In the Kingdom of the Fairies: A Memoir of a Magical Summer and a Remarkable Friendship
St. Martin's, Aug 2003, $17.95, 176 pp.
This one-year in the life of biography describes how in 1963 then five-year old Susan Coyne spends a summer at the family cottage in Western Ontario. Susan discovered an abandoned fireplace in the hedge between her family house and that of the next door neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Moir. Her dad explained to Susan that the elves built the fireplace. Feeling some form of kinship, Susan leaves small presents for the elves that are gone by the next day. One day Princess Nootsie Tah on behalf of Queen Mab writes a thank you note. With the help of her nanny, little Susan responds. Soon an elf and a human child become pen pals even while Susan spent plenty of time with the retired Mr. Noir listening to his stories.
This true story is a great book that shows how one caring person can make a difference. Princess Nootsie Tah obviously cherished the classics and sprinkled much of that love into the letters (the allusions are brilliant) that fired the imagination of a child. The letters are incredibly written as Mr. Moir treats his young friend with respect and intelligence. Perhaps starting with that one summer provided the foundation to the dream of becoming an actress that Susan Coyne later fulfilled. IN THE KINGDOM OF FAIRIES is a strong bio of a child and an adult sharing meaningful social values.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner