Monday, 9 January 2012

The Borrowers - Mary Nichols

ISBN: 978-0140364514

Over my Christmas break, I thought it necessary to relive this charming classic. In fact, I started reading it aloud to my family. However, after the first chapter nobody seemed available to listen to it... Rest assured, this is certainly due to my over-emphatic reading voice, rather than this gripping tale.

And it is gripping; the plot moves quickly which makes it highly accessible for children, and the characters are more than endearing. Despite the small scale of these heroes, they have enormous personalities which glow through the pages like a night light, reassuringly present throughout. Each of us, I'm sure will have somebody we know who is encapsulated in the character of each Borrower.

This novel is interesting from a literary standpoint too, with it's exquisite frame narration. We are told this story by a girl, who pretends to be Kate, who is told it by Mrs. May, who was told it by her brother! This of course has interesting implications on the reliability of the plot, which is so important in a story where many of the characters feel the need to be believed. This has elements of meta fiction too, with the storyteller coming out of the tale at the end, reminding us that it is, in fact, just a story.

Rating: 8/10

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