Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Tom's Midnight Garden (Puffin Books)
Tom's Midnight Garden (Puffin Books)
Puffin Books, Paperback, 28 October, 1976
Authors: Philippa Pearce, Susan Einzig
ISBN: 0140308938
List Price: £4.99
Used Price: £0.01
Third Party Price: £3.25
Availability: Limited availability
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Customer Reviews

A Classic that has stood the Test of Time!
When Tom's brother becomes ill, Tom is sent away to stay with his aunt and Uncle. To his great dismay, he finds that they live in a block of flats without a garden. Then, one night he cannot sleep, and thinks he hears the old grandfather clock in the entrance hall strike thirteen. He creeps down to check - but when he reaches the hall, he finds that there is a huge and beautiful garden behind the flats that he wasn't told about. But there is something peculiar about it; for a start, the people he sees there are all dressed in Victorian costume - and no-one, except for a little girl called Hattie, seems to be able to see him.

Are Hattie and the others all ghosts? Or is Tom a ghost himself, visiting a real world? Or is he time-travelling back through time when the clock strikes thirteen? Tom becomes obsessed with his midnight garden, wanting to spend more and more time in it - but with every visit Hattie grows a little older. Time is running out.

An intriguing tale; mysterious, atmospheric - and enchantingly written. The ending is genuinely moving. The modern-day segments of the story seem a little dated now, but in a time-slip story this really doesn't matter. A classic book that has stood the test of time - a true childhood favourite.

Alas, I am unable to improve on some of the heart-felt reviews posted below, but I can only say that this book is wonderful. The characters are well-drawn and plausible, the plot is entrancing, and the ending is moving. The sights, sounds, smells and feeling of the garden are described so vividly, I'm not surprised some readers dream they are there - I think I have, too. I first read it as a child and loved it, and my husband is reading it now, and thoroughly enjoying it. It's in my top 10 favourite books of all time, tied with 'The Ghost of Thomas Kempe', which also examines the themes of time and growing older.

Philippa Pearce's 'Time No Longer' classic deserves to be on the childhood bookcase
When his brother, Peter, contracts 'the measles', Tom has to go and stay with his uncle and aunt who have a small 'flat' and NO garden, allegedly! One evening his boredom finds him counting the chimes of the 'Grandfather Clock' down in the communual hall - he can't believe it when the clock strikes thirteen, at midnight, and sets out to find out why.
His 'ghostly' nightly adventures, thereafter, take him back to a time when the house, and seriously big garden, are owned by a Victorian family.

Noone can see Tom, except the young girl 'Hattie'.......and eventually, another character, but I won't spoil the story for you!
However I will say that there is an unexpected twist in the tale, which must surely be a unique ending for a book of this age!

Philippa Pearce's 'Time No Longer' classic deserves to be on the childhood bookcase, along with 'The Secret Garden' and 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe', in my opinion.

The book is simply too exciting, and intriguing, to put down for long!

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