A grieving husband’s eyes are opened to the existence of fairies.
Thom Elder’s wife, Caitlin, is dead, killed in a truck crash. He can’t bring himself to accept that she’s gone for good. In fact, he awoke once convinced that he’d heard her saying his name. Four months after her death, he is still reminded of and haunted by his wife among the surroundings at Caitlin’s ancestral family home, Hackberry Farm. As he sits in the garden with Annie, he catches a glimpse of what looks like a hummingbird—but his daughter informs him that it’s a fairy named Pinky who “knows Mommy.” Seizing on the chance to reconnect with his wife, Thom starts digging for more information on fairies in the hopes that they can help him. His wife’s grandmother Tara, recently returned to the farm, tells him that Caitlin and Annie have fairy blood inherited from Tara’s own grandmother and that, as a result, fairies are drawn to them. She helps Thom meet Pinky and other fairies, including their queen. But when a visit to the fairies ends in tragedy, Thom’s fascination turns into fury; he becomes determined to punish the fairies for their part in events. Darnell seems to shape the story as an allegorical exploration of life and death, but the heavy-handed symbolism—such as the hunter who suffers heart pains every time he kills something—is often more distracting than revelatory. The apparently random mixing of past and present tense adds another level of confusion. Though increasing the depths of most characters, flashbacks tend to be long and abruptly introduced, making it difficult to follow the main storyline. The result is a messy, overly complex tale that doesn’t seem to know what it’s trying to say.
A muddled attempt at allegory that awkwardly straddles philosophy and entertainment.