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on 20 March 2017
It has been several years since I last read this beautifully enchanting and somewhat haunting time-slip tale about childhood, friendship, adolescence and the ocean swept passages of time. So I felt an urge to read this again.

This being not only my favourite time travel book but perhaps my favourite stand alone novel of all time.

One of the many reasons for its ultimate impact is that it has the most profoundly moving revelation last act that brings the whole journey to an emotional crescendo.

When I was a young early teen reading this, I would relate to the protagonist Tom and his mission to play, having been dispatched to "boring" uncle and aunt for the summer, to avoid catching measles from his bed ridden little brother at home. Knowing how important it was to make the most of the summer holiday to play, I would feel for his plight and hope he finds this midnight garden quickly that the book title promises and so I would be enchanted at his magical discovery and the intriguing new found friendship in a girl called Hattie. Then I would be bewildered at where the main story was going exactly, yet still be enraptured in the journey and then be stunned by its powerful conclusion. At the time, the book became one of my instant favourites despite my love for more fast pace action adventures and fantasies.

However, as an adult, the book resonates in a much different way, more deeper layers emerge about childhood innocence, growing up, and reflections on the passing phases of time, both good and bad. Most of all, I marvel at how so well written this is, how the narrative effortlessly sweeps along with haunting effect and how wonderfully clever the time travel plot device had been woven in. What is masterful about the narrative is how you know what is going on with some of the characters and their thoughts without the book spelling it out. Its all in the expressions and that's where the narrative's power lies. Though this book is written for children, I feel adults would most likely pick up on these deeper unspoken layers.

There isnt much to criticise about this book at all. Just know this is a gentle paced novel with a quintessentially English setting, albeit if two different periods.

It is a masterpiece of young adult literature but as the cliché goes, this is a timeless book for readers of all ages. Its not long, only 240 pages. So friends, take a tiny break from your modern fiction, your fast paced thrillers, schools for wizards, vampires, spaceships or shades of grey. For the next 2-3 days, let this book sweep you back in time, a time of simplicity, innocence, enchantment and poignant reflection then prepare to dab at your eyes for the knock out revelation ending.

5/5
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on 3 May 2004
Sheer nostalgia - this 50th anniversary edition has the same front cover and the 229 matt pages are interspersed with the same charming black and white illustrations reproduced exactly as the first edition of 1958!

Review for the 50th Anniversary Limited Edition HARDBACK with dark green board covers, dust-jacket and self-adhesive sticker.
Publisher Oxford University Press/2008

From the back of the dust-jacket:

'A beautiful and timeless classic that has been charming readers of all ages since it was first published, this special edition has been produced to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a truly remarkable book by one of the greatest children's writers of the twentieth century.'

In a nutshell:

When his brother, Peter, catches 'the measles', Tom reluctantly has to go and stay with his uncle and aunt who have a small flat, in what used to be a huge private house, with just a small paved back yard complete with a row of dustbins, i.e. 'NO' garden!
How boring is that for a young boy?

One evening, Tom's boredom finds him counting the chimes of the old grandfather clock down in the communal hall!
He can't believe it when the clock strikes thirteen, at midnight, and sets out to find out why.......unbelievable......what an amazing letter Tom is able to send to poor old Peter every day, as some amazing adventures begin.
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on 31 December 2001
All children should be given the chance to read this book. It was the favourite story of my childhood. It is a beautiful, haunting evocative story of childhood, growing up, adulthood and old age. It's also sad, in a happy kind of way, if that makes sense. It's a story of life. It's beautifully written, and a haunting evocation of a place, a garden, long ago - so powerfully drawn you feel you know every area of it - the nut stubbs, the greenhouse, the meadow, the sundial wall and the stream and so forth, that it comes alive in your mind - the old fir tree, that Hatty used to like to stand under in a high wind, and feel the roots "pulling like muscles" under her feet - so wonderfully drawn you'll not want to leave it's world. It's a part of my life, forever.
This is a true classic for all time. Buy it today.
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on 26 June 2014
Toms Midnight Garden must be one of my all time favourite stories. I read it many years ago, missed the TV production, and forgot it until I saw it available on Kindle. I was delighted, and read it over and over again, when I feel disillusioned with the world.
Oh yes I know its a children's book, but it has a far deeper meaning than we realise. Philippa Pierce is a magician. Am I a child? Well yes, I suppose I am in my 82 year old mind.
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on 1 September 2013
It is a nice little story and easy to read. I hadn't heard of it before. I rather thought that might have been thr ending.
Vera Thomas
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VINE VOICEon 16 March 2007
I read Tom's midnight garden first as a child, then much later as an adult. The delight and magic (and tears !) were exactly the same. This is a marvellous, touching story that just stays with you for ever. It is one of these very rare books that functions on several levels. First of course we share Tom's adventures nights after nights in the magic garden, but then after the heartbreaking, beautiful ending you know that the story reaches depths in your heart that few can. A powerful reflection on the past, its mysteries, how it vanishes and reappears...on time and aging... and so much more...Definitely not just for children !
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on 3 January 2006
Tom is sent away to his aunt and uncles flat for the summer holidays. The flat has no other children living there or any garden. Tom is angry and alone there, what his uncle calls Tom's ten hours sleep,Tom spends awake in bed, until he hears the grandfather clock striking thirteen.The hour thirteen brings an escape to a magical garden with trees, a river,bushes, a sundial and a large lawn. Tom's meets people there and makes a friend called Hatty there do lots of thigs there. But there is a disagreement between which of them is a ghost? I love this book I think it's very hard to put down and extremely magical. It is probably my favourite classic book, as nearly all your questions get answered. Best suited for children age 8 and over....you just have to read this!!
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VINE VOICEon 30 August 2004
When Tom's brother becomes ill, Tom is sent away to stay with his aunt and Uncle. To his great dismay, he finds that they live in a block of flats without a garden. Then, one night he cannot sleep, and thinks he hears the old grandfather clock in the entrance hall strike thirteen. He creeps down to check - but when he reaches the hall, he finds that there is a huge and beautiful garden behind the flats that he wasn't told about. But there is something peculiar about it; for a start, the people he sees there are all dressed in Victorian costume - and no-one, except for a little girl called Hattie, seems to be able to see him.
Are Hattie and the others all ghosts? Or is Tom a ghost himself, visiting a real world? Or is he time-travelling back through time when the clock strikes thirteen? Tom becomes obsessed with his midnight garden, wanting to spend more and more time in it - but with every visit Hattie grows a little older. Time is running out.
An intriguing tale; mysterious, atmospheric - and enchantingly written. The ending is genuinely moving. The modern-day segments of the story seem a little dated now, but in a time-slip story this really doesn't matter. A classic book that has stood the test of time - a true childhood favourite.
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on 5 March 2012
This book is one of my favorites. I remember my parents reading it to me when I was 6. Now I'm 14 and decided to re-read it. You just can't put the book down ! I've always been a bookworm and have read hundreds of books but I always know where this one is on my bookshelf. The story is enchanting and the ending so moving : it still makes me shed a tear or two despite the fact I've read it a dozen times.

I would recommend this book to anyone, no matter the age.
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on 21 July 2011
I love this book - I read it when I was a child and have seen the film - I bought the book for my 7-year old niece. It would have been better if I had known about the 'old fashion' language, which was not a problem in my day but has proved a bit of a problem to start with but now we have got into the story the language is not a problem - she reads one chapter each night - she is enjoying it so much that she has asked me to buy the film - she feels that her friends would prefer the film to reading the book - she lives in Qatar but has her holidays in France, for her and her friends English is more of a second language I feel that for any child in this situation the film version is the better option BUT THE STORY is definately a must for children - it is on line with 'The Secret Garden'; 'The Little Princess'; Black Beauty' and the likes. Worth every penny....
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