By Mary Norton
Arriety Clock is a Borrower–that is, she and her family secretly live in the house of the ‘human beans’ and ‘borrow’ items from the humans to survive–but at fourteen, she is curious and unsatisfied with life beneath the floor. That is until she is ‘seen’ and meets The Boy. For the first time ever, Borrowers become friends with a human bean–until mishap strikes and their world is literally turned upside down.
Why Review? As a child, I enjoyed the movie adaption of this book and I’ve had the book on my shelf for AGES. Currently, I’m going through my shelf from top to bottom and rereading all the books I haven’t ever read/finished, and this was one early on in my list.
This novel, a children’s classic, has an interesting enough plot. It’s not fantastic, but it’s not dull, either.
The storyline is mediocre, and I’m not exactly sure how this book became such a favorite. Honestly, I didn’t much enjoy it. It bored me, and I’m sure it would bore anybody above the age of nine.
Throughout the novel, Arriety’s parents learn to overcome their distrust of the human beans and grow to depend on The Boy, though I think Norton could have done a much better job of showing this. The way it was written it just wasn’t clear enough why they began to do away with hundreds of years of Borrower tradition.
The style was okay. I liked how Norton left me hanging at the end and her transition of Kate’s point of view to Arriety’s at the beginning, but I found myself wading through most of it, even some of the action scenes.
Honestly, I didn’t really enjoy this book, and I don’t think it’s just because it’s for children. I did, however, like the sequel a little bit more, but not enough to really care for.
Have any of y’all ever read this book? If so, what are your thoughts?