Synopsis: Do you remember when you believed in magic?
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…
‘Are you lost? Are you afraid? Are you a child at heart?’
I admit,I was totally acting like a child when the book ended. I cried as if my favourite toy was snatched ,which was absurd for a number of reasons. Let me introduce you to the book …
The prologue welcomes you into the magical world of Papa jack’s Emporium,which is a toyshop that opens with the first frost and closes when the snowdrops start blooming again. The Emporium is situated at the heart of London and is unlike any other toyshop.
Soon.we met Cathy, a young woman who ran away from her home and see her seek shelter in the Emporium. Here,Cathy meets Papa Jack, his two sons Kaspar and Emil ,a woman named Martha , and other Emporium workers.
We follow Cathy-who was pregnant when we ran away from home- wondering where to go when Emporium closed for the season but Cathy’s fears soon abated as Kaspar offered to sneak her into Wendy House-a part of the Emporium. Soon Cathy gives birth and Papa Jack offers her to stay with the Emporium permanently.
Flash Forward several years,and see Kathy’s child all grown,and Kathy married to Kaspar. Things seem really well but soon they don’t as every male shophand seems to have signed up for joining to fight in the ongoing World War. Kaspar joins to fight for England as well and soon the Emporium is no more Papa Jack’s but it is Emil’s .
Will the Emporium survive under Emil ? Will Kaspar come back from the war ?
The story is mainly focused on the brothers’-Kaspar and Emil- war or the Long War .The Long War is the battle in which the winner will control the Emporium. It has themes of love,loyalty and war .The author writes candidly and beautifully about pain and darkness. I was reminded of Night Circus,while I read the read but I wasn’t bored or wanted to DNF it at any point.
Let’s talk about the things I loved and didn’t :
- I loved the setting ! Oh,it was spectacular minus the times of the Wars .
- I hated Emil and Nina’s characters . At first,he seems like an underdog, a soft boy but later ….you need to read the book because if I complete the dots it will be a massive spoiler.
I highly recommend this book! And, I promise you ,reader, you will love this story if you give it a chance. Perhaps, you should read it when your mind is free of all burdens; read it on your bed or your favourite reading nook; read it as a physical book or an ebook ,you will fall in love with the enchanting world of Emporium.
Verdict: 5 stars out of 5
Author: Connect with Author Robert Dinsdale on Goodreads.
- Publisher: Del Rey
- Publication Date: February 2018
- Paperback: 480 Pages
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Buy The Toymakers on Amazon or on BookDepository.