- Hardcover (Lion UK, 292 pages)
- First published 1946; this edition published 2008
- Rating on Goodreads: 4 stars
- Buy the book here
“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.”
Oh, the nostalgia. Oh, the love I have for this book.
Having misplaced my well-worn paperback years ago, I decided this year to buy another copy and give this children’s classic a reread. I’m so pleased that I did. Details that I remembered from reading the book as a child were made even more vivid; Goudge’s knack for lovely description is so clear in this tale, as is her genuine skill at making a children’s book simple in style but engaging for all ages. Honestly, I don’t care if you’re seven or seventy – if you read this book, I dare you not to find an easy joy in doing so.
Granted, an adult mind might spot a few loose ends and a few obviously contrived endings – but then we must remember that this book is not meant to be complex, and that it is a children’s tale. The Little White Horse is a fantastic first foray into fantasy for any child – it certainly has its fair share of the ethereal – but there are also elements of everyday life and everyday struggles that will charm children and act as a nod to those of us who are older.
At the end of the day, this is a biased review. And I’m not apologising for it. I love this book too much to tear it down for being ‘childish’ or ‘twee’. I honestly believe that it’s a lost classic that needs to be brought back to children; I know my children will certainly be introduced to it. And if they love it?
My job will be done.