Paperback ↠ The Runaways PDF/EPUB å

Paperback ↠ The Runaways PDF/EPUB å


The Runaways (First published as Linnets and Valerians) [Read] ➯ The Runaways (First published as Linnets and Valerians) Author Elizabeth Goudge – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk The four Linnet children Nan, Robert, Timothy and Betsy are sent to live with their strict grandmother while their father travels to Egypt Locked away in separate rooms as punishment by their ruthless The four Linnet children Nan, Robert, Timothy and Betsy are sent to live with their strict grandmother while their father travels to Egypt Locked away in separate rooms as punishment by their ruthless grandmother, the Linnets feel at once that their new life is unbearable and decide to make their escape out of the house, out of the garden and into the village Commandeering a pony and trap, the children and their dog are led away as the pony makes his way nonchalantly home The pony s destination happens to be a house that belongs to their gruff but loveable uncle Ambrose The kindly uncle Ambrose agrees to take them under his wing, he educates them and encourages them to explore Dartmoor, letting the children have free rein in his sprawling manor house and surrounding countrysideBefriending the collection of house guests, including an owl, a giant cat, and a gardener, Ezra, who converses with bees, and getting to know the miscellaneous inhabitants of the village, the four siblings discover a life in which magic and reality are curiously intermingled and evil and tragedy lurk never far away Then stumble upon the eccentric Lady Alicia Valerian, who seems to have lost her family And then the real fun begins The Linnets start their search for the missing Valerians But the village is under a spell of the witch Emma Cobley Can the children lift the spell and restore happiness to the villagers Or will they be thwarted by evil Emma Cobley and her magic cat This charming story beautifully depicts early twentieth century English country life while conjuring an air of magical adventure It is full of vivid characters, battles between good and evil and wonderful spell binding moments.

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  • Paperback
  • 231 pages
  • The Runaways (First published as Linnets and Valerians)
  • Elizabeth Goudge
  • English
  • 09 July 2017
  • 0340681667

About the Author: Elizabeth Goudge

Elizabeth Goudge was an English author of novels, short stories and children s booksElizabeth de Beauchamp Goudge was born on April in Wells, Somerset, in Tower House close by the cathedral in an area known as The Liberty, Her father, the Reverend Henry Leighton Goudge, taught in the cathedral school Her mother was Miss Ida Collenette from the Channel Isles Elizabeth was an only child The family moved to Ely for a Canonry as Principal of the theological college Later, when her father was made Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, they moved to Christ Church, OxfordShe went to boarding school during WWI and later to Arts College, presumably at Reading College She made a small living as teacher, and continued to live with her parents During this time, she wrote a few plays, and was encouraged to write novels by a publisher As her writing career took off, she began to travel to other nations Unfortunately, she suffered from depression for much of her life She had great empathy for people and a talent for finding the comic side of things, displayed to great effect in her writing Goudge s first book, The Fairies Baby and Other Stories , was a failure and it was several years before she authoredIsland Magic , which is based on Channel Island stories, many of which she had learned from her mother, who was from Guernsey After the death of her father, Goudge and her mother went to Devon, and eventually wound up living there in a small cottage There, she wrote prolifically and was happy After the death of her mother, and at the wishes of Goudge s family who wished her to live closer to them, she found a companion who moved with her to Rose Cottage in Reading She lived out her life there, and had many dogs in her life Goudge loved dogs, and much preferred their company to that of humans She continued to write until shortly before her death, when ill health, successive falls, and cataracts hindered her ability to write She was much loved Goudge was awarded the Carnegie Medal for The Little White Horse , the book which J K Rowling, author of the Harry Potter stories, has said was her favorite as a child The television mini series Moonacre was based on The Little White Horse Her Green Dolphin Country was made into a film under its American title, Green Dolphin Street which won the Academy Award for Special Effects in A Diary of Prayer was one of Goudge s last works She spent her last years in her cottage on Peppard Common, just outside Henley on Thames, where a blue plaque was unveiled in .



10 thoughts on “The Runaways (First published as Linnets and Valerians)

  1. Luisa Knight Luisa Knight says:

    Before I get personal and share a standard I have that necessitated my one star rating, let me take a moment to be fair and mention the things I liked about this book After all, not everyone shares my standard and you might like to know the other aspects of the book Goudge is a fantastic writer Her characters, descriptions, sentences, word choice, even the way Uncle Ambrose talks, all of it is top notch and mesmerizing I am simply in love with her writing style and wish that other children s Before I get personal and share a standard I have that necessitated my one star rating, let me take a moment to be fair and mention the things I liked about this book After all, not everyone shares my standard and you might like to know the other aspects of the book Goudge is a fantastic writer Her characters, descriptions, sentences, word choice, even the way Uncle Ambrose talks, all of it is top notch and mesmerizing I am simply in love with her writing style and wish that other children s authors would write so exquisitely And Uncle Ambrose is a stellar character Like the children, I found him incredibly likable and loving Though he possesses a stern exterior and is undeniably strict, these qualities only elicit respect and admiration an eagerness to please and be loved by him And his love he bestows fondly Regarding the children, they are close and caring siblings and other characters stand out for one thing or another too.Those are the positives, which of themselves, would have given the book five stars But now, let me explain my standard and why I actually did not like the book And to my followers, hopefully you will find this next section at least a little insightful into who I am, what I believe, and the perspective I carry as I read through a book.When I first picked up the book, I thought it was about children living in England in the early 1900s and their many adventures I was only half right It was about magic too perhapsabout magic than the children In fact, it was a story that at the beginning, started out like any other and dropped no hints of magic whatsoever It wasn t until half way through that you started seeing the world differently, realizing that the village and several of its inhabitants were under spells and that a battle of good witches and bad witches was in full swing Then one of the children finds a book full of spells, the kind that says to use boiled frogs and blood etc for the incantations A cave with little dolls are discovered and it is learned that these are voodoo like dolls one doll, a plightfully shriveled thing, has a pin through it s mouth and has made the real man a mute, and another doll, cast far away, cursed a man to forever wander far from his loved ones There were other scenes that the author drew as well, but these were philosophically intended to remove the barrier between our world and this magical world To bring the two worlds into one And characters had discussions about beliefs fueling things into being, making reality hazy All of these sections were particularly dark, and though the good witches won in the end, I wish I would have known about all of this before starting Because I wouldn t have read this book.So, it s magic that you have an issue with, you ask Well, no And, yes I don t have a problem with magic when it s in The Lord of the Rings, Narnia, or in fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty or Snow White, for example What these stories, and others like them, have in common is that they are all in an alternate world They are all in the land of pretend and make believe They are not in our world and could never happen in our world and we can never be transported to their world either A definitive distinction between the two worlds is maintained The magic I don t like is the kind that is placed in our world and where the lines of reality and mysticism are made hazy A magic that is and or appears to be both attainable and desirable in our world So what s the difference Why draw the line here Well, as a Christian, I don t believe I am supposed to partake in magic In my understanding, the Bible explains that I am to use no divination or enchantments I want to honor this And I want to honor the spirit of the request as well I don t want to partake, but I don t want to be attracted to or immerse myself in the topic either And if I had children, I certainly would want to clearly define a line for them of what is pretend and make believe, and what is the magic we don t have anything to do with So, while this is not an exhaustive explanation, hopefully this shows where and why I drew the line where I did.I do appreciate you letting me be open and candid with you regarding my standard I thought this would be a good time to share a little of myself with you and also to explain why I will not read report on certain books or why, like this book, I gave it a low rating At least now, whether you agree or disagree, you won t be caught off guard as you peruse my list CleanlinessChildren s Bad WordsMild Obscenities Substitutions 1 Incident blast imName Calling 5 Incidents little blighter, young bacchanalians, Negro, Daft Davie, crybabyReligious Profanity 3 Incidents Merciful heavens used several times , Lor , I wish to heavenReligious Supernatural 6 Incidents Fairies, witches, warlocks, elves, gnomes, spirits, Greek gods, Pan, magic and spells, these are what the book is about There are unusual things that have happened in a little village and the children discover a magic spell book and begin to put the pieces together A man and a boy have a discussion about the Greek god, Pan The little boy asks if he is real, and the man said When men believed in him he was real to them This conversation helps allow for a grey line between reality and mysticism The spells in Emma Cobley s book might be wicked, and Emma Cobley herself, and Frederick the cat, and perhaps old Tom Biddle but ranged against them was the goodness of Uncle Ambrose, Ezra, and the wholesomeness of the animals, the bees, and the good spirits whom she could not see, but of whom she was aware at this moment, holding over in the dark a sort of umbrella of safety A book of magic spells is found and many of the spells are read and include the ingredients you would expect Take a boiled frog and the feathers from a black cockblood An elf man explains how the world began which includes the Greek gods, gnomes, elves and giants and ties them all in with the Bible and the fall of the bad angels before Noah s time Voodoo like dolls are used to inflict spells on people in the village These sections are fairly dark.Romance Related 3 Incidents The words breast and bosom are used non sexually The word sex is used to mean gender Nan had come across some gentle love letters in books she had read, but never anything like these, and the wild and vivid language both fascinated and repelled her There was nothing gentle about this love It was like a tempest, all rolling protestations of undying adoration shot through with fiery flashes of anger, threats, and reproaches Attitudes Disobedience 7 Incident The main children had no wish to live with her, for she was a very autocratic old lady, a grandmother of a type that was to be met with in 1912, who believed that children should be instantly obedient A boy thinks being a burglar would be a good job Not to be taken seriously A girl throws a fit, kicking her brother The author states they were not apologizing children Children steal a pony and cart and call it borrowing It ends up belonging to their uncle though they don t know that at the time A brother gets rude and snappy with his sister Now Robert hated washing, and he hated doing what he was told At one time he obeys, at another time he does not because he s angry and wants to make his uncle pay.Conversation Topics 4 Incidents Mentions tobacco and pipes Mentions strong drink a few times and a character is first seen coming home drunk, happy and singing There is a frolicking song poem about drinking After a girl confesses that she didn t mean to sin, her uncle says Then do not disturb yourself, Sin, my dear Nan, liesin the intention than the actual deed A reprehensible action which is not premeditated remains reprehensible, and should not be repeated, but is not in the eyes of heaven a grave sin Parent TakeawayThe children are not well behaved while living with their grandmother but when they move in with their uncle at the beginning of the story , he commands respect and they give it gladly The siblings, on the whole, have a nice bond with each other Regarding the magic in this book, on several occasions the author creates scenes to remove the barrier between reality and a land of magic It s not fantasy but part of our world, with a good versus evil magical battle going on Good does win in the end but there are some pretty dark moments particularly with voodoo type dolls though they are not called that Like my reviews Then you should follow me Because I have hundredsjust like this one With each review, I provide a Cleanliness Report, mentioning any objectionable content I come across so that parents and or conscientious readers like me can determine beforehand whether they want to read a book or not Content surprises are super annoying, especially when you re 100 pages in, so here s my attempt to help you avoid that So Follow or Friend me here on GoodReads You ll see my updates as I m reading and know which books I m liking and what I m not finishing and why You ll also be able to utilize my library for looking up titles to see whether the book you re thinking about reading next has any objectionable content or not From swear words, to romance, to bad attitudes in children s books , I cover it all

  2. Lisa Vegan Lisa Vegan says:

    I ve long since given up my smug assertion that others my age were deprived by missing reading certain of my favorite childhood books Well, I admit not that long, but it s been about 16 months, which is when I joined Goodreads and found so many books that I ve missed Linnets and Valerians is one of those books What s sad for me is that it was published in Great Britain in 1964 I was 10 or 11 It s that 9 10 or maybe 8 11 year old range that I would have adored this book it s a shame I wasn I ve long since given up my smug assertion that others my age were deprived by missing reading certain of my favorite childhood books Well, I admit not that long, but it s been about 16 months, which is when I joined Goodreads and found so many books that I ve missed Linnets and Valerians is one of those books What s sad for me is that it was published in Great Britain in 1964 I was 10 or 11 It s that 9 10 or maybe 8 11 year old range that I would have adored this book it s a shame I wasn t as widely read as I used to think.Linnets and Valerians is a wonderful fairy tale with identifiable and likeable characters I especially enjoyed Uncle Ambrose, but I m sure that as a girl I would have identified with Nan and at the beginning might have been a bit wary of Uncle Ambrose and all of the adult characters.The plot was completely predictable but it was a fine story The adventures the four siblings have include just the right amount of suspense and fun What I particularly enjoyed were the frequent funny parts there s so much humor in the book I was frequently amused I also appreciate these magical fantasy books that, if it wasn t for the magic, could be considered straightforward stories.Also, I do believe that this is the first book where I was able to suspend my phobia and to actually feel fond of bees No other book has helped me to do that, whether another fantasy book or a factual book or any book in between.Addendum I also have to say that Absalom is now one of my favorite dogs within books He s not made to do anything at all not dog like but the way he s written makes an impression he s a fully fledged character

  3. Jane Jane says:

    I was delighted when the Hesperus Press reissued Linnets and Valerians a while ago, but I was disappointed that the title was changed to The Runaways It s so much less intriguing and it rather misses the point this not so much a book about running away as a book about finding the right place in the world, and playing the right role.That was the only thing that disappointed me everything else I loved The Linnet children were sent to live with their elderly grandmother when their father wa I was delighted when the Hesperus Press reissued Linnets and Valerians a while ago, but I was disappointed that the title was changed to The Runaways It s so much less intriguing and it rather misses the point this not so much a book about running away as a book about finding the right place in the world, and playing the right role.That was the only thing that disappointed me everything else I loved The Linnet children were sent to live with their elderly grandmother when their father was posted overseas with his regiment, and they were not at all happy about it It wasn t that she was unkind, it was that she didn t understand Their lives were dull and confined, and so on one particularly dreary afternoon they decided that they would escape and have a grand adventure.Everything went beautifully, and they were thrilled to be out in the wilds of Dartmoor, but when the sun began to fade, when the shadows began to lengthen, when they began to feel the pangs of hunger, they realised that they hadn t planned what they would do then.They saw a pony and cart that had been left outside a pub, and they saw that it held lots of bags of groceries It seemed that it had been left there for them and so they got in, they found themselves something to eat, and they let the pony take them where it would.It took them to its home, where a rather irascible elderly gentleman was extremely surprised to see them he wasn t best pleased at what had happened but he rose to the occasion, taking them into his cottage and putting them up for the night The children were thrilled, and when the manservant who had lost the pony, the cart and the shopping cane home from the pub singing and dancing in the early hours of the morning, they were sure that this must be just the start of their adventure.They were right.The next morning they learned that the elderly gentleman had known exactly who they were He was their father s brother, their Uncle Ambrose, and that he had already visited their grandmother to make arrangements for them to stay with him for a while There would be rules, but they were very different rules There would be lessons, for several hours a day, and as long as the children worked and paid attention then they were free to do whatever they wanted, to go wherever they wanted, for the rest of the day There would be pocket money, but it would be have to be earned by doing jobs in the house and garden.It was a wonderful regime Uncle Ambrose was the very best kind of teacher and they discovered just how exciting learning can be They enjoyed doing their bit to keep the household going as they earned pennies for sweets and treats And the meals were glorious I saw Elizabeth Goudge s values threaded through the story and it was lovely She did it so gently, offering simple explanations and advice, and showing such empathy with the four children.And, of course, there were adventures.The children found that their new home was a happy place in an unhappy setting The village shopkeeper looked worryingly like a witch the tower of stones, shaped like a lion, up on the moor was said to be cursed, and the manor house had fallen into disarray and disrepair as the elderly Lady Alicia mourned her husband and son, who has both disappeared years earlier.Was it witchcraft Had the children been sent to put things right They would find out all sorts of things, they would get themselves into difficult and dangerous situations, as they explored the village and the surrounding moors.Each child was different, and at a different stage of life, and so each had a different part to play and different lessons to learn.This was a lovely story quite beautifully told Elizabeth Goudge s prose and vocabulary is as lovely as it ever is and It s rich with descriptions of the countryside that she knew and loved, and its rich with so many other things that she understood were and are so very important in life.There s magic, but it s not the kind often found in story books it s the kind of magic that rises up from nature, and from history, that is a natural part of life but is unquestionably magicBecause the story is so rich its best read slowly, chapter by chapter, and it would be quite wonderful read aloud.I think that this is a book that would work best read in childhood and I do wish I had discovered it as a child but it still has a great deal to offer to the grown up reader.As the story drew to a close I started to have an inkling of how Elizabeth Goudge would have events play out I was right and I was so pleased, because it was so utterly right So utterly right emotionally and spiritually that there were tears in my eyes

  4. Abigail Abigail says:

    So many of my friends seem to have read and loved this book, that when I first chucked it on Mt TBR, I wroteAll right, all right, enough already Everyone seems to love this, and I trust Sherri, Bunny, Lisa, Jackie, Felicity, Melody, Emily, and ConstanceHow right I was to trust these wonderful literary guides Linnets and Valerians is one of those books that would have been a five star favorite, if I had encountered it as a child, and I have no doubt that I would have revisited it perennia So many of my friends seem to have read and loved this book, that when I first chucked it on Mt TBR, I wroteAll right, all right, enough already Everyone seems to love this, and I trust Sherri, Bunny, Lisa, Jackie, Felicity, Melody, Emily, and ConstanceHow right I was to trust these wonderful literary guides Linnets and Valerians is one of those books that would have been a five star favorite, if I had encountered it as a child, and I have no doubt that I would have revisited it perennially, along with such beloved classics as Little Women and The Secret Garden It is the story of the four Linnets siblings Nan, Robert, Timothy and Betsy who, in the course of running away from their grandmother s house, inadvertently find their way to their Uncle Ambrose s home in High Barton Here they stay, cared for by their stern but loving uncle and his good fairy factotum, Ezra Oakes.Between the classical education their uncle is determined to give them, their adventures in the nearby woods beneath Lion Tor, their confrontations with the local witch, Emma Cobley, and their role in solving the mystery surrounding the reclusive Lady Alicia Valerian and her missing husband and son, the children find their new lives exciting and eventful Goudge is an engaging storyteller, and an accomplished writer, with a perceptive appreciation for the child s view of the world, and an ability to paint an immensely appealing scene Her description of the kitchen at Uncle Ambrose s house, with the cats sleeping in the sink, and the dishes on the table, made me feel as if I were right there Her many references to the world and literature of classical antiquity Hector the owl, Andromache the cat, the Great God Pan thrilled the Classicist in me Finally, the significance of the bees their role as protectors and guides has made me very curious about the folklore surrounding these creatures, and curious to learn .All in all, this was a fantastic book, and might but for one thing have won one of my rare five star ratings But the sad truth is, despite its engaging narrative and lovely prose, this adult reader was conscious of some very ugly class ideas running just beneath the surface, and as much as I tried to ignore it, I simply couldn t I found myself rather disturbed by some of the assumptions behind the Emma Cobley Lady Alicia rivalry, from the idea that one should marry within one s own class, to the notion that evil results from those who step out of their place It s not that I sympathized with Emma Cobley as an individual woman, or found her unbelievable as a villain But in a very real sense, this is a book about how a working class woman got above herself, and had to be humbled and put back in her place by a group of children I enjoyed Linnets and Valerians, and will probably revisit it, at some point, but the class issues here do make it a problematic narrative for me.Addendum It is also worth noting that there are some parallels between the story of Emma Cobley, and that of Merope Gaunt, mother of Tom Riddle in the Harry Potter books Given that Rowling has listed Goudge s The Little White Horse as one of her favorite books, it is reasonable to suppose that she has read this title as well Perhaps Linnets and Valerians was an influence

  5. Hilary Hilary says:

    I read this book aloud to my daughter Some parts felt like a bit of a slog but other parts were poetic and lovely We liked the characters and the way that at the finish of the book, all the loose ends were picked up and tied together beautifully The plot does beg the question, why didn t Ezra burn the dolls sooner Very glad to have read it though.

  6. Louise / Daisy May Johnson Louise / Daisy May Johnson says:

    I have been in a bit of a slump with reading at the moment, reading books that have left me wanting, and reading books with a tight, tense, uncharitable air This has not been productive rather so, it has left me hungry for something That hunger was sated, briefly, by my glorious Noel Streatfield but it stayed with me after that and it made itself known And when I feel like this, when there are things needling at the edge of my mind, or a closed, grey feeling to my senses, I need a very speci I have been in a bit of a slump with reading at the moment, reading books that have left me wanting, and reading books with a tight, tense, uncharitable air This has not been productive rather so, it has left me hungry for something That hunger was sated, briefly, by my glorious Noel Streatfield but it stayed with me after that and it made itself known And when I feel like this, when there are things needling at the edge of my mind, or a closed, grey feeling to my senses, I need a very specific sort of book I need Noel Streatfield I need Michelle Magorian.I need Elizabeth Goudge I need her buttery, fat prose, her Jam and Jerusalem books of England and English magic and children who make the world a better place through their simple belief and instinctive actions I need her yellow stories, the stories shot through with sunshine and meadows and hills that must be climbed and stories that must be told.I need books like this and I need to read them selfishly for when I finish reading them, I am whole I am content and complete.Linnets and Valerians is about people Round, solid heartfelt and heartsore people It s about the shapes families make with each other, the fitting, jarring shapes that occur when a piece is torn away, and the shapes that are made when a connection occurs, right on the edge of despair It is also about hope, really, and redemption It is romantic, naive, and occasionally foolish It is about magic, faith and an almost idyllic English countryside In a way it is about Love, which to be fair, is about all of those things and often all at once

  7. lucky little cat lucky little cat says:

    I would have loved it when I was eight Reading it now, I mthan a bit skeptical and annoyed at how happy all those devoted servants are to be working dawn to dusk how transparent and clunky the plot is hmm, there s a mute wild man living in a cave wonder if he ll turn out to be anyone how facile and arbitrary the magic is how cloyingly anthropomorphic that poor pet monkey is He understands English perfectly, so naturally he s pressed into service as onehappy tea serving flu I would have loved it when I was eight Reading it now, I mthan a bit skeptical and annoyed at how happy all those devoted servants are to be working dawn to dusk how transparent and clunky the plot is hmm, there s a mute wild man living in a cave wonder if he ll turn out to be anyone how facile and arbitrary the magic is how cloyingly anthropomorphic that poor pet monkey is He understands English perfectly, so naturally he s pressed into service as onehappy tea serving flunky how it s particularly disturbing that this fantasist slice of class system worship was written not in the nineteen teens, but in 1964Instead, read any of Edith Nesbit s fabulous magical books, or Edward Eager s Heck, readThe Snow Ghostswhich was written in the 1960s and features kids exploring their aunt s Stately Home for salable treasures to keep the old house from falling to bits With no servants, but with two gratifyingly doglike dogs

  8. Jackie "the Librarian" Jackie "the Librarian" says:

    This is one of those stories about four children, in this case four brothers and sisters, getting into mischief in amusing ways The descriptions take you to this English town in the countryside and give everything the possibility of magicalness Nan, Robert, Timothy, and Betsy escape the severe sternness of their grandmother s care, and somehow borrow a cart and horse that delivers them directly at their Uncle Ambrose s house, an uncle they ve never met, an uncle with a pet owl named Hector w This is one of those stories about four children, in this case four brothers and sisters, getting into mischief in amusing ways The descriptions take you to this English town in the countryside and give everything the possibility of magicalness Nan, Robert, Timothy, and Betsy escape the severe sternness of their grandmother s care, and somehow borrow a cart and horse that delivers them directly at their Uncle Ambrose s house, an uncle they ve never met, an uncle with a pet owl named Hector who hicks out owl pellets at auspicious moments.Fortunately for the four kids, he assumes guardianship of them, including their education For Uncle Ambrose is a retired schoolmaster with formidable skills in teaching The kids charm their way into Lady Alicia s reclusive life, explore the rocky hillside and discover a mute hermit, and accidentally buy candy from a witch with a cat who can grow into the size of a lion Their actions and explorations uncover old mysteries, and drive out old evil, too I really was surprised at the witchiness of this sweet story, in a good way.Recommended for kids who like the Edward Eager and E Nesbit books

  9. Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) says:

    I loved this book as a kid, and didn t realise then that this is the same EG who wrote A City of Bells The Linnet kids are not apologising children who stick together and tell each other everything, probably because they ve grown up in India where you don t apologise to servants and they didn t have anyone else of their social level to play with And for once, all the kids have red hair of one shade or another, although apparently Nan s is too sandy for her to be beautiful Betsy reminds on I loved this book as a kid, and didn t realise then that this is the same EG who wrote A City of Bells The Linnet kids are not apologising children who stick together and tell each other everything, probably because they ve grown up in India where you don t apologise to servants and they didn t have anyone else of their social level to play with And for once, all the kids have red hair of one shade or another, although apparently Nan s is too sandy for her to be beautiful Betsy reminds one strongly of Bella from A City of Bells, but she grows up a bit and stops being such a demanding crybaby when she meets her uncle Ambrose, an ex schoolmaster used to being obeyed without recourse to punishment.It s a great cosy story, and I realise upon re reading it as an adult that this is where I got my great love and respect for bees and nowadays we are learning the hard way just how important they are I still speak to any bee that flies near me in this crowded, polluted city I live in, though perhaps not respectfully enough Somehow, however, I didn t remember the main storyline of Lady Alicia and her missing family I had only retained the magical kids living in fascinating old house part, which is unusual for me I also didn t remember the witchcraft storyline, and rereading that as an adult made the ending rather dissatisfying True, Goudge was writing for children, and children of the age this book is intended for 7 10 tend to want all the ends tied up in a satisfying package, preferably with a happy ending where the good guys come out on top the kids and the bad guys the adults get their comeuppance But I found the total about face of the adult characters unconvincing, and I wonder if today s child readers would too Goudge does mention that even kindly old Ezra reserves judgement on how deep the change actually goes But it s still a good read, and one I can recommend

  10. Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) says:

    Published in America under the title Linnets and Valerians, this is a great comfort read for bedtime reading Goudge s framework for most of her stories is firmly in place an Anglican vicar in a small town or village who is not as otherworldly as he seems, children who are taken in or otherwise adopted and educated at home by the old man, and a wealthy older woman in this case only in about her 50s, which I suppose was indeed elderly in the 19th century who has effectively stopped time Published in America under the title Linnets and Valerians, this is a great comfort read for bedtime reading Goudge s framework for most of her stories is firmly in place an Anglican vicar in a small town or village who is not as otherworldly as he seems, children who are taken in or otherwise adopted and educated at home by the old man, and a wealthy older woman in this case only in about her 50s, which I suppose was indeed elderly in the 19th century who has effectively stopped time and refuses to leave the house The kids father is an army officer in Egypt, not somewhere you d want to take children from the ages of 6 10 in those days, particularly without a mother to keep an eye on them There s a curious blend of high Anglicanism and paganism in this book as there are in many of Goudge s books, particularly the Eliots of Damrosehay seriesand there is indeed the same mixture in many English villages today We are allowed to think that the vicar s man of all work may be a faery after all, his brother is a blacksmith in Pizzleton, pixy town and while it s black magic to make images of others to harm them, it is apparently ok to do it for their good, particularly if said good images are concealed in the church If I have a complaint, it is that the ending is a bit coincidental and skimped, but that I suppose is beecause when the dark is beaten everything comes right Shame she didn t give it a littledevelopment though

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