I was unfamiliar with Martin Millar before a copy of The Good Fairies of New York showed up at my library. But since it came highly recommended by Neil Gaiman, who stole my heart with Coraline and Stardust , I decided to give it a try. What happens when exiled fairies of the British Empire land on the streets of modern day New York? Well, chaos ensues, romance blossoms, and a few dreams come true.
Millar’s urban fairy adventure had me laughing out loud on the first page. The Scottish fairies Heather and Morag have arrived hung over and disoriented in boorish Dinnie’s Fourth Street apartment. Bad tempered Dinnie spends his days playing violin badly, watching trash TV, and drinking beer. He also dreams of finding a girlfriend…
Across the street resides the ethereal, artistic Kerry, who is seriously ill with Crohn’s disease. Dinnie wants to court the lovely spirited Kerry, but is too cloddish to go about it without fairy intervention. Morag and Heather fiddle and play, and amidst the musical and magical mayhem, Dinnie and Kerry are drawn inevitably together.
The hilarious plot machinations lead eventually to a showdown between New York’s fairy clans. As the conflict escalates, Kerry’s condition deteriorates, Dinnie nearly destroys his chances with her, and things are looking grim.
But wait! Fortunately for everyone, a bit of fairy magic, a little music, and a wee drop of whiskey can set many things aright. Millar’s book left me wishing for a sequel, and thinking that just maybe there’s something to be learned from the good fairies.