- Author Frances Hodgson Burnett
I liked the start of the book - it’s always intriguing to have an out of sorts child and take them to a new environment to get fit and well. Similar to the story in Goodnight Mister Tom. It was also interesting to see Mary find out about Colin and help him to change as well, despite them both being the most obstinate creatures that have ever lived!
The descriptions of the house and the gardens were great, and although Mary lived a lonely existence for a while, there was something quite calming about the idea of wandering around the grounds all day every day with no pressures.
It was when Colin got out into the garden and started really talking about the Magic that I started to lose interest in the story. It began to sound a bit like a cult, him holding daily meetings about the Magic and praying to whoever it was that was making it happen. I didn’t like the paragraphs that were told from the point of view of the robin. Although they had imbued him with a fabulous little personality up to that point, it didn’t feel right that he then took over the observations in the story.
I also thought it all ended rather abruptly. It was pretty obvious that it was all going to work out okay in the end, and I really liked hearing about the father’s lonely journeys as well. But then he came back and Colin walked and that was it, all within the space of a few pages.
What about Mary? She was the protagonist at the beginning, but then it all became about someone else, and I wonder where her place lies in the new, happy family of Colin and his father.