42 Word Retrospectives

Tom’s Midnight Garden

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce (Oxford University Press, 1958); audiobook read by Jan Francis (AudioGO, 2012) Perhaps due to the time-slip nature of its story, Pearce’s Carnegie Medal–winning MG novel has aged well, unfolding simply and unhurriedly yet with lingering appeal. The wistful allure of Tom’s garden speaks to childhood wonder and the inevitability of growing up.    

Doctor Sally

Doctor Sally by P. G. Wodehouse (Methuen, 1932); audiobook read by Paul Shelley (Bolinda, 2015) A short, frivolous bit of fun. As is his wont, Wodehouse construes love as arising from the drop of a hat, but in this instance the cast of dithering males play out their tangled misunderstandings for a woman of independence and discernment.    

Day of the Starwind

Day of the Starwind by Douglas Hill (Victor Gollancz, 1980) Book three of the Last Legionary quartet sees Keill Randor edge closer to the shadowy Warlord who masterminded his planet’s destruction. Hill has a knack for upping the stakes, pitting his protagonist against ever more serious threats. Clear, fast-moving middle-grade action SF.