Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, a children's story

Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce is a magical and imaginative story that held me spellbound as an adult as well as when I was a child.

I held very fond memories of reading this book as a young reader, and I was lucky that reading it as an adult bought me just as much joy.

Tom is upset when he is forced to abandon is summer holiday plans of building a tree house in his backyard when his brother comes down with the measles. He is spent to stay with his Aunt and Uncle who live a small dark flat with nowhere for him to play.

Luckily, his own adventure begins when he hears the grandfather clock in the communal hallway strike 13. When he investigates this mystery he finds that he has gone back in time to a time where the block of flats was once large property surrounded by a magnificent garden. He soon discovers that no one but young Hatty can see him, and together they have lots of fun and adventures.

This book is full of emotive and colourful description of the new world that Tom discovers each night when the clock strikes 13. As a child the story really got into my mind and ignited my imagination. I wanted to be Tom and to have a secret garden to play in where no one could see me but my one other playmate. I imagined being able to enter into my own little world just like he did and have adventures like his.

Pearce was able to really capture the essence of childhood in this book; the joy that comes from the simple things like playing a garden. Her writing really captures Tom's feelings and the beautiful garden he comes to love.

Although reading a children's story as an adult is never quite the same, reading Tom's Midnight Garden reminded me how I felt as a child reading this story which is a very special experience.  This is definitely a book that I will encourage my children to read one day.


What kind of read is this?
Being a children's story, it is quick and easy. It is also a very imaginative adventure that even an adult can be drawn into, albeit briefly.

Do I recommend this book?
I do recommend it, although I think that if you hadn't read it as a child already you might not enjoy it as much as I did. I definitely recommend this book to adults with children so that they can share it together.

Do I recommend that you buy this book?
Only if you have children that you are hoping will read it as well.

Star Rating

5.5 / 8

Really enjoyable and well written.

Did you ever read Tom's Midnight Garden as a child? What do you think of re-reading books that you enjoyed as a child? Is it more likely to be a positive experience because you get to take a trip down memory lane, or do you avoid it in case you no longer experience the joy you did as a child?


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