Today I’m delighted to welcome children’s writer Julia Thum. Her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read is The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.
“The story is about a beautiful valley called Moonacre that is shadowed by the tragic memory of a Moon Princess and a mysterious little white horse. When 13 year old orphan Maria Merryweather is sent to live there she finds herself involved in an ancient feud and is determined to restore peace and happiness to the whole of Moonacre Valley.
“I first read this magical story when I was eleven. My father had just died and we were living on a farm in Somerset. I still remember transposing Moonacre’s fantasy world onto my own life and spending many happy hours wandering around the fields pretending to be Maria and looking for the mysterious little white horse.
“I read and re-read the story all through my teens and tweens, picking it up whenever I needed a safe space. In adult life, I’ve read The Little White Horse to all my children. Now they’re teenagers, and I’m moving from writing adult to ‘middle grade’ children’s fiction, I’m re-visiting the story, looking at the form, the structure, and trying to ‘bottle’ what makes it so enchanting.
“The world of The Little White Horse gave me somewhere to escape when the world was spinning too fast. Now, when I pass it on the bookshelf, I pause, exhale and enjoy the memory of all the magic it has bought to my life.”
Julia visits primary and secondary schools delivering reading and writing workshops to students, reviews books on her website and BBC Berkshire Book Club, and blogs about books and nature on Twitter. Her second novel, a magical realism story for middle grade readers, is due out next year.
Julia’s latest book
Julia Thum co-authored the cozy mystery Riverside Lane by Ginger Black.
“A lovely, witty slice of middle class English village life a la MC Beaton!” – Sally Hamilton, ‘Mail on Sunday’
A handsome American with a secret, Luca Tempesta, gets off a plane at Heathrow and heads for a quiet village by the Thames, taking time out, it would appear, for a holiday in the tranquil English backwater.
But Luca soon realises that The Village is not such an easy place to hide. A former spy, a gameshow host, a model, a journalist, the vicar and a biker all play a part in making up the village scene, with secrets lurking at every twist and turn of the river.
What is a ‘Porridge & Cream’ book? It’s the book you turn to when you need a familiar read, when you are tired, ill, or out-of-sorts, where you know the story and love it. Where reading it is like slipping on your oldest, scruffiest slippers after walking for miles. Where does the name ‘Porridge & Cream’ come from? Cat Deerborn is a character in Susan Hill’s ‘Simon Serrailler’ detective series. Cat is a hard-worked GP, a widow with two children and she struggles from day-to-day. One night, after a particularly difficult day, she needs something familiar to read. From her bookshelf she selects ‘Love in A Cold Climate’ by Nancy Mitford. Do you have a favourite read which you return to again and again? If so, please send me a message.
Discover the ‘Porridge & Cream’ books of these authors:-
Rob V Biggs’s choice is ‘Wind in the Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame
Susanna Beard chooses ‘Winnie the Pooh’ by AA Milne
‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett is chosen by Laura Wilkinson
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does children’s #author @JuliaThumWrites re-read THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE by Elizabeth Goudge? #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-47M via @SandraDanby