The Little People

by MacDonald Harris. New York: William Morrow & Co., 1986.

From the Jacket:

When the young American scholar Bonner Foley comes to visit his friends the Boswins in their English country house, he hopes only to recuperate from a recent bout of mental illness. But he soon becomes bewitched by the landscape of rural Waldshire, with its prehistoric sites and its mysterious standing stones. Exploring in the nearby forest, to his delight he encounters a race of creatures who seem to come out of the remotest past and yet are as solid and real as the objects of his daily existence. The Little People, who greet him as a friend, are loving and kind, full of music, and only slightly malicious. He joins them and becomes a leader in their mischievous games. But are they really there or only in his imagination? Lovejoy the therapist tells Bonner that the figures are illusory and will vanish if looked at steadily. But by now his happiness depends in his belief in their existence.

Bonner's host James, a retired American businessman, is engaged in his own struggle with the world of the occult. And Bonner himself is deeply involved with James's daughters, the virginal Sylvie, who becomes his wife, and the sensual Stasha. Before the drama plays itself out, it involves a theft of honey, a ritual immolation, and a bizarre accidental death that is also a crime. Comic, ironic, and tragic by turns, this novel of Americans in Britain examines the borderline between mental illness and supernatural experience.

Critical Acclaim for MacDonald Harris and The Little People

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