Growing up and getting trapped in adult life is something that most people eventually face, but while reading The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnegan, a charming and magical book by Steve Wiley, it is almost possible to forget about the inexorable progress of time. With a main character who is teetering on the edge of forgetting about magic forever, this novel is a touching and thought-provoking ride through nostalgia, memory and the promises of youth. Wiley's sharp, tongue-in-cheek style of writing makes the pages fly and the Chicago skyline makes a stunning backdrop for this mystical romp.
Richard is the lackluster protagonist who has found himself a slave to work and the monotony of life, but the bizarre life and times of Francesca Finnegan often steals the spotlight, peppered into the story with personal moments and reflections on the past. Readers are taken on a journey through a new perspective of Chicago's history, and are welcomed into the secret Lavender Line of the Chicago 'L.' From minotaurs and sinister wind to cat conductors and drunken elves, this story is a wacky roller-coaster, like the imagination of a child gone awry, but overflowing with clever, chuckle-inducing passages and quips.
If you are looking for a bit of ridiculous fun that still manages to pose a few important questions about growing old without growing up, this story is ideal.