The Little White Horse

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Apparently it’s horse week because The Little White Horse has been on my mind. I’m not one to re-read books but this is a story I’ve returned to on multiple occasions. It’s best described as a fairy tale, I suppose, in that every strand of the story is tied together into a satisfying knot at the end. I first read this book on long, weary road trips during my family's six-month furlough back in the States. Its motifs of the sun and the moon will forever intermingle with “You Are The Sun”, a song on the Sara Groves’ CD I had on repeat during those drives.

It’s a melancholy book, full of fresh wounds and generations-old pain, disappointment and unresolved relationships, and mysterious ancestral prophecies. There’s magic, too, but the kind you might miss if you’re not paying attention. The kind that disappears around corners the minute you turn to look, and immediately forget. I’ve always imagined making a movie adaptation (I refuse to name the existing one) in the specific tone of The Secret Garden (the 1993 version), which would feel like a standard period piece if it weren’t for the whispers of dark emotional magic throughout. I also wish I could go back in time to cast the kid actor who played Dickon as the enchanting Robin in The Little White Horse. They are one and the same in my mind.

Ultimately, The Little White Horse is about hope and healing, which can only come through confronting the past in our present relationships. And that a deeper magic runs through us, eager to bring about that reconciliation. If we’re looking for it.

EDIT: Just discovered this genre is called “low fantasy” or “intrusion fantasy” and I’m all about it!