Saturday, October 18, 2014
Tom's Midnight Garden, by A. Philippa Pearce
It's a classic story (first published in 1958) but I've never read it before. One is immediately struck with how stiff and awkward the writing is (from a combination of the era when children's books were stiff and awkward with the English-ness of the writing and setting). The mannerisms (particularly Tom and Peter's affection for each other) also seemed a bit creepy at times.
However, it has its charms. The tale is terribly innocent in a way that children's books don't allow much anymore. The appeal of the book (child able to take secret adventure to places adults can't go) is timeless, even if the story itself is horribly dated. And the story, with a dash of The Secret Garden and Somewhere in Time even has a sweet romantic quality to it, although naturally enough (given the context it was written in) that romance is more infantile than passionate.