26 Mar

The Tellers-of-Tales are real.

They make visible, only to those of us who believe, the magic. 

First published by Eyre and Spottiswoode 1940 Penguin Books soft cover 1950 - 315 pages Fantasy

First published by Eyre and Spottiswoode 1940
Penguin Books soft cover 1950 – 315 pages

“Call me a raging liar if you like, although it’s an actual fact that I’ve never lied in order to get out of things so much as to get into things. Sometimes I think all those books in father’s shop led me astray. Books do lead you on.”

Even though Cornelius (Norman’s father) is a secondary character, I believe it is him I mostly looked forward to being with. But this isn’t his story. This ‘story’ belongs to Norman, a young man who is our narrator and inventor, in tandem with his friend Henry, of course. This is the story about 83 year old Constance Hargreaves, Henry and Norman’s fictional friend, to whom the boys post a letter, out of sheer boredom; and from whom they receive a response.

“Strange as it is, the most convincing people are often creatures of our own imaginings …… Perhaps we can imagine people only because they do exist somewhere and somehow, and have, by some peculiar process, sprung to mind despite ourselves.”

When Miss Hargreaves arrives in Cornford for a visit and begins disrupting the flow of life there with her hats and all her peculiarities, Norman thinks he is losing his mind. But when she ingratiates herself with Norman’s family and some of the townsfolk, Norman confesses his lie to his family – the old woman is nothing but a figment of his imagination. No one believes him, no one except Cornelius, that is. The Bookseller.

This is a delightful story. All the characters are crisp, and quite likeable. A very refreshing and rare treat indeed.

— a few more words on this book here.


One Response to “MISS HARGREAVES”

  1. Book Guy Reviews March 26, 2015 at 8:59 p03 #

    Fantastic review! I’ve yet to read anything by Frank Baker, but I think I’ll have to start, so thanks for sharing! If you’re ever interested in some other awesome book reviews and musings, be sure to follow! Thanks!!!

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