When I was about 12 or 13, I read this incredible book. I LOVED it and I powered through it in about an hour (it’s about the length of a novella). I can still remember vividly how disappointed I was when I read the last word. I wanted to go back and visit the characters over and over again. It truly was a magical book.My copy was a paperback, and it eventually fell apart or got lost. I don’t know what happened to it, but the one thing I didn’t lose was the joy I experienced reading the book or bits and pieces of the story. I loved the book so much that I went looking for it at the library when I had my first child about 20 years ago. I wanted to share it with her as a bedtime read.
The Memory Goes Early
Problem was, I couldn’t remember the name of the book. I tried everything I could to think about what the title might be. I went to the library, asked librarians all to no avail. Then the Internet happened. I found a forum around the time of my second child’s due date, and I asked if anyone remembered a book about a character named Flora, brownies invading a castle and a carriage that was either magical or was part of a wedding event. Within hours, I had at least three people post that it sounded like I was talking about Shadow Castle, a book by Marian Cockrell.
With the name in hand, I went to the library. They didn’t have it. I had no idea that the book had been written in 1945! So I sadly accepted that I would probably never get to read the story to my baby. But some part of me refused to let go of the idea that I could find a copy somewhere. So I searched the Internet for used copies of the book, when lo and behold, I stumbled across a print on demand company called iUniverse. They had the book and for something like $17 plus S/H the book could be mine. I didn’t hesitate.
When the book arrived, I immediately sat down and reread it. Holding it in my hand made me realize WHY I’d been able to read it so fast. It’s only about 140 pages long. Growing up also had a lot of impact on my viewpoint of my second read. I still enjoyed the book, but the memory of what I’d experienced as a kid didn’t equate to what I experienced as an adult.
It Sucks To Get Old!
Talk about a let down! When in the hell did I lose my ability to be a kid? Enjoy the simple pleasures that a kid does. WHEN did I actually grow up? Or maybe it was the fact that it was the second time I read it, and after all these years I’d built up expectations that no book could meet. It doesn’t really matter, because the book is still a wonderful read. I highly recommend this book for reading with a 7-8 year old or for kids up to 12 or 13. Any older than that, and they’re going to go meh.
I can’t recommend this book enough. Even if you’re kids are grown, get the book for your own pleasure. My copy is hard cover, and it sits on my keeper shelf. One day I expect to either read it or loan it to a grandchild.
Don’t walk, RUN to get this book!