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Book Review: The Secret Child by Marti Healy

Even in 1855 few humans had choose between living in an enchanted forest with fairies or living with humans,  between dwelling in a forested utopia or in a nation about to be torn by the most devastating war in the history of the United States, or between becoming immortal or remaining mortal.  Cian, a fairy whose Gaelic name meant ancient, dreamed about the coming of a secret child to the hidden community of fairies who inhabited the forest known as Carolina Bay. He awaited this secret child.


“male fairy” by Christine Louise McNamara
SciFi/Fantasy Picture 35 out of 62 by Christine Louise McNamara.

Marika, a gypsy child, with mystical eyes and a magical singing voice, had been promised by her “Da” to a gypsy prince named Jacko in the midlands of South Carolina.  In the spring of 1855 when her “Gran” passed away, Marika left her Da and journeyed by train from Boston to South Carolina to meet the man who had paid Da a good price for her special gifts.   Required by “Irish Traveler’s” tradition to take a chaperone, Marika begged to take her five-year-old brother, Danny with her.  During the long train ride to Carolina, Danny fell sick, and concerned onlookers, who had not seen Marika with him, removed him to get medical treatment.  Marika got off, unseen by the crowd that surrounded her brother.  Unnoticed by anyone at the station Marika decided to reconsider her life as a child-bride before she sought her betrothed.

In South Carolina a kind, gentle group of Quakers who strongly opposed slavery, cared for Danny and and eventually Marika.   Marika imbibes the kindness of two strangers like a warm cup of milk on a sleepless night, a widow, Maggie, and a free Negro, Joseph.   Knowing that she can’t reveal herself or her betrothed as being members of the secret community of gypsies, she finds deeper refuge in the forest around the mythical Carolina Bay.

In the year that ensued Marika had many adventures in both the fairy and the human world.  At the end of the year, she had to choose between living in the human world into which she was born, or becoming an adopted child of the fairy world.  Which would she choose?  Would she choose the many friends she has made among the kind strangers in the human world, and help them battle the institution of slavery?  Or would she choose life limited to the confines of an enchanted forest living as a fairy, hidden from human eyes, never to experience the love of human companionship?

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10 replies »

  1. Thanks so much for the delightful review of my book “The Secret Child” … and you even found your own visual images – how fun! Hugs, Marti Healy, author


  2. What a wonderful review … I would never be able to review a book … never tried neither. After have owned 1450 books and all read … I have only read one book the last 12 years, just lost the urge of reading, maybe one it will come back to me .. hope so.


  3. Oooooh, how intriguing. This book looks very interesting! I’m going to pass this on to my daughter. She just loves fairies & such. ~Thanks so much!





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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