- Paperback: 282 pages
- Publisher: Indigo Dreams Publishing (1 July 2011)
- Language English
- ISBN-10: 1907401466
- ISBN-13: 978-1907401466
Synopsis from Amazon:
Fable Mitchell is born undera roof of stars in a Kentish plum orchard, and her early childhood is spent ina house called Starlight where she lives with her mother Jasmine and Gangan theWise Woman. However, her life is not destined to remain like a fairytale. Whenshe is ten, she is abducted by her estranged father Derek, now a vicar, andtaken to live in his austere vicarage at Isbourne on the banks of the RiverAvon. Fable is unable to escape. When she is sixteen, she falls in love withTobias Latimer but he dies in mysterious circumstances and Fable s happiness isonce again snatched away from her. She tries to rebuild her life and marriesTony Lucas because she thinks the omens are right. Fable soon realises he isabusive and controlling, but is trapped because she fears losing contact withher daughter. Nearing her 40th birthday, Fable hears Gangan the Wise Woman svoice telling her to be ready magic happens. This is certainly true, but doesFable have the necessary courage to finally seize her chance of lastinghappiness?
Fable’s journey is related from the perspective of presentday and also from reflection of her childhood and up to the time when she meetshusband Tony and her life from that time.
The first time we meet Fable, her life is portrayed throughfamily life with husband Tony and daughter Cara. Fable is controlled totally by the emotionally unavailable and dominating Tony……… from where she has to sit in the front room to what she is allowed to dothroughout her day. It is not longbefore we see the spark of hope ignite when she ‘hears’ Gangan’s voice. Remembering her earlier childhood, Fableimmediately starts to defy Tony by preparing herself to welcome the WinterSolstice sun but unfortunately, he returns to the home and catches her in theback garden. Cara also treats hermother in the same way. Toby and Carahave meetings about Fable where they decide what she can and can’t do. Cara treats her with exactly the samedisdain.
We experience life before Fable’s birth and early childhoodwhile living with her mother and wise woman Gangan. From Gangan she learns about nature, the seasons turning on thewheel and how we are all connected – Gangan is her stability. Her gypsy mother Jasmine and Gangan also sharethe home with Peggy. Peggy is spitefuland out for revenge and there lies her motivation for turning Fable’s lifeupside down.
Fable’s life from the age of 10 after being abducted byDerek (her father) is the polar opposite from the love and belonging sheexperiences with Jasmine and Gangan. Her father’s housekeeper and her son are against Fable and make lifedifficult for her. Fable is defiant inthis household. It is not until themysterious death of first love Tobias and further trauma that she loses her wayand stumbles a long way from her path.
Fable begins to find herself when she joins a creativewriting course at the library. It isfrom this point that subtle changes start to take place.
Sue Johnson captures a child’s perception beautifully. I think we tend to forget that an adult’sperspective of life is totally different! Reading about Fable’s early life with her first day at school andrelating to others brought back a lot of my own childhood memories! I loved the way the author writes about howwords ‘taste’ to Fable for example ‘The word assembly tasted to me of crumblyginger biscuits.’ It is a very sensualbook in this respect.
The intimacy between Fable and Tobias is portrayed as sacredand special. The association of colourswith the experience is very beautiful. This scene and the re-telling of Gangan’s calls to the heart.
I was totally surprised at the character who is a lynch pinin the turning of the wheel. I had nosuspicions that this character was already playing a part in the changes orwould be the person to make things happen.
It is very fitting that the ending should begin at the beginning. I was hooked by the promise and hope of whatwas a possibility in Fable’s future.
I loved the comparisons throughout the story. The figurative language is different, forexample ‘The scent of the fruit was intoxicating and the plums were burstingtheir skins showing glossy yellow fruit underneath like a slashed Elizabethansilk doublet’. How unusual!
Fable’s Fortune is a tale of one woman’s journey throughchildhood, love, family, heartache and loss to reach the start of the path thatshe was destined to tread. Sheexperiences (on a psychological level) all the phases of the moon and thefluctuations of the cycles. For me, the moral of Fable’s Fortune is tolisten to your intuition because it is your guide and will never lead you on afalse path. Listen to that inner voiceand your metaphorical feet will be walking one of the paths that will lead youto where you should be going.
AlthoughFable’s journey is not new for many women around the world or the re-telling ofit ………… the unique way the author has written it, the language she uses andtaking into account the magical element, these things set it apart from similarstories I have read. For this reason Iam giving Fable’s Fortune my highest rating.
Sue Johnson is a showcased author on the exciting innovativeauthor/reader project at Loveahappyending. I am honoured to be one of Sue’sAssociate Readers.
*Disclaimer – I have received no monetary compensationfor providing this review and my opinion is honest and my own*
You can find out more about Sue Johnson and her writingprojects at her website ‘The Writer’s Toolkit’. Sue is also on Twitter and Facebook.