Fairy Tales meet the Real World in The Grimoire of Kensington Market (Review)

Cover courtesy of Buckrider Books

From the first chapter of ​The Grimoire of Kensington Market​, I knew I was going to love this book. To start, the story is based in Toronto, which is such a beautiful city; secondly, like most authors included in the Lorenzo Reading Series, the author is Canadian. I don’t generally focus on where the authors are from, but I have realized recently that Canadian authors really know how to write a good story and I am on the hunt for more books written by Canadian authors. Lauren B. Davis is just one of many writers who had fed this new obsession.

The Grimoire of Kensington Market is a fairytale with elements of real-life experience, which made it fascinating to read; you get the mystery and mystical aspects of the story presented alongside the relatable crisis of drug addiction. People who read this book will feel sympathetic towards the characters who have dealt with or are dealing with substance abuse because, even though the characters are not real, real people are impacted daily by addiction, be it their own or that of someone they care about.

Another reason that this was a great read is that the main character works at a bookstore that’s not anything like your average Indigo or Chapters franchise; it’s a small business with its own unique local mythology. It is said that whenever someone gets a book, it usually is tied with a dream they recently had. For example, at the start of the book, a woman came in and was looking for a book; as she entered, she was explaining to Maggie – the main character who works at the bookstore mentioned – about a dream that involved a lily and a snake. Maggie then recommended Tales For Transformation ​ by Goethe; it included a story that was called ​”The Green Snake and The Beautiful Lily”.​ Coincidence? I think not!

Not only is this bookstore a place that I would love to visit, but there is also a dog that hangs out at the store. I always love when independent store owners bring their pets into work, and I’m sure other animal lovers would agree that the dog is an added bonus to the narrative!

As the story continues, the chapters slowly become more intense. Maggie discovers that her brother is struggling and she needs to help him, and she is still overcoming the addiction that she got over. Her past is catching up with her, and The Grimoire of Kensington Market will leave readers on the edge of their seat as they follow Maggie along for the ride. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who loves fairy tales, drama, and the occasional furry friend cameo.

Lily Rae Coffin is a first-year Communications Studies student at UNB Saint John. As part of a COMx project, she is writing book reviews for The Lorenzo Review. To learn more about contributing for extra credit in your Communications Studies courses, speak to your instructor or email lorenzoreview@gmail.com.