Review: The Cottingley Fairies by Ana Sender

2:07 PM

The Cottingley Fairies by Ana Sender | ★★★★☆ (4.5)

As a note, a copy of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Oh, my. The Cottingley Fairies is magical and charming, I am overwhelmed by its sweetness. It is everything I hoped it would be and I cannot wait to share it with my goddaughter upon official release. Ana Sender takes these familiar real life events and puts a delightful spin on the effects of lies, truths, and the magic of childhood storytelling.

Kids will be smitten with The Cottingley Fairies and their parents will be just the same. Not only is the story simple and fast, the minimalist illustrations will tug a smile at your lips. I thought that the way that Sender told the story, as an almost retrospect from one of the girls in her later years, only added to the magic and atmosphere of it.

I really, really enjoyed this and that aching feeling of how we once viewed the world as children, to how we view it now. The Cottingley Fairies is a winning combination of childhood joy, imagination and magic, with a hint of how out of control falsehoods can really get. 


As an added bonus: 

When I was little I, like most little girls, was obsessed with fairies. And where I grew up, there was a small woods just behind our apartment. I remember looking around in the trees and dreaming up these fantastical scenarios. I would tell these stories to my friends and sprinkle them in like little half truths, toying that line between dreaming and life rather well for someone of a certain age.

(This review is longer than the book and I'm sorry for it but I love this.)

One day, my friend's mom smiled at me in amusement and told us of two little girls, from long ago, who managed to convince the world of the existence of fairies. It wasn't until my early twenties that I researched the lives of Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, and their series of five photographs, after becoming familiar with the story again after an episode of Torchwood.

In the present, when see these pictures and know immediately that they are fake. Not just because of it being widely known, but because the way we view things now is entirely different to then. We've trained ourselves to see faux images because we see them nearly everyday. Back then, they were only just getting the hang of ordinary photographs.

So while they scream FAKE to us in 2018, they clearly would not back then. 

I have always had a soft spot for this real event and probably always will.

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