Visiting Old Favorites

What is the point of keeping books if you don’t go back and read them once in a while? I haven’t spent much time visiting old favorites lately, but I felt so down the other day, I knew it was time to visit one of the very best—The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.

The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge

Grade: A+

Thank goodness this book is back in print. Though I have a new edition, I prefer to read my old, tanned, and spotted copy, because that is the “costume” this particular story has always worn for me. Every reading brings it one step closer to disintegration, so I save it for moments of great need. When at last it falls apart, I will have the new copy to fall back on.

Like so many children’s stories, The Little White Horse begins with a recently orphaned child. Her name is Maria Merryweather and we meet her while she is en route to live with a relative whom she has never met before. She has as traveling companions her strict but loving governess, Miss Heliotrope, and her dog, Wiggins. The first several pages are devoted to describing these characters, and the descriptions are lovely, some of the finest I’ve ever seen in a novel. Upon arriving at Moonacre Manor, she is introduced to many more unforgettable characters who support her as she struggles to unravel the mystery of her ancestral home.

The wonderful thing about this story is that it’s so damned sweet that it could almost make you gag, and yet it never does. It is full of God and religion, which would normally be a turnoff for me, but Goudge’s version of religion is all joy, music, and inspiration. It’s a story about loving for life, seeing the magic in the world, treating people with respect, and caring for animals. It is, quite simply, the most charming book I have ever read. It never fails to cheer me up.

They are making a movie out of this book. It is scheduled to be released in the UK later this year, but I couldn’t find any information about when we might expect to see it here.

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One Response to Visiting Old Favorites

  1. Pingback: Blue-Footed Musings » Blog Archive » New Reading Challenge

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