THE HIDDEN PEOPLE Away with the fairies
released OUT NOW! 384 pages | Hardback/ebook Author alison littlewood Publisher Jo Fletcher Books
Think fairytales are all about Disney princesses and true love’s kisses? Think again. Alison Littlewood’s creepy new novel harks back to a time when fairytales were terrifying. Here, there’s nothing good about “the good folk”, and even telling stories about them can have deadly consequences.
Narrator Albie Mirrals is an upright London gentleman who scoffs at superstition… until his cousin is killed by fairy-fearing villagers. Determined to repair the damage to her memory, he travels to her hometown to investigate. Once there, though, his rational worldview starts to wobble. Could the villagers be right? Was Lizzie a changeling? Or is there something even nastier going on?
Littlewood expertly weaves themes of mythology and misogyny into a psychological page-turner that feels both familiar and fresh. It doesn’t take much effort to spot its literary influences (one character even pulls out a copy of Wuthering Heights!) but there’s an undeniably modern edge to the storytelling.
Hypnotic and intelligent, with buckets of atmosphere, this is a fairytale so dark that no amount of cheery singing woodland creatures could magic up a happy ending. Sarah Dobbs
Littlewood cites Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1922 book The Coming Of The Fairies as one of her influences.