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The Little White Horse [Paperback]

Elizabeth Goudge
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 14.00
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Book Description

July 3 2000

The beautiful valley of Moonacre is shadowed by the memory of the Moon Princess and the mysterious little white horse. When Maria Merryweather comes to live at Moonacre Manor she finds herself involved with an ancient feud. She is determined to restore peace and happiness to the whole of Moonacre Valley, and Maria usually gets her own way!


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Review

'The Little White Horse was my favourite childhood book. I absolutely adored it. It had a cracking plot. It was scary and romantic in parts and had a feisty heroine.' -- JK Rowling The Bookseller 19980911

About the Author

Elizabeth Goudge wrote a number of popular children’s and adult books, including Green Dolphin Street and I Saw Three Ships.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moonlit fantasy Jan. 30 2002
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
It's too bad that so few of Elizabeth Goudge's books are in print, though I am grateful that this one has been reprinted. I'd never read it before, and initially I was turned off by the unicorn illustration on the cover. But I'd heard lots of comments about how magical it was, and so I sat down to read.
Newly orphaned Maria Merryweather is being sent from London to Moonacre Manor, the castle-like home of her uncle, Benjamin Merryweather. Initially Maria and her devoted governess Miss Heliotrope expect the place to be cold and uncomfortable -- but Maria is delighted to see an enchanted, silvery landscape, and the brief vision of a white horse running past. She fits quickly into the slightly strange, almost idyllic surroundings -- despite the fact that no woman has come to Moonacre Manor in twenty years. But Sir Benjamin seems very pleasant -- as does the huge, unusual dog Wrolf.
Maria is enchanted both by the beautiful natural surroundings and the neighboring village of Silverydew. But she begins to sense that something is wrong: her uncle is unhappy about something and won't talk about the briefly-seen white horse. Her childhood invisible friend Robin returns to her -- and the inhabitants of Silverydew know him. Beautiful items are laid out in her tiny, luxurious room -- with the initials L.M. And strange dark figures are creeping through the woods near the sea. Maria soon finds out about a long-lasting story of magic, sadness, greed and darkness that has haunted her family for generations, and is determined to set it right.
Goudge was evidently one of the few authors who can effectively blur the line between reality and dreaminess. Some sections of her prose are almost intoxicating; she never held back from describing surroundings and items lushly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written, Disappointingly Constructed March 12 2004
Format:Paperback
How difficult it is to find children's novels that are actually well-written, in a language that is not dumbed-down. Elizabeth Goudge's prose is truly beautiful. Her ability to paint a picture with words is refreshing and satisfying, and her writing most certainly draws the reader in -- one can't put the book down because one simply MUST know what happens to little Maria!
The story falls short not in the writing but in the actual content. Throughout the book, it is clear that Maria's every decision is made beforehand -- from the clothing that is mysteriously laid out for her in the morning to her trip to the castle of the Wicked Men. It is as though she is merely reading a script -- not boldly adventuring forth to seek her destiny. Perhaps the stunning writing of Ms. Goudge sets the reader up for a more complex, less predicatable storyline. In any case, I found myself sorely disappointed in the tale, while completely satisfied with the writing.
Why 4 stars then? There is great value in a well-written book, and compared to much of what is out there today, The Little White Horse shines. My nine-year-old daughter absolutely loved it -- and she is our resident Bookworm.
Borrow this book from the library before you invest in a copy. If your daughter's eyes are sparkling after she reads it, then by all means, grace your bookshelf with this novel. There are far worse choices out there.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mistaken Identity--by Moonlight July 10 2003
By Plume45
Format:Paperback
This 40's fantasy--beloved by J.K. Rowling--might be too
saccharine for the 21st century; it is certain to bore most boys by the end of chapter one. Uneven pacing makes this tale a difficult read to embrace immediately; the vocabulary is dated and requires frequent trips to the dictionary. Much time is spent in exposition, with little dialogue in the opening pages, so youthful readers will need great patience until the plot takes off. The behavior of the 13-year-old protagonist is unrealistic, as she orders her elders about, making decisions beyond her years. However noble her intentions, can she tame a lifelong villain and convert a confirmed bachelor? More importantly: can she learn to curb her own temper, which could jeopardize her dearest goals?
It has fallen to Maria Merryweather--the youngest in a line of unhappy moon princesses--to right century-old wrongs at and around Moonacre Manor. Upon arriving there as an orphan, accompanied by her faithful governess, Miss Heliotrope, Maria immediately loves the countryside, the quaint village and her middle-aged cousin/guardian. But gradually she discovers family secrets and town legends which transcend generations of pain and desapir. Can one slender girl make amends for past atrocities and more recent insults? And what was the fate of that elusive necklace of Moon Pearls?
Author Elizabeth Goudge has chosen to set her story in the early 19th century, so be prepared for many antiquated words and Victorian objects. Various animals--some with supernatural powers--are crucial to the denoument. One clear, prevailing theme is that of the need for balance and cooperation between the sun and the moon, between both moral and physical courage.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most beloved children's books ever! July 28 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, describes this as having been her favorite childhood book. It was mine also -- and here are some reasons why. First, it is a terrific adventure story about a young girl who is feisty, opinionated, imperious and fiercely intelligent -- and who learns to control those qualities so that they become helpful instead of harmful.
Second, the book was written a few decades ago and -- surprise! it advocates old-fashioned values such as courage, honesty, kindness and gentle humor. One of the themes of this book is the redemptive power of love and forgiveness. How refreshing, in the era of crass, foulmouthed material from Disney and Nickelodeon being pushed by marketers as suitable fare for young children.
Third, the book is beautifully written. It does not condescend to young readers by assuming they cannot stretch their minds or vocabularies. It contains wonderful imaginative language, complex sentences, unfamiliar words and fantastic images, all wrapped in a story that is exciting enough to make many young readers curious about the unfamiliar elements. I loved this book so much as a child that I have kept my original paperback copy for 35 years and have bought hardcover copies for my children.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Moonlight and magic
My all-time favourite book as a child still retains its magic. Elizabeth Goudge's inimitable style has timeless appeal
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book.
I love this book. I also like Elizabeth Goudge's other book The Blue Hills. They are similar for they are both childrens novels and are told with a magic like quality of a world... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Notorious Book Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timely spiritual inspiration for children.
The Little White Horse, though written by Elizabeth Gouge over fifty years ago, is a timely spiritually uplifting story blended into a magical romantic fairy tale for young girls. Read more
Published on June 12 2010 by maribel
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it again and again and again....
I read "The Little White Horse" as a kid in England. I managed to get a paperback copy of it one day, many years ago, when I was actually at a horse racing day-out in Canada. Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2009 by Michele S.
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely story for the young--or the young at heart
My 9 year old daughter recently read The Little White Horse and was so enchanted by it that she asked me to read it as well. Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2009 by CanadianMother
4.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, but definately worth your time
Honestly, I just bought this book because my hero, J.K. Rowling, cites it as one of her all-time favorites. After reading it, I understand why that is. Read more
Published on June 25 2004 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Moon Princess
When Maria Merryweather moves house to a new home in the countryside, it seems that there is a lot more to the town than first meets the eye. Read more
Published on April 23 2004 by Lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sun and the Sickle Moon
Maria Merryweather, her governess and the unfaithful dog, Wiggins, all set off to the home, (Or castle), belonging to Maria's cousin, Sir Benjamin. Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by Lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars The best fantasy ever!
I loved this book, I first read it when I was little and even now 20 odd years later its still a firm favourite. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware Of Cavities
I read this book on the recommendation of J K Rowling who, according to the cover, "absolutely adored" it. Read more
Published on April 20 2003
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