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The Land of Neverendings

Review

The Land of Neverendings

THE LAND OF NEVERENDINGS by Kate Saunders will awaken any reader’s imagination. After Emily’s sister passes away, Emily finds herself missing her sister’s toy bear Bluey, who was buried with Holly. Emily finds herself thinking about the life everyone had imagined for Holly’s bear and how abruptly it ended. However, she soon discovers that there is a land where toys are living the lives children imagined for them and deep in this land toys can be reunited with their owners when the owner passes away.

"THE LAND OF NEVERENDINGS has the potential to take people to places of their imagination they have long forgotten....worth the time and exploration."

With such an interesting premise, this is a book tells a story about toys and has a new angle on grief that the world of literature has never seen before. It explores not only what those who’ve died young may have left behind, but what remains when children leave behind before adulthood. All the characters in the book are old enough to know it’s impossible for the toys to talk and yet, they eventually accept that the toys do have the life they gave to them.

This story is also full of symbolism as a big part of the problem is that an evil toad broke the passageway from the “hard,” or real world through a door to the world of Smockeroon, where the lives of toys are stored. This evil toad seems to represent the grief of the living as he is used in conversations in replacement of characters saying they were sad or felt bad when thinking about their relative who has past. In particular, Emily’s adult neighbor friend, Ruth, does this when speaking about the first Christmas she spent without her son who passed away when he was 18 years old.

Emily, Ruth, a couple of Emily’s friends and the toy characters are all used for different plot points, but the hook is Emily’s hope to hear from her sister’s bear, Bluey, and see if he will lead her to Emily. However, spoiler alert, the reader waits and waits for this to happen and keeps thinking she’s getting closer, but it never happens. While the reason for this may be that Emily and her family are starting to move on and she can finally start to let go, it is a little disappointing when it never happens and if this is where the book was headed all along perhaps it didn’t need as many plot points and events to get there.

The book’s cover art is beautiful, showing the world of Smockeroon where Emily’s sister and Bluey are located in the water Emily below Emily walking in the “hard” world. It leaves desire for illustrations and even just a little artwork would’ve added something extra to the story.

Despite, the few shortcomings THE LAND OF NEVERENDINGS has the potential to take people to places of their imagination they have long forgotten and cause them to remember people and parts of their childhood they haven’t thought about in a long time. For this reason, it is certainly worth the time and exploration.

Reviewed by Angela Warsinske on August 20, 2018

The Land of Neverendings
by Kate Saunders