I ended up having a truly remarkable experience with this book that was almost spiritual. It involved a car, some pain pills, an unknown disease and my mother's voice. I have decided to revel the whole story here, even though it is quite personal so that readers may gain an understanding of exactly how special this book is.
I started reading "The Good Fairies of New York" in the car on the way to school when I had a terrible headache and my mother was running into the pharmacy to get me some pain pills. I loved the first chapter so much that on her return I read it aloud for her, intending to continue on reading by myself. But when I finished and stopped vocalizing the words she protested. "Don't stop there" she said, "this is great!"
So I read on. When we weren't in the car she would read to me. Progress was slow because our schedules conflicted, neither one of us was willing to cheat by going ahead alone and every now and then we would stop to remark on how amazing the book was. Then, sadly but truly, we forgot about the book for a while.
We forgot because I got sick, really sick. Like Kerry, the silvery-blue haired woman determined to make an ancient Celtic flower alphabet and win a community arts prize despite her crone's disease (only that's not what I have.) Confused, in a lot of pain, drugged and scared about what was happening to me we turned back to the book.
This time just my mother read. Whenever I was particularly depressed, or in so much pain I wanted to die or terrified that no one was ever going to figure out what was wrong with me, she would whip out the cheerful orange-cream sunset colored novel and read a chapter or two.
Through the adventures of Heather and Morag, two Scottish thistle fairies who landed in New York after being chased out of Scotland for desecrating sacred clan objects (among other things) and ended up with two humans-Dinny a loud, fat and mean bad fiddle player and Kerry, bent on revenge on her old boyfriend, I laughed. Tulip and Petal, prince and princess of Cornwall's fairy kingdom which their father Tala was turning into an industrial dictatorship and the friends who helped them escape living in Central Park always cheered me up. The endless coincidences surrounding Magenta, a bag lady who seems to think she's a Greek general, were something to ponder. And there's more.
For a relatively short book this has a complex plot and a huge cast of characters and somehow it all fits so well together that I can just imagine the author sitting up for days and nights making flow charts and diagrams as how to wrap it all up so perfectly.
By the time we'd reached the end (about eight months after we started) I even had a diagnosis. Call me crazy but I attribute this in part to the magic of this book. The perfect, crazy, hair die, rock and roll, inter racial, sacred, clannish, love, flower filled, whisky flowing, punk, homeless, artsy, Celtic, Italian, Chinese, Goninan and New York magic which flowed from every word in this book and out my mother's mouth.
Needless to say I recommend you read this out loud with someone you love. Failing that, try not to race through it because a book like this comes around once in a lifetime and the first reading should be savored.
Stars? This book doesn't need any stinking 1-5 star scale. It is a sky filled full of them.