The Toymakers

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Feb 2018

Member Reviews

I thought The Toymakers was amazing.

I feel completely in love with this book, the characters, the sadness, the joy, the magic and the wonder. I was totally absorbed in this book.

The Toymakers is heart-breaking at times, especially when the First World Wat happens. The book is filled with magic and wonder at first as Cathy’s finds a place in the Emporium for herself and her baby.

Things start to get pretty dark when Kasper goes off to war. Emil, the younger brother, the brother who isn’t quite as good, finds himself having to run the Emporium and find a way to keep the magic and wonder alive and keep customers happy. He makes some bad choices and there are terrible prices to pay.

I...

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What a beautiful book! Cathy is taken into Papa Jack's emporium, a place where the lost find sanctuary and the believers and the children find magic. We are taken into the world of the emporium and then further in to the worlds that are created within it. There is magic and beauty but there is also rivalry, suffering, war, loss and love. It has everything!
This book is enchanting and captivating to read; the characters are gradually revealed as their layers are uncovered and we take them into our heart. Papa Jack's history is shared with us and we see into the changing relationship between Emil and his brother Kaspar. The toys are characters in themselves, particularly the...

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There is very little in life that makes me happier than a book that whisks me away from myself and plonks me right into the midst of a whimsical world of Magic with a Eastern European slant. Admittedly there are not many of those to the Pound.
The Toymakers is a sparkling example of the type though. It is utterly charming. The opening passages quite literally draw you in, down alleys and conduits into the most magical place I have been since my visit to Diagon Alley and a certain bespectacled Wizard.
This is not a book for children, there are some very dark notes in the overall symphony of this plot, but it is, at its very heart a book for the children in all of us. It awakens parts of us...

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This book wasn't what I was expecting. Full review to follow
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Not for me. Did not finish. No review to write. I hope others find it more to their taste.
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I was a bit disappointed when I started reading as I was instantly reminded of Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. I still suspect that this was the starting point for this story – but what a story!

It takes a special skill to create a truly magical, yet believable world. Enid Blyton and Diana Wynne Jones created truly magical worlds for me as a child – JK Rowling and Robert Dinsdale have both managed it for me as an adult.

The magic world is grounded and made more real by the petty family in-fighting. The relationships between Kaspar and Emil; the boys and their father; and the different ways they each relate to Cathy are so complex that it makes the whole world of The Emporium seem more...

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An enchanting story with magic, love and the dark moments. This book is like nothing I’ve ever read before but I was intrigued and drawn in. The characters are vivid and the story flows beautifully. I can recommend this book.

Thank you to NetGalley, Penguin Random House UK Ebury Publishing and the author for the chance to review.
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Sensing the life in everything : Magic for adults which will make, and break, your heart. Repeatedly.

Who did not, as a small child, believe their toys were alive, or, at least, HOPE they came alive when your back was turned…….and so, yes, reading the synopsis of this book, my heart quickened a little in anticipation of recovering that state of ‘magic, real magic IS the world’, that was some of the place of that child, not ‘pretending’ a toy was alive, but, even if only momentarily, believing.

The fact that this book was being compared to The Night Circus (which I adored, and catapulted me back into that place) was also appealing. The fact that it was compared also to The Miniaturist gave...

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This was my first book on the theme of magical realism, and I have to say I quite enjoyed it.  

Set in a toy shop in London, the book follows the life of Cathy, a pregnant runaway and the life she makes for herself at the Emporium with the Godman family - the father and his two sons who are competing not only for their father's affection but also Cathy's. 

The book is only 300 something pages but it seemed never-ending because 1. The story-telling is quite slow, and 2. the book spans 50 years. My only complaint about the book would be that the characters don't seem to stick.  However, the author is clearly very talented when it comes to creating imagery with words.
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I thought this book was absolutely beautiful. It was so magical that I was transported to the Emporium and could vividly picture every part of it. I loved this book, and would read it again and again!
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A beautifully magical story that will take your breath away and then break your heart. 
The Emporium is a place where magic is created in every toy, and where children and adults alike find the sheer joy of playing with these toys. 
Creating these wondrous items is the work of Papa Jack and his two sons, Emil and Kaspar. Competition is rife between the sons to create bigger and more imaginative toys, and when Cathy arrives the competition gets even more personal.
I hope that this will be one of the best selling books of the year, it really is something special.
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First of all, I'd like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

If I'm being entirely honest, my main motivation for reading this book was the fact that it was described as being similar to The Night Circus. I can see why some people have said that, but I should really know better by now than to pick up any book in the hope that it'll make me feel the same way as a totally different book did - that only ever leads to disappointment.

To be sure, there are some sparkles and flourishes of magic throughout The Toymakers, and it's certainly a very charming novel, but I was definitely expecting it to be...

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When I first requested this book on NetGalley I honestly wasn’t sure what I would think as this isn’t my “usual” kind of book. Now that I’ve finished it I cannot express how glad I am that I took a chance!

The Toymakers is probably going to stay on my list of favourite reads for a long time to come. Without giving too much away, it has quite the mix of genres that all seamlessly work together. It is a coming of age story set against a backdrop of family drama and war. It is a fantastical tale of childhood dreams and wonder, and a tale of heartbreak and loss.

After finishing the last page I was emotionally broken, I was elated and it has been a long time since any book has affected me so.
...

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I read this novel over Christmas, and it was the last book I read last year. It was the perfect finish to my 2017 reading; not quite what I expected, but something even better.

The cover and blurb for The Toymakers alludes to it being a heart-warming, whimsical Christmas tale. I expected something light-hearted, and I got that in places but a lot more as well. Don’t be fooled by the cute, festive cover – this book has hidden depths.

“Are you lost? Are you afraid? Are you a child at heart? So are we.”

Teenager Cathy is pregnant and scared. She wants to escape the control of her parents and, when she sees this advert in the newspaper, she sees an opportunity to do so. She embarks on a...

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This is a richly developed yet simple story that revolves around a family of toymakers and the fantastical worlds that they create. Its focus is on character development and how personality and circumstance contrive to stunt or blossom creativity. The book covers an extended period from pre-1st World War through to 1950's. It does this through extensive scenes and rapid transitions. The strength of this is that the reader can observe the key points at which change occurs and then jump forward to see the consequence of this. The downside is that there are gaps in knowledge that can impair the reading experience.

Characterisation is very strong and the characters each have a balanced...

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This book grabbed me immediately and I was utterly enchanted for the first half. The characters are full and flawed, which makes them likeable and real. The Emporium with all its toys is totally and completely wonderful, I wanted this to be real so I could visit and be a child again. However half way through the story seems to peter out and loses its way. Having said this the ending is good if a little rushed and I enjoyed all of the book for the most part. In my opinion could have been shorter which would have been far more enjoyable.
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Atmospheric and enchanting in equal measure, with a touch of darkness, a portrayal of the destructive relationship of two brothers, caused by jealousy and misunderstanding.  Lots to enjoy.
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I really enjoyed the first half of this book. It was such a lovely story. Cathy Wray finds herself 16 and pregnant in 1906 and instead of going to 'one of those homes' she runs away to Papa Jack's Emporium to become a shop hand. She is enchanted by all the magical toys that are created in the Emporium and this really is the magic of this book.
However, I got halfway through and just felt that it was taking too long to get to the point. There were too many story lines running through the book and each one was so elaborated described and told it just seemed to drag on. The magic was slowly wearing off I'm afraid. I did really want to finish and enjoy this story. The...

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This book immediately grabbed my attention.  The storyline was different and for the most part well thought out and developed.  The characters all flawed but also forceful; to some extent self-serving.  It would turn into a seriously good film .  I did struggle with the ending  - felt almost as if the final section should just have been left out or maybe serve as the opening to a second book in a series.
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I expected a light-hearted magical read but this was a darker than that. I enjoyed the descriptions of the toys, it really brought them to life. 
I struggled to ever get into this though. The characters didn't interest me. I was left confused at times as well. Possibly down to my reading slump.
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