Childhood favourites (Was Oh the horror!)

Abe Gross argross at
Wed Feb 12 07:34:59 EST 2003

> Ros:
> > Enid Blyton, The Noddy books when I was very young, then the The Faraway
> > Tree books (a teacher read them aloud to us and then I borrowed them)

Charles replied:

> When I teach CL I usually get my students to name their favourite book
> childhood as a way of breaking the ice in the first seminar. There's
> a lot of Roahl Dahl, but the runaway winner over the years has been
> Magic Faraway Tree. (These are students born, on average, between 1980 and
> 1985). Whenever one person mentions that book the eyes of all the rest
> over in nostalgic stupefaction...

As I was born in 1952, I don't fall into the category you mention, and I
know there are lots of people of my generation who get nostalgic about these
books, as well as the Wishing Chair ones. It's interesting that these books
have been so popular and are still being read (my own children loved them),
as the writing is quite uneven, and parts are downright terrible.

> > There were two fantasy or maybe 'magic realism' books that I read when I
> was
> > in Grade 6 and about 12 that I've never been able to find again. One was
> > called The White Room and might have been by Elizabeth Beresford (but
> > doesn't sound right). It was about an unhappy woman who gets trapped in
> > snowstorm and has a transformative experience (and probably not really a
> > fantasy book).
> Could it be this one by Elizabeth Coatsworth?
> "The White Room: An Incredible Tale (1958): The real and the imagined
> indistinguishable. Novel set on a hilltop on the Maine coast. A woman
> for control of herself her family from the loneliness of the land and the
> strong will of her husband's sister."

Hey, thanks! This sounds very possible. I do remember now that there was a
sister (or sister-in-law) whose influence the woman was fighting. The
publication year sounds possible, too, as I would have read it in about
1963. Yes, it sounds right. I'll look this up in my library and see if I can
find it. Thanks!

> I can't remember either the title or the author of the other
> > book, but know that it was about a strange family, whose deep and dark
> > secret ends up being that they are really partidges. If anyone can
> identify
> > eithe rof these books, BTW, I will be eternally grateful to them!
> I do remember a programme called The Partridge Family from the early
> and my memory is that one of them had dark secret too - he was really
> Cassidy!

;-))) I wish I could think of a really clever comeback, but I can't! :-)


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