Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards
The magic of finding a home …
Mandy, a ten-year-old orphan, dreams of a place to call her own. Escaping over the orphanage wall to explore the outside world, Mandy discovers a tiny deserted cottage in the woods. All through the spring, summer, and fall, Mandy works to make it truly hers. Sometimes she “borrows” things she needs from the orphanage. Sometimes, to guard her secret, she even lies. Then, one stormy night at the cottage, Mandy gets sick, and no one knows how to find her – except a special friend she didn’t know she had.
Forgive me if, in this review, I do nothing but praise this book excessively. But, to be honest, there’s nothing I can find fault in, and I refuse to search for faults in a childhood favorite of mine.
Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards is perfect.
St. Martin’s Orphanage, where Mandy, a ten-year-old little girl, and about thirty other little girls live, is not a cruel place where orphans are whipped and underfed. The girls are well-cared for, and they’re not mistreated, but of course they’re still orphans. And Mandy is discontented with her lot.
She wants a place she can call her own … and a real, honest-to-goodness family. One day, she climbs the wall at the back of the garden, walks through a woods, and finds an adorable little abandoned cottage in a glen. And she starts to take care of it.
Well, everything goes well for a time. Mandy even starts getting letters from a “secret admirer” who leaves her gifts at the cottage. But, to help fix up the cottage, Mandy has been “borrowing” things – silverware, dust-cloths, gardening tools – and it starts to come back on her. Besides, Mandy isn’t feeling very well … but she’s determined not to let her home all back in ruins.
If you know me, you know I don’t cry often. Like, ever. But whenever I read Mandy, I start crying. It is so touching, so adorable, so sweet! And, even though it was written from children, I still love it, and I always will.
The characters are very well-written. I feel as if I know Mandy personally, and I love her. She has such a great capacity for feeling! I also know Sue and Matron and Jake and later on, Ann and Bill and Jonathan.
The writing is magical, as is the normal-English-village setting. I feel as though I enter a fantasy-world whenever I read this book … and there’s not a trace of magic in it. Yet, it feels like a fantasy. I suppose it’s a fantasy one could actually live in.
If you want to read something light or happy, I encourage you to get Mandy. It is probably one of the – if not the – best books out there for children. 5/5 stars, and only because I can’t give it ten. 🙂
That’s all for today, folks!