Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Railway Children - E.Nesbit

The Railway Children is not perfect; it's like Christmas.  Santa Claus is not real, and those presents I got - my fort for example - weren't made by elves; they were made or bought by my father and mother.  Having said that the delight of Santa was fantastic as a child; and the wonder of imagining the man, with his reindeer and helpers, is a magic that can be remembered with pleasure.

The same can be said about The Railway Children.  The morals are so perfect they are twee; and the narrative is so perfect it too is twee.  Yet, it is fantastic to read about a world where being nice to people is transformational, where hoisting your red petticoat on a pole can save a train, and where everything works out splendidly well because that is how it should be.

I won't recommend this book; it recommends itself.  I read it with relish throughout, however, savouring the twee, and wanting what happened to happen, and for the adventures to continue forever.  The prose is simple, sweet, direct and engaging; I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Does that make me a bad man?

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