Review: The Magic of Endings

Written by Tom Avery
Cover Illustration by Saara Söderlund
Published by Anderson Press on 5th January

The Magic of Endings is an unforgettable, magical adventure that utterly enchanted me:  a story of grief, of family and of the healing power and strength of memories.

Eleven-year-old Jojo Locke, who has just finished primary school, is spending the summer holidays with his Grandparents, and his younger brother Ricco, in the village of Dor.  He lost his dad when he was five and, whilst he has a vague recollection of his voice, no-one else in his family can really remember him so he is not talked about, forgotten without shared memories.

Just as Jojo is settling in with his grandparents, they have an unexpected visitor:  his godmother, Aunt Pen.  And even stranger, after Jojo wishes that his mother does not have to leave to go back to work, she has a rather serious outburst of burping.  Could this be merely coincidence, or could Aunt Pen not be all she seems?

And so begins the most magical, breath-taking adventure as Jojo is transported by Aunt Pen to a world outside his own where she reveals that she is a faerie.  Back in his own world, Aunt Pen continues to grant wishes, wishes with the power to awaken Jojo’s memories of his father.  Will he have the courage, strength and self-belief to follow his new-found memories of his dad and save both the magic in his and the faerie world?

This adventure feels like a blend of magical realism and otherworldly mythology and folklore which gives it a slightly surreal edge which works brilliantly in its exploration of grief, hidden memories and healing.

There is also plenty of edge-of-your-seat excitement, wonder and danger as wishes are granted with unexpected consequences, as creatures of myth are encountered and as Jojo gets closer and closer to the truth of what happened to his father.  This story builds powerfully to an emotional crescendo that brought tears, but also hope and healing, and I think it is a story that will speak to anyone who has lost someone close and who understands that memories, and especially those shared with family, keep the person alive in our hearts. 

The Magic of Endings is an evocative, tender story of grief and healing through shared memories:  a magical adventure to treasure and to capture the hearts and imaginations of young readers of 9+.

Thank you to Anderson Press for providing me with an early copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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