Author: Robert Dinsdale
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Publication Date: 8 February 2018
Genre: Fantasy/Magical Realism
Source: ARC via NetGalley
The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter. It is the same every year. Across the city, when children wake to see ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice crackling underfoot, the whispers begin: the Emporium is open!
It is 1917, and London has spent years in the shadow of the First World War. In the heart of Mayfair, though, there is a place of hope. A place where children’s dreams can come true, where the impossible becomes possible – that place is Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium. For years Papa Jack has created and sold his famous magical toys: hobby horses, patchwork dogs and bears that seem alive, toy boxes bigger on the inside than out, ‘instant trees’ that sprout from boxes, tin soldiers that can fight battles on their own. Now his sons, Kaspar and Emil, are just old enough to join the family trade. Into this family comes a young Cathy Wray – homeless and vulnerable. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own. But Cathy is about to discover that while all toy shops are places of wonder, only one is truly magical... (Goodreads Synopsis)
The Toy Makers is a delightful tale that is sure to delight fans of magical realism. The story and characters caught my attention right from the first page, and I instantly found myself swept into the world of the Emporium and its owners. I did find the transition from the first part of the story to the second a little jarring. However, once the second part got going, I was soon caught up in the action once more. Overall, this a wonderful read to while away a few winter hours and allow yourself to believe in magic once more, and I would give it a solid 4-4.5 stars.