Review: The Emporium of Imagination by Tabitha Bird


Title: The Emporium of Imagination

Author: Tabitha Bird

Published: 30th March 2021, Viking

Status: Read March 2021 courtesy PenguinRandomHouse Australia

++++++

My Thoughts:

After being enchanted by Tabitha Bird’s debut, A Lifetime of Impossible Days, I was delighted by the gift of her second novel, The Emporium of Imagination. The book arrived in a charming package accompanied by a veritable cornucopia of thoughtfully hand selected vintage treasures from the author herself, items which tie in beautifully with novel.

The Emporium of Imagination is a heartfelt, poignant, and whimsical tale of love, grief and magic.

In the small Queensland town of Boonah, an extraordinary store suddenly appears on what the day before was a vacant block of land. It declares itself as The Emporium of Imagination and its customers will soon learn that the magic is not just in its living carpet of wildflowers or ladybugs that turn into lollipops, but in its ability to grant wishes and second chances, encourage wonder and joy, and offer the grieving the chance to reconnect with lost loved ones.

“The Emporium is filling with wonders, with things necessary to bring healing or help others fulfil lost dreams or mend broken hopes. The Emporium has arrived to help….”

Before the store can open for business though, the custodian of The Emporium of Imagination, Earlatidge Hubert Umbray, accompanied by an orange cat, must find a shopkeeper for its tenure in Boonah, and as his time is nearly up, he is also in search of a new steward. In the meantime, messages and trinkets are delivered to residents of the town in need of the magic the Emporium’ has to offer. Among them is Ann Harlow, who has returned to Boonah with her four year old son to be with her beloved, dying grandmother, and ten year old Enoch whose adored father has just passed away.

Crafted with sensitivity, compassion and Tabitha Bird’s particular brand of magic, The Emporium of Imagination explores grief, regret, love, forgiveness, and hope. Anyone, which face it is almost everyone, who has ever lost something – be it a dream, a relationship, a treasured item, or a person – will be deeply moved by this story, which reminds us, among other things, that redemption and salvation is always a possibility.

“Grief means we have loved. Would you really want to take away feelings of love?”

It’s a lesson Bird’s characters need to embrace. As Earlatidge’s time with the Emporium draws to a close, and parts of himself begin to disappear, he needs to confront the tragedy of his past. Ann needs to accept the inevitable and make peace with the decisions she has made, while Enoch has to find a way to forgive himself, and his father. I felt for all the characters in The Emporium of Imagination struggling with their various losses, and found myself alternatively sobbing and smiling as their stories were revealed.

“All you need is a little imagination. Broken things can still be made whole.”

Infused with creativity, wit and wisdom, The Emporium of Imagination Is a magical read. Let yourself believe.

++++++

Available from PenguinRandomHouse Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dianthaa
    Mar 30, 2021 @ 22:13:03

    The book sounds lovely and the presentation is so cute! I’d be into any book that made its way to me with that much care

    Like

    Reply

  2. Helen Murdoch
    Mar 31, 2021 @ 05:08:43

    That collection of gifts looks beautiful, what a lovely way to present a book. And 5 stars!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Jennifer
    Mar 31, 2021 @ 11:45:55

    I’ve just bought a copy!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Mystica
    Apr 02, 2021 @ 14:21:30

    I only ever get my hands on an Australian setting book if I go to Melbourne, where I then practically live at the library. That is a far far away dream right now. Making a note of this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. ThoughtsBecomeWords
    Apr 02, 2021 @ 21:03:30

    Great review! I love the whole idea of this book and, of course, I know the rural town of Boonah so I am going to grab a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  7. Trackback: Speculative Fiction Round Up: March 2021 | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

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