I bought this book as a Christmas present for one of my nieces, and sad person that I am, read it before wrapping it. I had to make sure it was suitable after all. Canaan is an author who has previously passed me by, not having been into pony books as a child (she originated the genre). This is the second of two of her children’s novels so far re-issued by the wonderful Fidra Books who seem set to do for children’s books what Persephone have done for women’s books.
This is a sequel, and I hadn’t read the first book. Normally I would find the style of direct address providing catch up extremely irritating, but here it only adds to the charm. The book reads very much as if it was written by an eleven year old telling a tale to a friend, which goes to show what an accomplished writer Cannan was.
In the first book, (We met our Cousins) two London children (Antonia and John) go to the Highlands of Scotland to visit their cousins and have a whale of a time. In this book the cousins visit London, and once again we have the usual fish out of water scenario, only this time the narrator is an observer. Set the Christmas following the events of the first book, it is an entertaining adventure as the children adopt a maltreated pony, (the London Pride of the title) hiding it in the gardens in the square where Antonia and John live with their ghastly aunt and uncle, their own parents being in India. Antonia’s aunt is attempting to bring her up in a proper ladylike manner, but Antonia is more interested in her pet ferret and having adventures.
No feedback from my niece so far, but I’m sure she loved it. I did.
There is an article about Cannan on Wikipedia here.