Published: 13th October 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
For the past two years, Evie Taylor has lived an invisible existence in London, a city she hoped would bring sparkle to her life. But all that is about to change. For winter has brought a flurry of snow and unexpected possibilities. Hidden away in the basement of Hardy’s – once London’s most elegant department store – Evie manages the stockroom of a shop whose glory days have long since passed. When Evie overhears that Hardy’s is at risk of being sold, she secretly hatches a plan. If she can reverse the store’s fortunes by December 26th – three weeks away – and transform it into a magical destination once again, she might just be able to save it. But she’s going to need every ounce of talent and determination she has. In fact, she’s going to need a miracle.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for the review copy. I actually picked this up whilst I was there for my work experience in August and I’ve been purposely saving it for my Christmas reviews.
The narrative begins on the 1st of December with an extremely beautiful first chapter. Evie is pedalling to work through the not-so thick snow. The references to Mary Poppins and The Wizard Of Oz added even more to the magical element of the festive month. Evie works at Hardy’s store in Noho, London. The descriptions of the building was absolutely wonderful and I felt as if I was there, in person, rather than watching through Evie’s eyes.
Evie thinks she’s going to be promoted and for me, she was a little bit too cocky. When she didn’t receive the news that she expected, I did feel sorry for her but I was glad that she would remain in the stockroom as it added a lot of character to her personality. Evie was an addictive character but she was also a liar and a bit of a fake. She enjoyed pretending being other people – she’s definitely missed her calling in the acting world, that’s for sure!
The narrative really picked up when Evie learnt that Hardy’s was in serious trouble and as if by magic, she turned into a Hardy-elf. Her imagination and creative was superb and very inspiring. I really enjoyed reading about her friendship with Sam, the delivery man. I thought he deserved a much bigger part in the book but never the less, he was a joy to read about.
Overall, this was a magical book and a great start to my festive season.