Sorry to hear it hasn't arrived yet Brumby! Although it does feature Halloween, a lot of the book is actually not about the night so it doesn't matter that you're past the date - can be read at any time of year.
Anyhow better add my thoughts!
I really enjoyed this book. Great characters, most slightly eccentris but loveable, including Haggis the pony. Even the goose has a definite character! It's a heart warming story along the same lines of Goodnight Mr. Tom in which a crusty old geezer slowly opens his heart. But in this case it's a pony that starts the transformation. It has a lot of fairly dry humour too. The Scottish dialect works really well in this book, although it doesn't in many I have read. Because the book is set in the Scottish Borders and I come from the North of England, I did recognise a few words/expressions that are also used in our part of the world which was quite nice. I also liked the sense of community that the book highlighted.
You are tempted to call such a story charming, but it was of greater depth than that and also I found some of it a little disturbing. The boys 'tricks' on McFadden and in particular attacking Selina and tying her to a tree were considered as jokes by most of the villagers but the consequences could have been far greater. I don't know if the author was making a point of this or not, but it did ironically contrast the far more caring behaviour of the town Pariah with the nastiness of the more socially accepted 'mischievous' boys.
Although there were two Halloweens in the story, there was little in the way of scares or shivers, it wasn't really a spooky read. (the scariest thing was the behaviour of the boys!) It was however interesting on the Halloween customs of the area.
Perhaps could have done with a little more pony content and a bit more of Haggis, who was one of those stubborn cantankerous hairy types of pony I find somehow irrisistable. It was nice to see that Selina loved him for what he was and there was no attempt to turn him into something else. In fact when she is offered a chance for someone to school him she turns it down. (In some ways a pity as I thought a sequel where Haggis resisted all attempts to transform him would have been good fun!
Any thoughts on the book Susan/darkhorse? Sorry about the poll somehow disappearing, I've had to put another one up so you may need to re-vote!
LOL, the poll vanished before I even saw it, so this is my first vote!
I agree on the boy's "pranks'....I was stunned that literally nothing happened to them....there was no comeback for terrorizing an old man, animals and attacking a young girl. But then, look at the townsfolk...yes, I get it's agrivating that you want to have a nice park and the person who owns the land doesn't want to sell it, but people aren't obligated to give (or sell) you their stuff just because you happen to want it. They know the man is a virtual hermit, with no transportation, and they start refusing to sell him supplies? That's just plain mean.
I loved that Selina's family helped out, even if they were ticked off at him; Selina too, when she found out, and was angry with him, couldn't stop herself from going back.
What did you think of the boy's character? And his family
I had such a long reply typed out, scrolled up to double check something from the start of the thread, and scrolled back down to find my post vanished. I'll try to rewrite it later, but for now I'll just say I loved this wonderful book. Not scary certainly, but saturated with the spooky, mysterious, expectant atmosphere of Halloween and autumn. Not just the characters themselves but also their interrelationships are so wonderfully drawn.
I do have to get a plug in for calling it by its full title -- every edition I've seen does title it _Mr. McFadden's Hallowe'en_, not just McFadden, so Just a nit to pick.
Such a satisfying read -- not just a short, action-packed story like so many are today. I would have liked to have seen more of Haggis, but the ponies were the start of it all, and Selina's relationship with Haggis was so different from Muffet's with her pony. Selina was so appreciative of Haggis for who he was, as was Mr. McFadden.
I really enjoyed this book. It's a really old fashioned, character driven story. It does seems like a cosy little story on the surface but underneath it shows the extremes of both sides of human behaviour, good and bad, in the microcosm of the village. Also, like Claire and Susan, I was shocked by the villagers' treatment of Mr. McFadden and especially by the boys who tied up Selina. This should have been considered as assault but it was just brushed off. I expected them to get their come-uppance somewhere later in the story but they didn't. I loved Haggis and would have liked more of him.
Last Edit: Nov 7, 2018 13:59:31 GMT 1 by darkhorse
Brumby - it should have arrived by now, I post books all over the world and they never take that long to arrive. I'd get onto whoever you ordered it from and say it's gone missing. What a shame.
Rally - just a quick tip for you - and anyone else who doesn't already know about it. If you are using a windows computer and if everything you have typed suddenly disappears (yes it's happened to me too) try pressing CTRL and Z together, this is a get out of jail free card and will reverse the last action you have done on the computer. Usually your missing text will re-appear! (it's good for all sorts of other mistakes too)
Susan - yes I was quite disturbed by the little lad (apologies, his name slips my mind) and his situation. It was definitely child neglect by his horrendous parents. Surprised that none of the adults got involved or reported it. Seems to fit with the way that the other boy's horrible behaviour was swept under the carpet. A case of what goes on in the village stays in the village and also the rather 'head in the sand' attitude of the villagers to anything unsavoury. Certainly the human behaviour in the book was more frightening and dark than thoughts of ghosts and ghouls. Thankfully balanced out by some truly selfless characters and kindly deeds. Was quite a lump in throat moment when Mr. M. wanted to adopt the lad.
What a delightful book, thoroughly enjoyed it. Sadly after that long wait for the book to arrive I didn't get the lovely illustrated version
Agree with all the comments, tying Selina up in that manner was brutal and the poor home life of Tim was quite depressing, but I thought the ending was very satisfying, the characters were well rounded and very likeable, especially Selina.
But of course my favourite character was Haggis, what a personality! and good on Selina for recognising a free spirit and for not wanting to change him.
Are Rumer Godden's other books this enjoyable? Any recommendations?
Glad you enjoyed the book after the looong wait Brumby! The Diddakoi is a very good (partly) pony story by the author. It was also made into a very popular British TV show back in the 1970s called Kizzie which I am sure many of us Brits will remember well. I haven't read her other children's pony-related children's book which is about a rocking horse (possibly magical!) but have read her adult horse story The Dark Horse which is pretty good.
If you have ever seen the classic 1940s film Black Narcissus, that was actually based on a story by Rumer Godden!
Anyhow included link below to my page on her which has a bit more info.
fizz: Is it too late to read the Francis book and watch the film?
Aug 17, 2017 22:08:46 GMT 1
fizz: My show went well, good to have being painting again
Aug 17, 2017 22:09:07 GMT 1
Claire: Glad the show went well, wish I could paint! Yes, join in with the film and book any time you want.
Aug 20, 2017 0:08:05 GMT 1
cally: I need to make $ to emigrate. I can write non fiction, but fiction has me stumped.
Oct 14, 2017 11:52:49 GMT 1
cally: I need to make $ to emigrate, buy a rural property in the Yorkshire Dales area, start an animal rescue sanctuary and a service to take animals in to see the elderly, sick, disabled etc.
Oct 14, 2017 11:54:33 GMT 1
cally: Oh I see how this works now- don't press the return button, eejit. How do I start to write a pony book having read hundreds, and not accidentally or intentionally accidentally 'borrow' ideas?
Oct 14, 2017 11:56:41 GMT 1
Claire: Hi Cally! What great ambitions!!
Oct 14, 2017 20:59:09 GMT 1
cally: My lap top stuffed so am trying to get all my stuff over to slow crap I pad so had to go through log in thing and change password so I hope I come up as me. So this is a test!
Oct 24, 2017 5:27:39 GMT 1
Claire: Yep Cally it's you alright!!
Oct 26, 2017 22:30:22 GMT 1
Claire: Hi all, just to say have put my 2 Christmas 'Pumble' stories in the Christmas 2017 in case anyone fancies a re-read.
Dec 24, 2017 13:48:15 GMT 1
Claire: Hi all apologies for not being around the last few days. Have been away travelling with no intyernet
Mar 8, 2018 13:53:52 GMT 1
Claire: Or even internet lol
Mar 8, 2018 13:54:08 GMT 1
brumby: Hi Claire, what has happened to the Pony Mad book Lovers Website??
Mar 18, 2018 8:23:22 GMT 1
Claire: Hi all sorry the website has been down due to technical problems with web host. All back up and running now!
Mar 22, 2018 19:19:12 GMT 1
Claire: Hi all the offical Reading Challenge thread is now up and running!
Jun 12, 2018 18:08:13 GMT 1
Claire: Hi all just to say have added a few Autumn/Halloween themed quizzes for you
Oct 9, 2018 15:02:48 GMT 1
Claire: Yet more Pooboards problems - sorry it is not letting anyone post as a guest at the moment - will contact them and try and sort it out.
Nov 4, 2018 12:50:07 GMT 1
aud: Can anyone tell me if they know of a Pony book that has a story line with A nesting Pair of Osprey Birds(thats as well as Ponies)i have been told it is either Alisons Island Adventure by Sheila Stewart or one of the Jinney books by patricha Leitch.
Dec 10, 2018 19:03:28 GMT 1
tali: One of the Jinny books has a sub story line of egg stealing so may be the one you are thinking of. It is one of the books that features the character Claire Burnley.
Dec 24, 2018 12:54:11 GMT 1
ginslinger: It is one of the early Jinny books. I only read the first few and I found the storyline upsetting.
Jan 4, 2019 19:17:50 GMT 1