The Stolen Ones by Ida Linehan Young

Yearning to discover her roots, Emma Carter of Boston, Massachusetts is on a quest to discover her biological family using an online DNA service when a pandemic strikes claiming Emma as one of its earliest victims.  Emma’s daughter Darlene and granddaughter Tiffany are now left to navigate the craziness that plays out before them while trying to deal with the sudden and tragic loss of the matriarch of their small family of two. 

“The Stolen Ones is Ida Linehan Young’s fourth novel complementing three previous works of historical fiction that were issued the Silver Medal for Best Series – Fiction by the Independent Publisher Book Awards.”

However, Emma’s DNA search has uncovered a wealth of information with a direct connection to ancestors in Newfoundland.  In an attempt to complete her mother’s final work of uncovering the mysteries of the past, Darlene and Tiffany travel to the island province in search of answers.  Little do they know that they would be so warmly welcomed by Aunt Ammie and her entire kin and that Newfoundland would begin to feel like home.  As Darlene pours through the century-old journals left by her ancestor’s Doctors Peter and Mary Nolan, she begins to form a strong emotional bond with her long-lost relatives and begins to unravel other mysteries yet to be discovered.  The Stolen Ones by Ida Linehan Young is a modern-day story of love and loss, heartbreak and healing and provides proof that knowing one’s roots can serve as a powerful antidote against adverse life experiences.

Darlene’s pasted smile didn’t leave her lips as she gazed around the room.  A tall man was helping an old lady from the rocking chair in the corner.  Once she straightened, he let her go, and she scuffed across the kitchen toward them.  Every eye in the room – and there were many – was fixed on them. 

I’m Ammie,” she said as she held out her hand.  “Most folks call me Aunt Ammie or Nana.”

Darlene and Tiffany moved forward to meet her.  She didn’t immediately take their hands but moved her fingers instead along Tiffany’s red hair as her eyes brimmed with tears.  In the coveted silence, Ammie lived out some long-ago memory.  Her eyes changed with the waning intensity of the recollection, and she returned to the present.  “You’re the spit of my grandmother, Mary,” she said breathlessly.  “From my earliest memories, her hair was the colour of yours.” 

Tiffany blushed. 

“There’s no mistaking, you’re our family,” Ammie said with resolution as she held their hands.  Darlene was surprised by the strength of her grip.  She pulled each of them to her and hugged them.

The Stolen Ones is Ida Linehan Young’s fourth novel complementing three previous works of historical fiction that were issued the Silver Medal for Best Series – Fiction by the Independent Publisher Book Awards.  Being Mary Ro (2018), The Promise (2019), and The Liars (2020) chronicle the 19th-century lives of the fictional characters of John’s Pond and North Harbour.  Inspired by a curiosity of the past instilled by her grandparents, this latest piece of fiction by Linehan Young continues to tell the historical tale of Mary and Peter Nolan through the lens of a modern-day story.  The author does a superb job at crafting a tale that begins in modern-day Boston and then seamlessly moves back and forth from the present day to that of John’s Pond, 1878.  Readers will delight in the authenticity of the story and its main characters Darlene, Tiffany and Aunt Ammie and will likewise be inspired by the tragedy and triumphs of the ancestral Nolan family.  It is this mingling of past and present where the true story unfolds, new questions arise and old mysteries are solved.   

Having read the first three books in the Linehan Young series, I was keen to read the continuing story of Peter and Mary’s life together and really enjoyed watching their lives unfold before my very eyes.   I also appreciated the tidbits of factual information researched by the author which is detailed in the historical notes at the end of the novel.   Linehan Young’s ability to weave these facts into the fictional storyline is a testament to her love for the culture of her home province of Newfoundland and the rich art of storytelling that was passed down to her by her father and grandfather.  Though not required, I strongly suggest reading the entire series from the beginning and getting to know the wonderful characters of John’s Pond and North Harbour. Once you start, each book is sure to captivate you and propel you to finish the series. 

First and foremost, Ida Linehan Young is a grandmother to the most precious little boys, Parker and Samuel, a mother to three adult children, Sharon, Stacey, and Shawna, and a wife to Thomas. In her busy daily life, Ida works in the information technology sector of the federal government of Canada, and she volunteers her time in the community of Conception Bay South with the Kiwanis Club of Kelligrews. Ida had a fascination with writing in her high school days when she dabbled in poetry and essays. In 2012, she became serious about her writing with a story to tell, and that led to her memoir, No Turning Back: Surviving the Linehan Family Tragedy, in 2014. Having found a passion for writing and with a love of local history and lore, she published several historical fiction novels, Being Mary Ro (2018), The Promise (2019), and The Liars (2020). In June 2021, the three novels were issued the Silver Medal for Best Series—Fiction by the Independent Publisher Book Awards. With strong influences of the familial art of storytelling passed down by her father, Ed Linehan, and her maternal grandfather, Frank Power, Ida writes stories about her beloved province, Newfoundland and Labrador. She enjoys researching events of the late nineteenth century and weaving fictional characters through historical tales that complement that cultural richness and renews and regenerates interest in our storied past.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Flanker Press Ltd. (July 21 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 326 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1774570629
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1774570623

Stephanie Collins is a retired school administrator and teacher from Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. A lover of literature and an avid reader, Stephanie loves travelling, outdoor activities, and riding shotgun in her RV or on the back of a motorcycle. Stephanie enjoys writing about her travels, reviewing new titles, and is an aspiring children’s book writer. Her reviews can be found at Fireside Collections and you can follow her on Twitter @MrsCollinsNL.

2 thoughts on “The Stolen Ones by Ida Linehan Young”

  1. I read The Stolen Ones and it was great. I loved the twists of Peter and Mary’s life contrasted with the emotional turmoil of the present day Darlene and Tiffany.

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