Can't Catch Me"
Rereading this book was incredibly nostalgic for me. I read this when I was probably about 10, or around 20 years ago. I remembered it very fondly, and had been trying to remember the name of the book for the past few years. With the help of the Goodreads group What's The Name of That Book???, I finally found it again! The cover on the library book was even the same one I had as a kid.
I can't begin to describe how much I loved this book. Granny Oldknowe sounds like the grandmother (or great-grandmother) every kid wishes for, and Tolly is a great kid with a very active imagination, although perhaps a little naïve. Boston really captures the wonder and excitement of childhood. Granny Oldknowe is a marvelous story-teller. Part of the joy in reading was from half-remembering the characters and events, and anticipating what was to come. I really enjoyed the ghost children, Toby, Alexander and Linnet, and I hope we see them again.
I just can't do justice to how wonderful and magical this book is, the first time I read it as well as this time around. The whole time I was reading, I felt all warm and fuzzy, and like I had hearts, stars and unicorns orbiting my brain. The only reason the rating isn't 5 stars is because of questions I had reading that I probably didn't when I was 9 or 10. Granny Oldknowe is Tolly's great-grandmother: where are his grandparents, both sets of them? How does the old lady afford to live in the big old house, on a large estate, with no income, and she has to pay the gardener, too? (That one will be somewhat answered in the next book). If she is a descendant of the Oldknowes, and indeed grew up in Green Knowe, but she's married, how come her name is still Oldknowe? It wouldn't be surprising if she married a distant cousin, and indeed, in the movie version of book 2, called From Time to Time, Tolly asks her this very question, and she actually says that she married her second cousin.
Those little quibbles kept me from fully enjoying this long-anticipated reread by tugging at my thoughts throughout, but I'm happy that it stood up so well to my childish memories. There's not much else I can say without using the word "love" again, or several more exclamation points. Read this book - I don't think you'll be sorry.