Former Olympic-class runner Gillian Shaw, in the wake of a career-destroying injury, seeks solitude and solace and rents Robin Cottage on the grounds of Cairdonan, the isolated Scottish estate of eccentric artist Dame Juliana Flagg. What peace she’s scraped together crumbled quickly when, on a tramp through the wooded grounds, Gillian unknowingly crosses a border between her reality and the realm of the fae folk. Before she realizes it, Gillian is swept up in a series of events that have haunted Dame Juliana’s family since the end of World War I when Juliana’s uncle, then a young man, disappeared without a trace while he and his sisters were playing a prank on their own uncle—an eccentric who believed in faeries. Is the disturbed and confused young man who followed Gillian back from the fae realm that long-lost uncle? Or is he someone nearer and dearer to Dame Juliana—her own adopted son, who also disappeared while still a toddler?
The second book in Warrington’s “Aetherial Tales” series, Midsummer Night can nevertheless be read as a stand-alone. Realistically troubled characters, lush descriptions of the Scottish countryside, and a superbly told story balance the fantastic elements to firmly ground this modern-day fairy tale.