Sunday, December 25, 2011

Week 52: The Country Child


The Country Child, by Alison Uttley

I haven't read nearly as much by Alison Uttley as I would like to, but she's not easy to come by these days. She wrote quite a lot, but apparently most of it was picture books. I've had The Country Child for years, and I wanted to read it as a Christmas book, even though really the story goes through a whole year. The Christmas parts are what stuck in my head from my first reading.

Susan Garland lives on an isolated farm high in the hills, and the story simply follows her through a year. There is a lot of very detailed, very beautiful description of the country, the people, and the things in Susan's life. It's really a fictionalized version of Uttley's own childhood at the end of the 19th century. Americans will find it a bit similar to the "Little House" series, but of course with a very different feel.

The other Uttley book I have is probably her best-known, A Traveler in Time, about an adventure back to the life of Mary, Queen of Scots.

This cover is the one I have; it's a very old Peacock edition "for older children." It looks like it hasn't been in print in the US for quite some time, but is in the UK.

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