Top positive review
One person found this helpful
on 18 May 2014
I revisited this lovely children's classic and was surprised by how much I still enjoyed this as an adult. Perhaps as a child, I had not really paid attention to the dire financial circumstances of the three siblings, Bobbie (Roberta), Peter, and Phyllis, and their mother, that led to their removal to the countryside, away from London where they had lived. Their father had mysteriously gone for business and not returned.
It is suggested that they had had rather comfortable and privileged lives in the city. Despite their reduced situation, and unused to country living, the children discover a railway behind Three Chimneys, the house they have come to live in, and soon get into scrapes and develop a tenuous relationship with Perks, the Porter, and a kindly old gentleman who takes the 915 train daily.
E. Nesbit is brilliant at capturing the children's distinct personalities and their very realistic squabbles and fierce loyalty to one another that only siblings can identify with. They become unwitting heroes when they help avert a potential railway accident, and help save a baby from a burning houseboat along the way, while eldest girl Bobbie becomes more and more concerned that there is something Mother is not telling them about their father.
A charming children's novel, and refreshingly honest in tone, "The Railway Children" stands well against the test of time, and deserves to be read by young and old alike.