Monday, August 10, 2009
Tom's Midnight Garden
Pearce, Philippa. 1958. Tom's Midnight Garden.
If, standing alone on the back doorstep, Tom allowed himself to weep tears, they were tears of anger.
I wasn't quite sure what to think of Tom's Midnight Garden when I started. It was a bit old-fashioned. I suppose that's only to be expected. What is it about? Tom is visiting his aunt and uncle. His brother, Peter, has the measles. And Tom could have them as well. Which is why he's kept close to the flat, you know, just in case. He's got little to do with himself. And if it wasn't for the nighttime, it would be a dull read. But Tom has a secret. A big secret. Each night the old grandfather clock downstairs chimes thirteen times. And when it does, Tom slips out of bed, out of the house, and begins playing in a garden that only appears in the night. The garden is magical--as he discovers--it can be any season, any weather--though mostly the days are wonderfully fine. Sometimes Tom sees people in the garden. But most of the time--at least at the start--these people don't seem to see him. But one person, a girl named Hatty, becomes his friend. And Tom loves having a friend. He'd happily join Hatty in her world if he could. But he can't. And these good times aren't destined to last. After all, Tom's only visiting because his brother, Peter, is sick. When Peter's better, Tom's parents will want him back, expect him to come home. So Tom must make the most of his time.
I did like this one. (I didn't love it though.) The ending redeemed it because I found it a satisfying conclusion.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews