“Dinnie, an overweight enemy of humanity, was the worst violinist in New York, but was practicing gamely when two cute little fairies stumbled through his fourth-floor window and vomited on the carpet.”
As opening lines go that’s an absolute clanger.
Over on Amazon and Goodreads, The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Miller gets a lot of mixed reviews, with lots of people hating it, but many more people loving it. I’m most certainly in the latter category, having now read this book three times and enjoyed it each time.
I can’t remember how I even came across this book. I suspect it had something to do with either Goodreads or Amazon and their usual thing of “People who bought X also bought Y”.
So what’s it about?
From the get-go we’re introduced to Heather and Morag, two Scottish thistle fairies on the run from their homeland and have found their way to New York. They want to start a fairy punk-rock band but wind up playing matchmakers between Dinnie and his neighbour Kerry.
Then, after a fight over which clan are better fiddle players, Heather and Morag part company.
Heather attempts to teach Dinnie to play the violin because she’s horrified to learn how astoundingly bad he is at it. Meanwhile Morag helps Dinnie’s neighbour Kerry, who suffers from Crohn’s disease, with her ambition of winning a community arts prize to get back at her ex.
From there the rest of the story plays out, following the fairies as they try to avoid capture and return to their homeland by the fairies they pissed off.