Go to Homepage   Franny Billingsley: The Folk Keeper


Crescent Blues Book ViewsAthenaeum Books (Trade Paperback), ISBN 0-689-82876-4

Day after day, 15-year-old Corinna Stonewall sits in the orphanage's dark basement and watches over her charges -- the fierce and mysterious Folk. Working undercover as a young boy named Corin (only males can be folk keepers), Corinna feeds the folk, records their meals and keeps them content enough to prevent them from killing chickens or souring the milk.

Book: franny billinglsey, the folk keeper
Corinna doesn't mind this strange trade -- by its very nature it keeps her distant from other people. They don't get close enough to notice that she never gets cold, she always knows the time, and her hair grows two inches while she sleeps -- much less her obsession with water.

Folk-keeping may be unpopular, but hardhearted Corinna doesn't mind. She finally believes she belongs somewhere and fulfills an important position. No sooner does she feel this small contentment than she receives a visitor who wants to take her away from it all. Lady Alice Merton has come to claim Corin as a member of the Merton family on behalf of Lord Merton, her dying husband. Corinna protests the claim; she cannot leave the dark cellar or her secrets will be discovered!

Book: franny billingsley, well wished
Against Corinna's wishes, Lady Merton spirits her off to the seaside village of Cliffsend. There, Corrina discovers a band of Folk running rampant, a love for the sea and a handsome seafaring lad named Finian. Corrina's connection to Cliffsend soon becomes apparent and one by one, her secrets begin to surface. Corinna finds herself face to face with her own identity and must choose her fate.

Franny Billingsley's second fantasy book (her first was a middle grade novel entitled Well Wished), The Folk Keeper weaves captivating threads of Irish selkie legends through the fascinating tale of an orphan girl's coming of age to create an original myth. Corinna Stonewall presents an intriguing persona -- one who must create a "present" to compensate for the lack of "past." Billingsley's outstanding storytelling ability, pleasant prose and unique characters will delight the reader. Much the same way Corinna keeps her Folk at bay and well-fed, this Horn Book Award-winning novel likewise keeps boredom at bay and imagination well-fed.

Lynne Remick Pisano

Click here to share your views.