28 Apr 2020


ISBN 978-1077808034

Outer London, September 2016, and neighbouring eight-year-olds have homework: prepare a traditional story to perform with their families at a school festival. But Nathan's father thinks his son would be better off doing sums; Sky's mother's enthusiasm is as fleeting as her bank balance, and there's a threatening shadow hanging over poor Alka's family. Only Mandeep's fragile grandmother and new girl Xoriyo really understand the magical powers of storytelling.

As national events and individual challenges jostle for the adults' attention, can these two bring everyone together to ensure the show will go on?
- Back Cover Blurb

The baby explores a range of squeaks and his tiny fingers uncurl and close again.
- First Sentence, Friday 14th October 2016

Sitting together on our big bed, with Xoriyo in soft pyjamas, the magic carpet is refuge for my daughter and myself, the edges of the bed a drop into reality.
- Memorable Moment, Page 65

MY THOUGHTS ... Invited into the homes of several different families all tasked with adapting a story to be performed at their child's school.

{OOH! A story about the telling of stories. For us bibliophiles things don't get much better than this, right?}

We are invited into several homes where we get to meet an assortment of children and adults of different ages and backgrounds. 

{Hmm! I hope the narrative doesn't jump around too much; that each of the character's has a clear and distinct voice.}

I normally only find myself struggling to this degree when sharing my thoughts on a book that wasn't to my taste; when I'm struggling to find something/anything positive to say about a book so its something of a new experience struggling with what to say about a book because, well, I just don't know where to begin sharing all of the aspects that made it such a joy to read ... and yet here I am, struggling with what to say.

{Oh I know! I'll begin with the characters; the characters are always a good place to start.}

Hats off to the author for giving us such a memorable and authentic cast of characters. That she gave them all (both as individuals and family units) such a unique (and thankfully stereotype and cliche free) voice; that each relationship (indeed every event) was written with such depth, it wasn't long before I came to invest in them; that they became as friends and neighbours which isn't something I can always say about a novel and especially not a novel where the narrative is shared amongst so many characters ... that they were often of different genders and ages and backgrounds to her (and my) own, well, that speaks for itself.

Insightful, heart warming and thought provoking. Ultimately the journey of a community being brought together BUT set in multi-cultural London, a society struggling to assimilate those of different colours, cultures and faiths, sadly, racism, prejudice and domestic abuse do raise their ugly heads. 

Not just well researched but heartfelt; the author's knowledge and love of teaching young children apparent. That the novel explores just how the issues adults seek to keep from children believing they are shielding them can have a profound effect is just one of the many, many things that, characters and plot in general aside, made The Magic Carpet such an engaging and, yes, important read for me.

SUMMED UP IN A SENTENCE ... The utterly engrossing story of a society trying to assimilate different cultures, backgrounds and faiths peopled by characters you cannot help but invest in, The Magic Carpet is every bit a story of our times.

With sincere thanks to Jessica Norrie, it was both an honour and a pleasure to share my thoughts on The Magic Carpet.

Image result for name felicity


Kelly said...

This is an adult novel - not a children's book? It sounds like a unique and interesting concept. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!

Brian Joseph said...

Sounds very good. Bibliophiles do indeed like stories about stories. This is also a popular storytelling theme. I think that this type of story will always be appealing to people.

Suko said...

This book truly sounds utterly engrossing! The Magic Carpet sounds like a novel I must read. Fantastic review, Felicity!

nightwingsraven said...

This sounds like a truly heartfelt
and unique book. And I will add it
to my list. Thank you for your
excellent review.

sherry fundin said...

i wouldn't mind finding a magic carpet right about now. :-) glad you enjoyed it
sherry @ fundinmental

DMS said...

This book sounds delightful. I am so glad you enjoyed it so much. I definitely will add this one to my list after your fantastic review. Thanks for sharing. :)

Stay safe!

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Felicity,

I can tell from that lovely review, that you really enjoyed reading this book, and that final sentence put all your thoughts into a nutshell beautifully!

This sounds like a book which is so different, that I don't think many people will see it within the range of one of their usual reading genres, so perhaps we should all step outside our comfort zone and give it a try.

I would have said that this teacher was probably whistling in the wind to try and get several families to work together, especially when the word 'homework' is mentioned. However, perhaps in these strange days of lockdown and social distancing, it might be the kind of concept which would bring neighbours together, albeit it virtually!

Thanks for sharing and have you checked out Jessica's other book 'The Infinity Pool'? That sounds just as intriguing :)


Jessica Norrie said...

Thank you so much for this huge vote of confidence (and the engaging format you've used to write it). I must apologise for not commenting sooner, I'm afraid I only just realised you had posted it. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book, and you've really "got" what I wanted to express - the multiplicity of people, backgrounds and points of view but how ultimately we all just want our stories to be happy ones and how hard we try, successfully and otherwise, to achieve that I also hope the schools will be able to operate again soon, but safely of course, and hope you and all in your community are safe at this time too. Meanwhile you have made my day!

Jessica Norrie said...

Just to add, having read Yvonne's comments, actually, in my teaching days, we did make projects like this work to a certain extent. I was just fascinated by what must go on behind closed doors to get the children to produce the results they did, and that in part was what led to the book. Thanks for the plug for The Infinity Pool too, which is now quite quiet but did well back in the day.

I wanted to answer Felicity quickly yesterday and Amazon terms didn't allow me to announce that in fact The Magic Carpet has been selected for a UK Kindle deal for a month from today, so if you would like to read it it will only cost you 99p this month.Thank you all for your very kind comments anyway and stay safe.

Karen said...

I always have a harder time with books I love. I flail all over the place lol

I'm glad you found a book you loved so much.

Karen @ For What It's Worth

Literary Feline said...

So much of what you've said about this book appeals to me especially as a parent, Felicity. I am adding it to my wish list.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

What a fascinating premise and way to tell the story. I'm glad to hear that you really loved it - especially the characters. Sometimes books you enjoy are hard to describe/talk about too.