyce is a gifted writer who I might not have otherwise discovered had it not been for audiobooks. Living in a place like Tara and Peter, it isn’t hard to imagine that there is a connection between the day to day world and something else. Some Kind of Fairy Tale is a reminder that fairy tales were not invented by Disney and that their roots are far darker than anything you might think to read your children before bed. Pick up this book if you want a smart, challenging read. This novel is a sure bet when narrated by John Lee.


  • At 2013.02.13 09:14, Jenn Lawrence (@jennbookshelves) said:

    So glad you enjoyed this one!

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  • At 2013.02.13 12:44, Bob said:

    I find this review fascinating because it highlights our differences as readers and how that can affect perception. I actually accepted Tara pretty early and was frustrated that people didn’t take her seriously. Coming from a more of a Fantasy background, so much Fantasy is about is accepting the unacceptable, and scoffing at those who don’t. This is one of the great things about Graham Joyce. He writes these novels where magic and reality battle and it’s up to the reader to pick a side.

    Also, I loved John Lee’s narration, and I think it says a lot, because personally I felt a women should have narrated this novel but he still pulls it off wonderfully. I just listened to a novel which he reads and it takes place in America and all the characters are American, so I was surprised he was cast, but again, he was brilliant.

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    • At 2013.02.13 16:56, Literate Housewife said:

      I wish we could sit down and have a discussion about this book in person. It would be very interesting for each of us to pinpoint why we reacted the way we did to Tara’s story. What is a good thing is that while we both took different approaches, we both enjoyed it. That makes Graham Joyce a great author. I love that.

      I didn’t have an issue With a male narrator here. There was enough of the Story from Peter’s perspective That I didn’t give it another thought. BUT, if John Lee can narrate a novel set in America, then Simon Vance can narrate the new Nick Trout novel! 🙂

    • At 2013.03.09 23:58, Becca said:

      Looks like this could be a good book! Thanks for explaining that it could take a while to get into. Good review.

      • At 2013.03.16 01:09, Susan said:

        I have this book on my bookshelf, waiting for Carl’s Once Upon a time challenge (due to start next week, for spring. I have read a few Joyce books and really enjoy him, so I am looking forward to him. I enjoyed your review of the audio book, and how you think the faery tale and real world are put together in this novel. It sounds interesting and dark, and Joyce does have a way with fantasy, that makes it seem it could be real. I am looking forward to reading this even more now 🙂

        (Required, will not be published)

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