20/09/1999

Linnets and Valerians (by Elizabeth Goudge)

'Linnets and Valerians' is a novel for children or younger teenagers by Elizabeth Goudge. This author is probably best known for her other children's book, 'The Little White Horse', but she also wrote novels for adults.

Note that 'Linnets and Valerians' is sometimes known by an alternative title of 'The Runaways'.

The story is about four children who run away from their strict grandmother, and find their uncle, who undertakes to teach them at home. He's rather strict too, but has a very human side to him as well.

The children become involved in superstitious practices and meet a sad old lady, eventually releasing her from her troubles and finding happiness themselves.

It's a slightly odd book, and distinctly old-fashioned, but enjoyable nonetheless. Not currently in print but fairly widely available second-hand.

Recommended to older children and teens, and of course their parents.

Review copyright 1999 Sue's Book Reviews.

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