Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rereading The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge

The Little White HorseThe carriage gave another lurch, and Maria Merryweather, Miss Heliotrope, and Wiggins once more feel into each other's arms, sighed, gasped, righted themselves, and fixed their attention upon those objects which were for each of them at this trying moment the source of courage and strength. 

"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?"

The Little White Horse is in no way a remarkable story, and it's certainly not original. It's also somewhat sexist, cliched, and typically Gothic. However, it is also entertaining, and the writing can be humorous at times. I bought it a long, long time ago, and I remember not really liking the later sections the first time I read it. The second time I read, which was still a long time ago, I enjoyed it a bit more. 

This time, I noticed how sexist it was in parts, but once kind of has to expect that from a book set in the Victorian era and written in 1946. Everyone kept telling Maria to keep her "feminine curiosity"in check. I don't have much to say about this one, and not much time, but I did enjoy it. It's certainly not brilliant, although I enjoyed reading the mystery, and the wonderful descriptions of Moonacre Manor, which feels like paradise at first. I would love to have Maria's room in the turret. The Christian agenda really annoyed me though, so I didn't end up liking this one as much as when I was younger. The atheist characters are all evil, which annoyed me so much. 

It is a fun little tale though. I would recommend it for younger children, as long as they don't take to heart the "morals" of the story, which are atrocious.

Read The Little White Horse:
  • if you like horse-related stories
  • if you like mysteries
238 pages.

Rating: ***

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