I often feel that there are many novels written about ships and seafaring adventures, but not as many about the railway. Maybe that’s one reason I liked The Railway Children so much! This delightful story about three children who live close to the railway is a must-read for all kids!
After the deep and dark book I featured yesterday, today’s book is all sunshiny and smelling of flowers. Edith Nesbit is the author of The Railway Children, and I became her fan ever since I read The Wouldbegoods. The Railway Children is one of those books that makes you wish you lived in such a world, where strangers are kind and friendly, and children could roam around and explore free from all worries. As you can expect from this, it’s not exactly very realistic, but when things get too real, a book like this offers just the escape you need.
The story is about three children – a brother and two sisters. Roberta, Peter and Phyllis live with their parents, till an unexpected event causes them to move to a house near the railway. There are many likeable characters they meet there, and their adventures in and around the railway make up the best parts of the book. The railway features predominantly, with signal flags, platforms and whistles all running in the background. If you’re a train-lover, you’ll really enjoy all the noise!
Edith Nesbit wrote this novel as a children’s book, which probably explains the rather simplistic nature of many of the events in the story. I first read it as a child and loved it!! Yet, it is a little difficult to imagine today – you wouldn’t dare let your kids wander along the railway line and visiting strangers’ houses! But that’s also what makes the story so sweet. It’s a complete deviation from the cynical and dangerous times we live in and gives you a warm feeling all over. So when the world seems to be full of war, abuse and hate, a book like this is just what you need to make you feel like things will be alright in the end.