The book begins in the real world as the 17-year-old struggles to come to terms with his mother’s death after a hit-and-run accident, while his grieving father is driven to alcohol.
In a moment of desperation, Charlie gets down on his knees and prays to “whoever you are” to stop his father drinking.
After his dad gets sober in Alcoholics Anonymous, Charlie is convinced he must repay the debt. And he gets the opportunity to do just that when he discovers his elderly reclusive neighbour Mr Bowditch injured in his garden, having fallen off a ladder.
Charlie helps Mr Bowditch during his convalescence and looks after his beloved dog. It quickly becomes apparent that Mr Bowditch has secrets – including a mysterious locked shed in his garden.
But nothing can prepare Charlie for what he finds on the other side of the door – hundreds of underground stone steps leading to a mysterious parallel world full of outlandish and at times terrifying fairytale-inspired characters.
As Charlie is drawn into an epic and dangerous adventure, will good triumph over evil?
Wonderfully imaginative and immersive, with a moving conclusion, Fairy Tale is a spellbinding read.