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The Little White Horse Paperback – Jul 3 2000
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'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
About the Author
Elizabeth Goudge wrote a number of popular children’s and adult books, including Green Dolphin Street and I Saw Three Ships.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a wonderful story for children and adults. This is the kind of book one keeps forever.Published 15 months ago by Fieryd
A wonderful story of a young girls journey to a land that might, possibly still exist today in some forgotten corner of the world.Published 19 months ago by 4mypny
My all-time favourite book as a child still retains its magic. Elizabeth Goudge's inimitable style has timeless appealPublished on June 30 2014 by Amazon Customer
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 morePublished on Nov. 11 2013 by Notorious Book Reader
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 morePublished on June 12 2010 by maribel
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 morePublished on Feb. 1 2009 by Michele S.
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 morePublished on Jan. 27 2009 by CanadianMother
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 morePublished on June 25 2004 by Amazon Customer
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 morePublished on April 23 2004 by Lucy