The Family From One End Street by Eve Garnett

The Family From One End Street by Eve Garnett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are times, I think, when the world sends you the right book for the right moment. We’ve all dealt with piles of books to be read and sometimes a book can sit on that pile for weeks if not years. And it’s never personal because you know that when you need it, when you want it, and just as you reach for it, you know that it was always meant to be this book for this moment, nothing else, only this.

(That’s one of the great appeals of classics for me because they understand that journey more than most. They slide in and out of hands, out of shelves and into bookshops and into somebody else’s home, moving through the ownership of a thousand readers and always, somehow, being there at the right time, knowing when it is needed, ready for it, so ready).

I picked up The Family From One End Street on a hot, hot day when my brain needed to read but could not quite cope with the effort of it. The exertion of making sense of the word, of even turning with the pages, all of it, too much. But I read because that was what I needed to do and I picked up The Family From One End Street.

Oh, the gentle charm of it! I had remembered a like sensation this from my first read, hundreds of years ago, but I think I felt it more this time. The heat maybe. The heavy, heavy heat. Or perhaps because of reading this only days after visiting the seaside. The perfect time for a book that feels like an endless Summer.

I am splicing this review, running from one idea into the next, because I think that’s a little bit of the magic this book. Each chapter focuses on the adventure (so close to a mishap, so close!) of one member of the family and yet the connections run deep. The Ruggles are full of love and chaotic heart, messy and honest and funny and so chapters exist, yes, but they’re people and this is life and it is rather utterly, utterly lovely. Lovely is something we look for a lot in children’s literature and yet sometimes, I think we do not know quite how to find it. All you need to do is read this, I think, and just let yourself sink into the sweet gentle charm of it. Let this book be enough, be everything, for it really is.

(Also it beat The Hobbit to win the Carnegie Medal in 1937 and that’s interesting stuff right there, dig into that literary historians and let me read your work when it’s done).

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4 thoughts on “The Family From One End Street by Eve Garnett

  1. you lead me to the bestest books! adding this to my TBR, now to be read with my son. I am going to read the first of the Penderwicks with him soon! I just had to share this with someone who’d be equally excited about it! 😛

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