Two versions of the cover art from Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce
Joyce returns with another captivating fantasy. In Some Kind of Fairy Tale, a sixteen-year-old girl, Tara, creates havoc when she goes missing. Many suspect the teen-anger's boyfriend, Ritchie, including Tara's brother, Peter.
She and her boyfriend, Ritchie, have just fought after taking a walk in the Outwoods near Leicestershire. She runs off and he leave her there which is why many suspect him.
Tara returns twenty years later at Christmas time. She is ostensibly unharmed but relates a wild tale about being kidnapped by fairies.
Tara knows however that the beings are must more dangerous than storybook fairies. She believes one of them, Hiero, has even followed her from that other world.
Though no one believes her story about the bluebells, the crossing, and the other realm, she clings to this belief. Her psychiatrist and family members believe Tara has suffered trauma or else is an imposter. The only one who does believe her is the "mad" old lady whom everyone believe is a witch.
Joyce wonderfully mixes the plausible and the implausible in this fantasy. The theories presented by Vivian (Tara's psychiatrist) seem completely reasonable. One problem. Though Tara has been missing for twenty years, she has not aged a day.
Some of the scenes are empowering. In a wonderful scene, Tara gets the upper hand over her psychiatrist who has been patronizing her.
Though some threads of the plot are resolved nicely, the ending is problematic. As a reader, I was hoping Tara would become a true heroine instead of self-sacrificing one.