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The Borrowers Afield by Mary Norton
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The Borrowers Afield (1955)

by Mary Norton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Borrowers (2)

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Second in Borrowers series. How the Borrowers escaped from the house where they had been discovered and lived in the "wild." ( )
  antiquary | Dec 14, 2013 |
I love the way these books have such an awareness of unreliable narrators, and of oral stories, for all that they're written down. First of all The Boy through Mrs May through Kate, and then Arriety through Tom Goodenough through Kate... There's so much uncertainty about whether it is or isn't a story. I imagine that frustrates some people, but I do like it.

I remember, all of a sudden, as a child, carefully leaving things on the lower shelves, for Borrowers. They never did take it, but maybe I was overestimating them. Or maybe they knew what I was doing, and never wanted to let on to a giant girl like me that they really were there. Who knows?

Anyway, I remembered The Borrowers Afield very fondly. It suffered more than the first book, I think, from my nostalgia for it: it just wasn't as good as I remembered, as the image the years of thinking about the Borrowers had made. Not enough really happens until the very end of the book.

Still, it's still wonderful to revisit this world, and there's also something satisfying about the way normal human feelings still play out in the books, as large as life -- Homily's insistence that she's teetotal until it's a matter of life and death, for example, and her bristling up at the Hendrearies having some of her furniture, etc.

Really, really happy I bought these again. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
I'm re-reading this series to see if it still warrants shelf space in my permanent collection. It's fun, but not nearly as magical and enchanting as my memories of it were. I still think Arrietty is an awful lot of fun, though. She's a delightful little heroine, but her mother gives me a pain. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
I found the timing of this book compared to the first one distracting, because of the obvious flaw in the timeline. (For the narrator, Mrs May, and her niece, Kate, a year has passed, but for the Clock family the story picks up where it left off. However, suddenly Arrietty is a year older and the pillowcase shows up a couple of months after the family flee the house, instead of a year as mentioned by Mrs May in the first book.)

But once I was able to put that aside, I was quickly drawn back into the world of the little people. Arrietty and her parents must venture out into the great unknown. Everything is big and scary, but also refreshing and exciting. Arrietty is happier despite the dangers because there’s so much to see and experience. Her parents, on the other hand, fear the dangers and haven’t a clue how they will get on.

It’s interesting to see the family find a home for themselves—an old boot. Then they must learn new skills to survive. There’s no more borrowing, so they have to forage for food. And what will they do in the winter?

The second book had the same effect on me as the first. I was unable to put the book down and literally read for hours on end...and at regular interviews. Any book that does that is certainly one worth reading.

And I will mention the ending of this book as well, without going into specifics. The ending was appropriate, but I felt as disappointed as Arrietty. And, in this case, that means the author has done a fine job with her writing because it also means that the reader is attuned with the character and that’s exactly how the reader should feel.

There is a flaw, but that doesn’t mean the book isn’t worth reading because it is. Again, I highly recommend this book to everyone who has an imagination. ( )
  KarenLeeField | Feb 2, 2013 |
Continuing my re-read of the Borrowers series. Now all the tiny family of Pod, Homily and Arrietty are tested as they have fled their comfortable home under the kitchen and must survive in the outdoors whilst searching for their previously emigrated relatives. Highlights are Arrietty's delight in the natural world and the introduction of the wild Borrower boy Spiller... Again, highly recommended for children but also enjoyable as an adult. ( )
  Figgles | Oct 21, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Nortonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, CillaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krush, BethIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krush, JoeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wikland, IlonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"What has been, may be." First recorded eclipse of the moon, 721 BC [Extract from Arrietty's Diary and Proverb Book, March 19th] It was Kate who, long after she was grown up, completed the story of the borrowers.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0152047328, Paperback)

Pod, Homily, and Arrietty Clock's huge adventures have been thrilling children young and old for fifty years--and their appeal is as strong as ever in these handsome new paperback packages. While the original beloved interior illustrations by Beth and Joe Krush have been retained, Marla Frazee's striking cover illustrations capture these little people with a larger-than-life appeal.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The further adventures of the family of miniature people who, after losing their home under the kitchen floor of an old English house, are forced to move out to the fields.

» see all 2 descriptions

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