2020 Longlist

The Toymakers



2020 Longlist

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…

About the Author

Robert Dinsdale was born in North Yorkshire and currently lives in Leigh-On-Sea. He is the author of three previous critically acclaimed novels: The Harrowing, Little Exiles and Gingerbread. The Toymakers is his first venture into magic.

Librarian’s Comments

To put it as succinctly as possible, The Toymakers is a terrific novel by a true master of storyteller’s art. Virtually impossible to describe without using the obvious word “magical”, it conjures up an imaginative and utterly immersive fictional universe. The story is guaranteed to send tiny toy soldiers of mind scuttling through the cavities of ones’ brain and remain there long after the lid has been closed on the book itself. The author admirably avoids the useful pitfalls that all too often are part and parcel of tales that venture deep into the realms of fantasy – and, most importantly, he manages to avoid being easily labelled and pigeon-holed. Tampere City Library, Finland


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