A light, fun comedy novel featuring an introduction by Neil Gaiman (added in 2004) who praises it and regrets not having read it sooner.
In modern times, fairy kindgoms exist though mostly invisibly to humans. Two Scottish fairies and a band of Cornish fairies have run away from Great Britain and are hiding out in New York City each to escape certain difficulties back home. The Scottish fairies are best friends though they belong to different clans, but they fall out from time to time due to their intense competitiveness. They are being pursued for having destroyed certain clan treasures, by accident of course. The Cornish fairies, on the other hand, have escaped from an increasingly brutal forced-labor regime lately instituted by the fairy monarchy in Cornwall. The king, guided by a nefarious advisor, orders all fairies to work in factories making fairy things to trade in international markets. The refugees include the king's heirs and some rebels intent on a Marxist revolution.
Much of the story focuses on the Scottish fairies, Morag and Heather, each taking up residence with New Yorkers Kerry and Dinnie respectively, who live in opposite buildings. Kerry is pretty and talented but suffers from a crippling medical complication. Dinnie is a hopeless antisocial slob. While adjusting to life in the city, encountering the various international fairy tribes that live there (African, Chinese, and Italian fairy tribes), causing mayhem everywhere they go, they manage to help Kerry and Dinnie with their troubles and, as you might guess, set them up with each other. Meanwhile the Cornish fairies hiding out in Central Park are trying to adjust to city life themselves, trying to avoid trouble, and failing. And a Cornish fairy army is coming across the Atlantic Ocean to get them.
It is a very entertaining book of the modern-world fantasy or magical realism genre similar to Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
'You are funny,' chortled Heather, but the action of laughing upset her precarious hangover and she threw up again, all over Dinnie's arm.
'Well, he certainly believes in us now!' screamed Morag.
'Don't worry,' said Heather. 'Fairy vomit is no doubt sweet-smelling to humans.'
Millar, Martin. The Good Fairies of New York
. The Fourth Estate, 1992 (UK).
Also by Martin Millar: Lonely Werewolf Girl
and Curse of the Werewolf Girl