Recently, I’ve been reminiscing about the books I enjoyed in childhood. So when I stumbled upon a dusty copy of The Folk of the Faraway Tree in an Oxfam shop, I couldn’t resist parting with a couple of quid to take it home for Toby. This was a book I can still remember loving to this day.
Connie’s perfect clothes and perfect hair left an imprint on my memory that’s not faded in almost 30 years. Moonface, too.
Plus, I take great pleasure from buying second-hand books. I’m well aware of the time and effort that is spent creating a book, so it is only right that books should be passed on when finished with rather than gather dust on an empty shelf for posturing purposes. Books are for sharing, so I was really looking forward to sharing this one with Toby.
But then I opened it. And I started reading. And actually it’s a bit rubbish. The writing is poor, the characters are bland. and it’s all a heap of nonsense so far. What a disappointment. I can’t quite believe I ever enjoyed this.
Toby seems to like it so far though. And really it’s a story for him, so that’s the main thing. He’s even displayed an appropriate amount of scorn for spoilt brat Connie, proving that he would fit in comfortably inside an Enid Blyton novel, as all well brought up middle class kids should.
Whereas I can’t help relating to unpopular Connie with her urbanite ways. At least she’s a bit interesting. . .
We’re only a few chapters in, so we’ll see whether Toby sticks with it, and I remember why on earth I ever loved it.