Monday, January 25, 2010

The Borrowers

By Mary Norton

"Arrietty Clock is a Borrower, although actually, when this story starts, she's never been borrowing in her life. She lives with her father and mother under the floorboards in the kitchen of a rather large, old house. Her father, Pod, regularly goes off borrowing, for the things that the family needs.

Have you ever wondered where all those little lost things go to in a house? All the bottle tops and pins and needles and string and matchboxes and reels of cotton and a hundred and one other things? Well, someone like Pod has probably been round collecting them.

You should see where they live:

'Homily was proud of her sitting-room - the walls had been papered with scraps of old letters out of waste-paper baskets, and Homily had arranged the handwriting sideways in vertical stripes which ran from floor to ceiling. On the walls, repeated in various colours, hung several portraits of Queen Victoria as a girl; these were postage stamps, borrowed by Pod some years ago from the stamp-box on the desk in the morning-room. There was a lacquer trinket-box, padded inside and with the lid open, which they used as a settle, and that useful stand-by - a chest of drawers made of match-boxes. There was a round table with a red velvet cloth, which Pod had made from the wooden bottom of a pill-box supported on the carved pedestal of a knight from the chess-set.'

As Homily will tell you when you read the book, there used to be many families of Borrowers living in the big house. There were the Overmantels, and the Harpsichords and the Broom-Cupboards, to name a few. But by the time we meet the Clocks, those other families have all gone. Where to? I'm not sure really. But they've most likely gone to live somewhere a bit safer. Arrietty's Uncle Hendreary and Aunt Lupy emigrated with their family to an old badger set in the fields. So that just leaves Arrietty and her parents living a rather lonely life, locked away behind all the gates that Pod has built to keep them safe.

Safe from what? Well, there are the obvious dangers like rats and cats, but the worst thing of all is to be 'seen'. And that, is what happens to Pod.

Now, if you want to know who sees Pod, and what happens next, you will have to read the book. I think you will really enjoy this story."

(Above taken from here)

This is the first book in Mary Norton's "Borrowers" series. There are about six books in the series, I believe. The first three I have read - though I only own the first one, and am only reviewing the first one at present. Anyway, this is a great book, especially for anyone who enjoys reading about "little people" and has often wondered if there really is a valid explanation as to why small items just seem to disappear.



AliceKay said...

I've always wondered where little things disappear to. This might be the answer. :)

Deanna said...

I always blamed my lack of memory for things disappearing.... it sounds like this book is a must read!!!!