The Borrowers Afloat (The Borrowers #3) by Mary Norton

The Borrowers Afloat (The Borrowers #3)

Mary Norton (J Fantasy)

It all began when Mrs. May told Kate the story of the Borrowers: Pod, Homily, and Arrietty Clock. The story of how these little people lived happily under the kitchen floorboards at Firbank until being smoked out; how they survived hunger, weather, and a sinister gypsy with the help of a human being and a loner Borrower; and how all of this ended with an unexpected reunion with Uncle Hendreary and Aunt Lupy. But, as we’ve learned, things with the Borrowers are never easy and with bad news from the human boy Tom, our three friends are off on yet another adventure, except this time they’re aided by a most resourceful and trustworthy ally, Spiller.

The Borrowers Afloat is the third installment in The Borrowers series and it’s just as thrilling and enchanting as its predecessors. Norton continues to use each book to give readers a greater insight into the world of these resourceful and brave beings. In this book, we see how Uncle Hendreary and Aunt Lupy live and understand the partnership they’ve formed with Spiller. Also, Spiller has been promoted from a supporting role to a main character as he plays an instrumental part in saving the Clocks (quite a few times by now), as well as assisting them in securing permanent housing.

Of all the characters so far, Spiller is perhaps the most underrated and gracious as he gives up his home, time, and resources to assist the Clocks on more than one occasion. Although he works through barter, the kindnesses extended Pod and Homily seem to go largely unreciprocated and unappreciated except for Arrietty who holds a genuine like and concern for this ragamuffin drifter. Lastly, Norton continues to develop our soft, pampered, and opinionated matriarch, Homily, and allows her to slowly let go of her prejudices to begin appreciating and valuing Spiller and his contributions to her family.

So far, the series continues to delight with an exciting and fun ride while this book leaves readers with the most suspenseful cliffhanger yet as Mild Eye the gypsy is hot on their heels and the return of the nasty Mrs. Driver and Crampfurl reminds us that our friends’ journey is far from over. But, as Pod was reassuring Homily after another near escape by saying, “As I see it, in life as we live it—come this thing or that thing—there’s always some way to manage. Always has been and, like as not, always will be,” andI have no doubt that Pod, Homily, and Arrietty will continue to find some way to manage as long as they’re together.

Rating: 5/5

* Book cover image attributed to: www.abebooks.com

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The Borrowers Afield by Mary Norton (J Fantasy)

The Borrowers Afield

Mary Norton (J Fantasy)

It had been a year since Mrs. May told young Kate the story of the borrowers. Since that time, Kate had completely pushed their memory to the farthest corner of her mind until one early spring day when Mrs. May slipped her a letter and said, “This will interest you, Kate, I think.” And indeed it had since that letter had to do with Leighton Buzzard. Leighton Buzzard, as you might recall, was the country town where Great Aunt Sophy’s house was and it was in that house, as you might remember, where underneath the kitchen floorboards lived the Clocks: Pod, Homily, and Arrietty. But whatever happened to those poor Clocks? Last time we saw them, they had been smoked out of their comfortable home and left fleeing for their lives—never to be seen or heard from again. But worry not for there is one soul who knows exactly what happened to our dear friends and it is that very same person that Mrs. May and Kate—quite by chance—are about to meet.

Three years after writing The Borrowers in 1952, Mary Norton picks right up where she left off with The Borrowers Afield where our favorite trio are tirelessly trekking from Firbank to Perkin’s Beck in search of the badger’s set, home to the Hendrearies. In this book, Arrietty finally realizes her dream of living outdoors and becoming a true borrower; Homily begins to toughen up a bit, although required to become a vegetarian; and Pod continues to hold his family together while keeping an even temper and maintaining loving order. Their journey has them finding an unexpected abode, meeting several troublesome insects, and encountering a very helpful yet mysterious stranger.

Norton does not fail to live up to the expectations she established for her readers with her first book in the beloved Borrowers’ series. This next chapter is filled with adventure and ample amounts of danger, disappointment, and discovery. Through their ups and downs, the Clock family begin to not only learn more about themselves and their own capabilities, but they also learn more about one another, which results in a deeper appreciation for one another.

This book stresses family much more than the first as it truly is the Clocks vs the World. In doing so, our little troupe form a tighter bond and realize that if you’re with family, you’re already home. The Borrowers Afield is truly a fun frolic with plenty of action and suspense and every bit worthy of its predecessor.

Rating: 5/5

* Book cover image attributed to: www.amazon.com

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