“… harrowing moments … engrossing tale … Paterson’s exceptional prose turns the seemingly mundane into alluring imagery … A solid blend of genres, though the writing and characters shine brightest.” – Kirkus Reviews
“… 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. … The author’s ingenious twists and unexpected tangents have the reader sitting on the edge of his/her seat, wondering what to expect next. … This is a powerful and creative story with a complexity that is both satisfying and engrossing.” (5 stars) – Readers’ Favorite.
“Line by line, The Story of the Cloth sparkles. Paterson’s prose is scrupulous, elegant, and pleasing, studded with sly turns of phrase and observations worth lingering over.” – The Booklife Prize, Critic's Report
Two things, which seemed quite insignificant at the time, happened to me a few years ago. The first occurred during a visit to the Spanish city of Cordoba. I was sitting outside a café in a small square, reading about the Muslim conquest of Spain, in particular about a brief ‘golden age’ in the city, more than a thousand years before, when Christians, Jews and Muslims were apparently able to engage openly and peacefully with one another - in scholarship, if not in prayer. There was a moment of stillness, and I found myself imagining the square as it might have appeared a millennium before, with scholars from different religions meeting in the shade of the trees. Afterwards, I thought: what if the scene had been captured in some way, as a painting, perhaps? Would it have been censored or hidden in the years to come? Whose hands might it have fallen into?
The second thing happened a year later, when I was walking home from work through Regent’s Park, late on a summer’s evening, just before it was closed to the public. It felt as if I had the park to myself. I stopped by a tree, where the path rises slightly before falling towards the exit at Gloucester Gate. This time - don’t ask me why: perhaps I’d been working too hard - I imagined an archetypal fairy appearing on the path, offering to grant me a wish. What would I choose? More particularly, how would that choice actually play out in the real world, in the days and weeks that followed?
The memory of these two incidents - the idea that they might be connected in some way - nagged at me for some time. Bringing them together in a story seemed the only solution.
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