Barry and the Fairies of Miller Street is a complete treasure of a book with a unique recipe. Take a heap of spirit and combine with genuinely written, full-bodied, wonderfully flawed characters. Add intrigue, family drama and a tipple of dastardly villains to keep you flicking through the pages. Stir in keen observational humour and adventure, then finish with a generous dash of fairy dust and bake till heart-warming. Can’t you just imagine the recipe tucked away into one of Nan’s cookbooks, sitting pride of place on her kitchen shelf at 22 Miller Street?
It is best not to know too much about this book before reading it, but know that it is a treat for readers of all ages, especially those that still believe in fairies. Even non-believers will be entertained by the ‘real-world’ aspect of the story, as I myself was tempted at times to skip past the fairies and find out what happens to Nan, Pop and Bess. That’s the sign of a well-written book.
The first few pages of this “autobiographically inspired” story of six-year-old Barry’s suburban and fantastical escapades are puzzling. Although enchanting, they left me wondering – which parts are autobiographical and which parts are fiction? But after finishing, I’ve decided that I would prefer not to know fact from fiction. The magic is in the mystery. Barry and the Fairies of Miller Street is a book for the soul, to remind us of the wonder of childhood and the power of imagination.
Review by Kirsty Kearney. Read Kirsty’s blog here
- Introducing Barry and the Fairies of Miller Street by Barry Dickins and Jenny Lee (bookclub.hardiegrant.com.au)
- Review: Barry and the Fairies | Maryanne Hyde (bookclub.hardiegrant.com.au)