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The Unforgotten Coat: 01/10/17
The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce is the story of two Mongolian brothers living in England and their desire to get back home. Julie documents their brief stay in her school on journal lined paper and Polaroid photographs.
Chingis, the older brother, insists on having Nergui in the sixth year class. Nergui is being stalked by a demon who will make him disappear if he's not constantly watched. In this sleepy Liverpool suburb where nothing ever happens, Julie and to a lesser degree, take the boys at their word.
But it's Julie mostly who takes it on the task of helping Chingis protect Nergui. The book itself is rather cagey about the reality of the situation. Is it magic? Is it pretend? Is it metaphor?
The short answer is yes. Yes in a way that brings to mind the excellent film, MirrorMask. There magic, imagination, drawings, and the real world collide in a tale of two girls trading places.
Here, the brothers find pieces of Bootle and the surrounding areas that are close enough to their old home to stand in for their home. Think of it as representational magic. It's a quiet, thoughtful, wonderful book.