The Ingenious Edgar Jones by Elizabeth Garner

Blurb from Amazon;

In nineteenth-century Oxford, an extraordinary child is born – Edgar Jones, a porter’s son with a magical talent. Though his father cannot see beyond his academic slowness, his abilities as a metalworker and designer are quickly noticed, and become a source of tension within the family. When Edgar comes to the attention of a maverick professor at work on a museum of the natural sciences, Edgar is at once plucked from obscurity and plunged into the heart of a debate which threatens to tear apart the university. Edgar’s position is a dangerous one – will he be able to control the rebellious spirit that fires his inventiveness, but threatens to ruin him, and to break up his family once and for all?

A delightful read. Almost an elongated fairy tale. It could almost be prefaced by ‘Once upon a time, a long time ago…..’ The author gives us unusually gifted Edgar and his parents living in Oxford. His father is a strict and god fearing man trying to do his best for his son but not succeeding. Edgar, young, impulsive, and misunderstood gets embroiled with the creative use of decorative iron and other inventions. The Oxford University professor who uses his talents for his own ends also ultimately fails Edgar. Edgar is unfailingly resilient however much the odds are stacked against him. The ending is quirky and made me smile. Possibly leaving room for a sequel?
Garner has a flowing, heavily descriptive style. It keeps you engrossed. Delightful escapism in a modern novel and one to be recommended.

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