The Little White Horse

Elizabeth Goudge

The Little White Horse
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The Little White Horse

Elizabeth Goudge

When orphan Maria arrives at Moonacre Manor, she feels as if she’s come home. Her new guardian is kind and funny, and everyone there is like an old friend. But beneath the beauty and comfort lies a tragedy. Maria is determined to find out about it, change it, and give her own life story a happy ending. This new-fashioned story is just as satisfying and memorable as your favorite fairy tale.


This charming book delights me as much now as it did when I first read it as a child. Maria, an orphan, is sent with her governess to the West Country of England to live with her second cousin, a man she has never met. A London-bred child, she is determinedly prepared to endure country life.

To her delight, she finds that she feels immediately at home in Moonacre Manor. Sir Benjamin, her guardian, allows her to ride anywhere except to the seaside where the Black Men live, but it is Maria’s curiosity about them that leads her to try and right old mistakes.

The Little White Horse is set in 1852, and Maria’s life may seem far removed from that of today’s 13-year-old. But personal qualities are universal and timeless – it is Maria’s inquisitiveness, bravery and determination that enable her to remain at Moonacre Manor.

Elizabeth Goudge’s wonderful descriptive powers make this story eternally fresh and enchanting to read and re-read.

Julie Beck is a freelance reviewer.

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