Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
What would you do if you met a fairy on your walk home from work? What would you do if this fairy promised you one wish? Only one. What would you wish for? Alex was very quick to make up his mind. He was only given a few minutes, but he managed to create a rather complicated wish, one that would involve adventures in foreign lands. Only, his wish quickly morphed into something quite unexpected when he connected with an historian who was searching for the cloth. Yes, you heard right. A cloth. A rather ancient cloth with legends and myths attached to it. Something that somehow connects the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims? Something that could potentially save the world? Or, is it merely an item that creates havoc because so many people lust to possess it? So much so that they will kidnap, steal and threaten the lives of others? It really makes one ponder the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.” Alex certainly didn’t bargain for this kind of adventure when he made his simple, yet complex wish.
Ken Paterson’s The Story of the Cloth is an adventure with magical elements. It is also a journey, a quest, not so different really from Sir Galahad’s quest for the Holy Grail. The author develops a plot that weaves around and through exciting twists and turns to suggest that this quest, this journey of Alex’s wish is quite prophetic. Well written and thought provoking, The Story of the Cloth is comparable to another journey, Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Both are eloquently told adventures on human life and the journeys we embark on. It’s not so much the end result, finding the treasure at the end of the rainbow, so to speak. It is the journey itself. Alex’s wish, as convoluted as it was, literally takes him around the world. The author’s ingenious twists and unexpected tangents have the reader sitting on the edge of his/her seat, wondering what to expect next. With a compelling narrative and thoroughly descriptive passages, the reader feels very much a part of the drama as it unfolds. This is a powerful and creative story with a complexity that is both satisfying and engrossing.