Tom’s Midnight Garden
Philippa Pearce, Tom's Midnight Garden, Slightly Foxed Shop
  • Pages: 240
  • ISBN: 9780192734501
  • Publisher: OUP
  • Binding: Paperback

Tom’s Midnight Garden

Philippa Pearce

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Description

Lying awake at night, Tom hears the old grandfather clock downstairs strike . . . eleven . . . twelve . . . thirteen . . . Thirteen? When Tom gets up to investigate, he discovers a magical garden. A garden that everyone told him doesn’t exist. A garden that only he can enter . . .

Reviewed by Maggie Fergusson in Slightly Foxed Issue 40.

When the Clock Struck Thirteen

MAGGIE FERGUSSON

A lot of the stories I loved most as a child involved doors. Aged about 4, I suppose, I passed through the small, latched door in the hillside, into Mrs Tiggywinkle’s flagged kitchen, filled with the ‘nice, hot, singey smell’ of ironing, busy and reassuring. A few years later came the doors into Narnia, the Secret Garden and Wonderland, Bilbo Baggins’s ‘perfectly round’ green door with its shiny yellow brass knob ‘in the exact middle’, the door into the Yellow Dwarf ’s home in the orange tree, and the dark door into Bluebeard’s bloody chamber.

Several years on again – looking now towards the end of school, and the wider world – I remember the thrill of reading about Charles Ryder’s early days at Oxford, and his ‘faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew, had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that great city’.

But reading to my own children, the door I’ve been happiest to pass through again is the door into Tom’s Midnight Garden – a door one can only imagine because, unlike most of the others, it is never described . . .

Extract from Slightly Foxed Issue 40, Winter 2013



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When the Clock Struck Thirteen

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