Tom’s Midnight Garden, Philippa Pearce
I can’t remember what prompted me buying this. I vaguely remember having a conversation about it with my girlfriend, but I think it was to illustrate a point about something else. I haven’t read it, though, since primary school, and I couldn’t remember the author, so I asked in the Waterstones near work, while picking up something else. They didn’t have it, though, so I went home with the book I’d actually gone in for. Then, a few weeks later, I went in again – again, for something else – and notice this beautiful edition sitting on the shelf. So of course I bought it.
While I remembered some of the scenes vividly, most of it was a wonderful rediscovery. Revisiting Tom’s adventures in the garden with Hatty reminded me of running round the park with my friend, climbing trees and feeling like we were getting up to mischief (we were doing nothing of the sort, really), and how I wanted to be like a glorious mix of Tom and Hatty. I cried when Tom woke up, screaming, in the hall, probably because of nightmares I’ve had where I’ve woken up lost and alone. And then I told my mum that I’d re-read it, and she told me the two parts that she remembered – that, and the ice-skating, which I remembered most strongly, too.
I really enjoyed revisiting this. After quite a long time of re-reading very little, going back to some books I loved a long time ago has felt very important. I’ve got a few more, and I’m looking forward to it. I had been working on convincing myself to give away more books because I so rarely re-read, but now I am swinging further the other way, so instead I’m just going to be selective about what I keep. And this is staying firmly put on my shelf.
Other categories that Tom’s Midnight Garden fits into: a book that became a movie, a book by a female author, a mystery or thriller, a book your Mum loves, a book you can finish in a day, a book from your childhood, a book that made you cry