Today it’s time to talk about a beautiful little book called Tom’s Midnight Garden. I picked it up from the classics section of my local bookstore, and absolutely fell in love with it! I cannot believe that I have never read this book before, especially considering my deep love for Burnett’s The Secret Garden. So, to rectify this sad mistake, I will now share this lovely little tale with all of you guys!
Tom’s Midnight Garden tells the story of Tom, who after his brother gets the measels gets evacuated/quarantined at his aunt and uncle’s place. They think he may have the measels also, so he’s not to go outside for fear of infecting others as well. Being kept indoors at all times and forced to rest, Tom, like most children, get bored pretty much immediately. Lucky for him, however, the landlady’s grandfather’s clock rings 13 at midnight, opening the garden to the past. There, in his midnight garden, he befriends a girl named Hatty – the only one* who can see him. Every night he visits her in the garden, but time seems to pass most strangely…
Much like the book itself, I’m going to keep this short and sweet. I truly love this book, it is right up there with Burnett’s The Secret Garden for me with their utopic gardens, unhappy and lonely children making friends, English stateliness and sweet happy endings. For the ending to Tom’s Midnight Garden is the kind to leave you all warm and fuzzy inside! I won’t spoil it here (in fact, I think I will leave out the spoiler section all together from now on), as it is something that should be experienced. Although it’s not a twist, you shouldn’t be thinking of it whilst reading it – it would be like dreaming of your dessert all through your Michelin dinner!
Much like The Secret Garden, this book makes me want to go outside and play like I used to when I was young. Whereas the former makes me want to go into a garden to see it bloom, Tom’s Midnight Garden makes me want to take my partner by the hand and run through the hills. I think this difference may be because the protagonist is a boy, and because of that the author diverted the focus from the blooming garden to the adventures and play of the children. Neither approach is better than the other, and both are executed superbly!
To go with this read, I recommend Night Melody by Anteaques. This tea is a delicious herbal infusion of Rooibos, lime blossoms and honeybush. It’s caffein free and actually does help with sleep! The reason this tea is great with this novel is that it is light and fresh (maybe not traditionally refreshing without the caffein), and has a lovely floral, gardeny flavour to it due to the blossoms and the honeybush. It is a delicate combination of flavours that calls for a bit of a longer infusion – I’d recommend around 5 minutes for all the flavours to be sufficiently defined. For what is better than a wild adventure in the meadows than a fresh and floral cup of tea?
I fully recommend this novel, and this tea. They are both of them perfect on a “warm” spring day, and make your skin call out for a bout of kisses from the sun!