A stolen minute between gift opening, eating, and playing with the nephew for The Stolen Child. This is a modern tale of fairies, well hobgoblins actually. It's a fascinating twist on the story of the changeling in which a hobgoblin replaces a child, and transforms himself to approximate his appearance and personality, living with his family and otherwise appropriating his life. The actually child ends up living with other hobgoblins in a strange, renegade sort of existence where he remains a child. The novel alternates back and forth between the lives of the two Henry Days - the changeling and the original. I imagine they are eventually going to intersect but the book is keeping me in suspense as to how.
What I'm enjoying most is that as there are two overlapping worlds in the story, it can also be read in two ways - one is at the level of novel alternating with fantasy - taking the two existences literally. The other is seeing the changeling myth as a way to evoke the change that happens when a child grows up. Seeing the fantasy world as one in which the child has never grown up. The changeling kids are alot like Barrie's Lost Boys (but there are girls too), the theme is similar too except the parallel worlds coexist. Just 70 pages left to go, with any luck I can finish the book in the care on the way back through Pennsylvania. I would like to personally thank the 5 people in the hotel room next door to us last night who shouted and otherwise whooped it up until 1:30 am so that I could get so much reading in rather than going to sleep. Oh, and let me just say I really made out on the gifts this year - favorites included an asparagus steamer, some favorite movies on DVD and not one but two barnes and noble cards!! Woo hoo.