The downtown core of Toronto is being consumed by elysium, a drug that allows its users to slip through the permeable edges of this world into the next before consuming them utterly. Peddled by the icy Srebrenka, few have managed to escape the drug and its dealer. But Maggie has.
Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," and woven through with northern folk tales, The Grimoire of Kensington Market is the story of Maggie, proprietor of the Grimoire bookstore, the cosmic nexus of all the world's tales. Years after beating her addiction, Maggie is dismayed by the reappearance of Srebrenka in her life. Although she resists temptation, she quickly learns that her brother, Kyle, has been ensnared by Srebrenka's drug-laced beguiling.
Driven by guilt and love, Maggie sets off on a quest to rescue Kyle from the Silver World, where robbers stalk the woods, where tavern keepers weave clouds to hide mountains and where caribou race along the northern lights. There, she must discover what hidden strengths still lie within her.
Lauren B. Davis is the author of The Grimoire of Kensington Market; Against a Darkening Sky; The Empty Room, named one of the "Best Books of the Year" by the National Post, the Winnipeg Free Press, Amazon and the Coast; and Our Daily Bread, longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and named one of the "Best Books of the Year" by the Globe and Mail and the Boston Globe. Her other books include the bestselling and critically acclaimed novels The Radiant City, a finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and The Stubborn Season, one of the Top 15 Bestselling First Novels by Amazon and Books in Canada, as well as two short story collections, An Unrehearsed Desire and Rat Medicine & Other Unlikely Curatives.
Her short fiction has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards and the ReLit Award, and she is the recipient of two Mid-Career Writer Sustaining grants from the Canadian Council for the Arts. Lauren was born in Montreal and now lives in Princeton, New Jersey. For more information, please visit her website at www.laurenbdavis.com.
"Davis does a fine job balancing these fraught moments of tension with lighter, magical scenes, such as her various luxurious sleepovers at mystical hotels and loving monologues with her canine sidekick Badger. [...] Beneath the fairytale lies a probing exploration of the current opioid crisis. Davis highlights how the collapse of social supports and the marginalization of addicts creates the perfect storm, hollowing out inner-city Toronto and leaving wounded orphans and ruined lives in its wake. When Maggie reaches her final destination to confront Srebrenka, the author spins the kinds of pyrotechnics appropriate to the climax of such a dramatic quest." - Toronto Star
"Davis' eighth piece of fiction was inspired by her interest with fairy and folk tales, but it also deals with the struggle of addiction and drug abuse. Davis uses the power of fiction to speak on such a pressing issue in our society today in a way that is attention-grabbing for the reader." - Central Jersey
"Davis confidently paints a magical world rich in detail where human trials unfold against a fairy-tale tapestry. Weaving a fresh legend from a mosaic of ancient stories, she creates a bold new world where wit equals witchery and kindness is as valued as courage." - John C. Foster, author of Mister White