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It is 1917, and while war wages across Europe, in the heart of London, there is

a place of hope and enchantment.

The Emporium sells toys that capture the imagination of children and adults alike: patchwork dogs that seem alive, toy boxes that are bigger on the inside, soldiers that can fight battles of their own. Into this family business comes young Cathy Wray, running away from a shameful past. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own.

But Cathy is about to discover that the Emporium has secrets of its own…

Reviews

5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Debra Found

A Magical Book in a Magical Emporium

This is a magical story about a magical place.

The Emporium sits in a quiet alleyway in London. It opens on the night of the first frost and closes at the flowering of the first snowdrop. Inside is a magical toyshop like no other. The building doesn't seem quite big enough to contain the many aisles and floors that exist on the inside. The toys are just a little bit more special and magical than real toys.  Papa Jack rules over the Emporium with his two sons, Kaspar & Emil. All three work away bringing new toys to the shop for the opening night. To this place comes Cathy as a young 16 year old. She has a secret as the Emporium has secrets.

I loved this story. I fell in love with the Emporium. The idea of toys which are a little bit more alive than ordinary toys. Sirius the patchwork dog who is to all intents and purposes like a real dog. The patchwork rabbits who eat up scraps of material and produce their own baby patchwork rabbits. A gondola which floats high above the shop floor surrounded by flying Pegasus, the toy soldiers..........the list is endless. It was wonderful to create this place from the book descriptions and my own imagination. I imagine each person's view of the Emporium is slightly different but each one as magical as the rest.

In this setting are very real people. Papa Jack who underwent terrible punishment as a young man who was finally able to return from Siberia to claim his young sons. Kaspar & Emil so gifted in their own ways but Kaspar goading his little brother & Emil feeling so insecure. Add pretty Cathy into the mix and there are bound to be divisions.

We follow the story of the family Godman and the Emporium from the early 1900s into the first world war. Kaspar leaves the Emporium to fight on the battlefields and returns a different man as they all did. Will life inside the Emporium be the same?

As I read through this book I felt the same sort of imagination and magic as when I read "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern. It is that clever juxtapositioning of the real world and the slightly magical one.

As well as building a wonderful setting there is a good plot to this story. The plot is solid & builds up throughout the book to an excellent conclusion. I hadn't seen the conclusion coming but it worked well within the book. I do like a satisfying ending.

So throw off your preconceptions of reality & settle into a slightly magical world where much is just a little bit different.

I shall be seeking out other books by this author.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

 
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