Tilly's Moonlight Fox by Julia Green
|Tilly's Moonlight Fox by Julia Green|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: Tilly's family moves to a huge old house. Left to her own devices because her mother is unwell, she follows a wild fox and discovers, deep in the garden, a gate which leads to a hidden, secret place. Nothing will ever be the same again.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 202||Date: June 2012|
|External links: Author's website|
It's a difficult time for Tilly. She's just moved house, losing contact with her best friend as a result, and now her mother, who is expecting a baby, is too ill to leave her bed or even spend much time with her. Tilly is a sensitive, generous girl who tries hard not to get in the way or be a nuisance because she understands that her father needs to give all his time to his wife, and to sorting out their new home. Lonely, unhappy and frightened by all the bewildering things that are happening, she finds herself thrown back on her own company, unable to share her worries.
This is a slight book in some ways, but don't let that deceive you. It's fairly short (about 200 pages of well-spaced print) and there are no great dramatic car crashes or monsters or aliens. Yet it is a powerful story, full of atmosphere and emotion, and it will give the attentive reader plenty to think about even once the book is closed and put back on the shelf. Who is Tilly's new friend Helen? Who owns the overgrown garden where they meet? And how much does the fox understand of its role in the unfolding mystery?
This is definitely a read-twice book. First time through, you discover the story, ponder the odd occurrences and feel, as Tilly does, silent desperate fear for her mother and the unborn baby brother or sister. Then, secure in your knowledge of the sequence of events, you pick it up again, to bathe in the soothing atmosphere of the snowy midnight garden where the hungry vixen searches for food for her cubs. You walk with Tilly as she follows in the fox's paw prints, as she builds her secret den and tiptoes out late at night to leave food for the fox. You ache for her as she yearns to be back with the mother she used to know, the one who fills the house with laughter and colour and warmth. Dad and Granny try their very best, cooking tasty food Tilly can't manage to eat, and buying a huge Christmas tree, but without Mum around, everything seems empty and pale. Still, there is magic of a sort in the winter air, and for Tilly, as for the fox and her cubs, comfort and safety will eventually return.
This book will probably be enjoyed more by girls because of its subject matter and main character, but there is a power and force in the telling which would make it an excellent book for adults too, giving them a unique insight into the mind and heart of a little girl. The delicate portrayal of a child's distress and the ways this can manifest itself, and the joy of new friendship, will move many readers young and old.
Many readers of this book will be put in mind of Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, which Bookbag also recommends highly. Another book which successfully manages to portray deep emotion without falling into the trap of mawkishness is Flyaway by Lucy Christopher.
You can read more book reviews or buy Tilly's Moonlight Fox by Julia Green at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Tilly's Moonlight Fox by Julia Green at Amazon.com.
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