“Do you remember when you believed in magic?”
If this tagline makes your heart warm, then read this book, it really won’t disappoint you.
You know when a book makes you warm and happy, and it goes straight into your heart and you know it’s never going to leave you, and every time you remember it it just makes you want to pick it all up and read it again. You want to be in the book, live it? Well, that very rarely happens to me, but this book does. I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want to go back to real life.
The story is set in 1917, with Cathy, a teenager who finds herself pregnant and being forced to go along with her parents plans to deal with her ‘shame’. She decides to take matters into her own hands though when she spots a job article in a paper looking for staff and asking “are you lost, are you afraid, are you a child at heart?” – well Cathy really is, and runs away to Papa Jack’s Emporium.
We then enter an absolutely magical, beautiful world – one of toy soldiers, paper trees, runnerless rocking horses, and oh the dog – who could every forget about the dog? The emporium opens every year on the day of the first frost and closes again when the first snowdrop is found. In the time between Papa Jack and his sons Kasper and Emil create the magical toys…..
I wanted this story just to stay happy and wonderful and heartwarming but it doesn’t. There is after all a war on, and not just between Kasper and Emil’s toy soldiers, this tale gets very dark, and we are torn apart with love and loyalty for each character.
I’m not going any further into the story, but it’s beautiful – it’s heartbreaking, it’s magical and just amazing. Robert Dinsdale writes so beautifully – I just can’t put into words how wonderful this book is – it will live with me forever, and if this is the last book I ever read then I can’t think of a better book to end on.
My thanks to Netgalley and Ebury Publishing