The Runaways is a bestellar children’s book I will review on these pages. And Ambrose the dream uncle, though you don’t mess with him. As in other books by Elizabeth Goudge, the children stumble upon adventures which have them give short shrift to a secret curse strangling a village, freeing the adults around them from decades or generations of quiet oppression. I like the image of leaves lapping at one’s feet like clouds. And Ambrose’s thoughtful response.

‘To have the clouds lapping against one’s feet, like the leaves do now, wouldn’t it be wonderful?’ she said ecstatically.

‘I have experienced that on mountain tops,’ said Uncle Ambrose.  ‘These ascents are not only physical, Nan.   The world of the spirit has many mansions.  We live upon a staircase.’ 

Source: Elizabeth Goudge, The Runaways (London: Hesperus Press, 2013), p. 245

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