The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Firstly I want to thank Net Gallery for an arc of this book. Release Date: 8th February 2018
Turning the last page of this book was like closing down the lid of my toy box for the last time. I believe we all as children had that one toy that brought our imagination to life, that lifted our spirits with magic and took us away from the cold harsh reality we live in.
The Toymakers marks my first book read of 2018, and it was a poignant one. We open with Cathy, a 16 year old girl who finds herself in an unfortunate situation of being pregnant out of wedlock and being set in the 1800s this is obviously unheard of. Her family mean to keep her locked in the house, and the baby when born given away, however Cathy finds her escape through the means of an advert for shop hands at the Emporium.
This book spans a lifetime filled with magic, tragedy and bittersweet notes of an ending. Travelling through two wars, the Emporium stood the test of time, and really speaks true of what we’ve lost over the years to change and development. I feel a pang of nostalgia for playing with my toys, setting up adventures around my room which turned into a whole world to trek over to reach safety, meeting foes and friends alike on the way.
The writing is incredibly descriptive reminiscent of Harry Potter, The Night Circus and Enid Blyton. I really enjoyed the pacing and the time skips, however my favourite scenes have to be when the toys come to life down the aisles for all those girls and boys- they were scenes of magic that were written so beautifully I cannot fault them.
I was surprised by this book. Pleasantly so. It reminds me of being a child, it reminds me of the harsh reality of growing up to face the real world. But it also brings a message that we shouldn’t forget those toys from our younger years, they are what made us, and they will always be there – in our most vulnerable moments, to make us feel at home.
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