Saturday, February 16, 2008

Book Review: Peter Pan & Wendy

We all know the play or the movie, right? There have been lots of productions of it, and it is a familiar tale. However familiar it is, I had never read the book. The author, J.M. Barrie, wrote the play first and later turned it into a novel. I read it for fun, and it was.

Peter Pan is not my favourite of stories, but it is Brent's. Gee, can you think why he would like a story about a little boy who didn't want to grow up? Any guesses? Hmm, I wonder . . . .

Anyway, it was charming and a quick read. I surprised myself by weeping at the ending. We know that Wendy went back to her parents, and though they offered to adopt Peter, he refused. They settled on an agreement that Wendy would visit Peter once a year to do his Spring cleaning. The next year he came for her. Then he missed a year, and when he did come back to pick her up he had no idea that he had missed the previous time. Then many years went by and the next time Peter showed up at her window, expecting to fly away with her, Wendy was all grown up. Or, as she puts it, was "ever so much more than twenty" and had a daughter of her own.

Peter, as we know is enthralled with this new young girl, Jane, and teaches her to fly and she leaves to do his Spring cleaning. The final paragraph reads thus:

"As you look at Wendy you may see her hair becoming white, and her figure little again, for all this happened long ago. Jane is now a common grown-up, with a daughter called Margaret; and every spring-cleaning time, except when he forgets, Peter comes for Margaret and takes her to the Neverland, where she tells him stories about himself, to which he listens eagerly. When Margaret grows up she will have a daughter, who is to be Peter's mother in turn; and thus it will go on, so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless."

I suppose it hit me so hard because I am now all grown up with a daughter of my own. I remember having an imagination so vivid it was almost real. Eventually, alas, the illusions of youth faded, and now I look forward to seeing them be reborn in Jenny. I hope that she too will have a vivid imagination, and that her childhood will be joyous and magical and that she'll believe in fairies.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

Gosh I love to read/hear book reviews. I am always interested in knowing what "people" think, as opposed to "Oprah". Glad you had an experience and didn't just kill time. That is what books should do for us.