I loved the movie version as a child and reading the book now, I found the story just as enchanting and moving. It has become one of my all-time favorites.
It’s the story of a young girl’s strength and her kindness that are tried in the harsh reality of her position, which she manages to escape at times through her fantastical imagination. Although Sara Crew lost her father, the person who meant the most to her, along with everything she has ever known, she still strived to behave and act like a princess. She raises herself above the unfairness and cruelty she is treated with by being the stronger person.
Alone Sara Crew’s love of books and dreaming up stories make her one of my favorite characters:
“Never did she find anything so difficult as to keep herself from losing her temper when she was suddenly disturbed while absorbed in a book. People who are fond of books know the feeling of irritation which sweeps over them at such a moment.”
Yes I do know the feeling!
The moral of this book, that good people who have nothing themselves, still have kindness and laughter to give to others, is a beautiful message to impart.
“If Nature has made you a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that – warm things, kind things, sweet things, – help and comfort and laughter, – and sometimes gay, kind laughter is the best help of all”
Sara Crew’s kindness is rewarded in the end, a beautiful – though naïve – ending to a wonderful tale.