This beautiful, mysterious novel about the orphaned, red-haired Maria, and how she comes to the enchanted valley of Moonacre to live with her uncle casts a powerful spell. From the moment Maria and her saintly governess travel through the tunnel and see the figure of the little white horse (or unicorn) poised in the moonlight, you're gripped. Maria's family is under a curse, so that the men and women in it will always quarrel and part, unless she can make peace with the fierce brigands who hate her sunny ancestors. With the help of several unusually intelligent animals, including a lion, a lazy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a pony and a wise hare,Maria and her friend Robin eventually break the spell.
Everything about this novel is perfection. Maria's bedroom alone, with its tiny door and starry ceiling will keep any girl entranced, just as the comedy and adventure will enthral boys. Exciting, funny, vivid and romantic, this is the perfect read for any child of 8 and over. If you enjoy it, do also try Henrietta's House, which is "almost a fairytale", but slightly more grown-up.