I found The Railway Children to be a very pleasant read. I can't say that I loved, loved, loved it. Or that it is my favorite Nesbit read of all time. It isn't. But it was quite enjoyable. The Railway Children is not a children's fantasy book. Plenty of Nesbit's books are, but this one isn't. It is realistic fiction. Three siblings: Roberta, Peter, Phyllis star in this one. The family is having some hard times. Their father has been put into jail. (He's innocent, of course.) The mother is supporting the family by writing stories. She's a very good writer, but, she's kept very busy and very worried. The children may feel pressure to be strong and good, to do nothing that might in any way worry their mother, but, reality is that they are kids and they act like kids. They have their good days and bad days. And sometimes things just happen, adventures just happen. The children meet a LOT of people. This one has a strong community feel. It's just a lovely read.
I first reviewed this one in August 2011.
“I suppose I shall HAVE to be married some day,” said Peter, “but it will be an awful bother having her round all the time. I’d like to marry a lady who had trances, and only woke up once or twice a year.”
“Just to say you were the light of her life and then go to sleep again. Yes. That wouldn’t be bad,” said Bobbie. “When I get married,” said Phyllis, “I shall want him to want me to be awake all the time, so that I can hear him say how nice I am.”
Peter sowed vegetable seeds in his — carrots and onions and turnips. The seed was given to him by the farmer who lived in the nice black-and-white, wood-and-plaster house just beyond the bridge. He kept turkeys and guinea fowls, and was a most amiable man. But Peter’s vegetables never had much of a chance, because he liked to use the earth of his garden for digging canals, and making forts and earthworks for his toy soldiers. And the seeds of vegetables rarely come to much in a soil that is constantly disturbed for the purposes of war and irrigation.
“There’s no end to this tunnel,” said Phyllis — and indeed it did seem very very long. “Stick to it,” said Peter; “everything has an end, and you get to it if you only keep all on.” Which is quite true, if you come to think of it, and a useful thing to remember in seasons of trouble — such as measles, arithmetic, impositions, and those times when you are in disgrace, and feel as though no one would ever love you again, and you could never — never again — love anybody.
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews