The Little White Horse
Author: Elizabeth Goudge
Synopsis: When orphaned young Maria Merryweather arrives at Moonacre Manor, she feels as if she's entered Paradise. Her new guardian, her uncle Sir Benjamin, is kind and funny; the Manor itself feels like home right away; and every person and animal she meets is like an old friend. But there is something incredibly sad beneath all of this beauty and comfort -- a tragedy that happened years ago, shadowing Moonacre Manor and the town around it -- and Maria is determined to learn about it, change it, and give her own life story a happy ending. But what can one solitary girl do?
Why did I pick it up?: J.K. Rowling said this was her favorite childhood book. Also there is quote from this book which has stayed with her throughout her life, "Humanity can be roughly divided into three sorts of people -- those who find comfort in literature, those who find comfort in personal adornment and those who find comfort in food."
As she is one of my favorite writers, I picked the book up right away.
Favorite Line: "Don't waste hate on a pink geranium."
My Review: I took my time reading this. Whenever I had a minute to spare I'd read a few pages.Until I reached the middle and then I curled up on the couch and finished it in one sitting.
This is everything a children's book should be. Full of just the right amounts of magic, adventure and romance The Little White Horse is uplifting without being too predictable. Maria Merryweather is feisty and clever but full of quirks which make her believable, the best kind of heroine. Her friendship with the townsfolk, her uncle and the animals she meets along the way is real as well as heartwarming. With every page the fantasy elements increase, so that you feel as though the world of magic is presented in a gentle manner which makes it feel all the more realistic.
Connections to Harry Potter abound. Needless to say that pleased me greatly. One of the most obvious similarities is a tunnel with its entrance hidden by a great tree, exactly like the Whomping Willow. The way food is presented and described is also very similar to the Potter series. As is a particular house cat at Moonacre Manor who like Crookshanks is abnormally intelligent.
Recommendation: Children and fans of The Secret Garden and The Hobbit will enjoy. It will appeal more to girls.
Next Week: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore