Kate McDaid lives and works in Dublin. She's just had her 26th birthday, and with that comes a letter stating that she's the sole benefactor to her great-great-great-grand aunt's will. But there's a catch: Kate has to publish seven poems called The Seven Steps in order to inherit the estate. The letters claim to be a call from the fairies for the modern world to recognize them again and be kind to the natural world we've abused and neglected.
No big deal, right? At first they seem pretty harmless. Kate puts the first poem on an abandoned web page, but it's quickly discovered and word spreads around Ireland and the world about the Seven Steps. Kate is called a witch, a spiritual guru, the answer to everyone's prayers. Her life becomes one of hiding out in her apartment, being stalked by paparazzi, and watching her parents go on every talk show on TV to talk about the Seven Steps. Her parents are a kick--they're embracing their newfound fame and even hawking self-tanning lotions (even if they do turn you orange).
But is there a darker spin to the Seven Steps? And what of the original Kate McDaid, the one called the Red Hag? What starts out as an innocent plea from the fairies to be kind to nature and each other takes an ominous turn the closer Kate gets to publishing the seventh letter. With so many people waiting breathlessly for a life changing seventh letter, what will Kate do?
This was a fun and very different kind of read. It was refreshing to read a "chick-lit" story set in Ireland and involving the mythology of fairies and village tales of magic and mystery. A great mix of contemporary life and the underlying ribbon of culture that keeps us all tied together.
Those of you who love anything Irish will enjoy this novel. I fondly remember spending 10 days in Ireland in 2005 and can't wait to go back, sit in a pub, and relax a bit with a pint of cider. Just don't get your Disney fairies confused with the Irish fairies.
Rating: 7/10 for a completely different and refreshing chick-lit novel that blends cultural mythology with contemporary social media and our obsession with the latest "fad".
Available in paperback and e-book.