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National Velvet (Book and Charm) Paperback – May 28, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
The Brown family, staunchly working class, gets by on a pittance. The hugely obese mother, who misses nothing through her "hooded eyes," was once a world champion swimmer, the first woman to swim the English Channel. It is her spirit, her sense of competition and the right of women to step out of their structured lives, that has been passed down to her youngest daughter Velvet. And THAT is what this story is about: the strength of one young girl to rise above every restriction of her class and society, and to excel where no woman has ever excelled before.
So in one sense, yes, this is the story of a young girl and her love of a horse. And it is thrilling on that level. It is also the story of a society that cannot ever exist again, but that, for all its restrictions, was ruled by love of family and a strong sense of right and wrong. And third, it is the triumphant story, long before feminism was in vogue, of one small woman who overcomes centuries of prejudice to become a champion. What else does one need?Read more ›
This lack of moralizing is due mostly to Ms Bagnold's characterizations. The most important of the characters--Mi, Velvet and Mrs. Brown--are portrayed as complete individuals with thoughts and flaws and attitudes that are a reflection not so much of their surroundings but of their innerselves. They are human, not representative.
The story moves quickly, apropos to a novel about a horse and a horse race. The dialog between the family members takes getting used to, being cryptic and more unsaid than said, as is typical with family communication. The average reader is confronted by unfamiliar vocabulary and references, which have to be accepted and then ignored. If this can be accomplished, the passion of Velvet will carry the reader through to the end.
Recommedation: Buy it.
She is a lovely writer. I wish I could write as well as her. Our window into the Brown family is clear and uncluttered; we get to watch as the girls relate to each other, speak in their own family shorthand, deal with their similarities and differences. I adore the way the family accepts each other - each with their own quirks and peculiarities. Velvet, with her profound love of horses and her very 14-year-old imagination. Merry immersed in the world of canaries. Edwina on the brink of adulthood. Mally, Velvet's closest friend, sharing candy bars and secret plans.
I was such a girl myself, with my own imaginary stable of mounts... but my appreciation of the book goes beyond a recognition of similarity; Enid Bagnold simply writes with a sophistication few writers for young adults share... with no condecension and no need for explanation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this story way back in the 9th grade because they gave us a list of books to make a report from and this was the only one I hadn't read. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Karen W. Miller
Bought this for my 9 year old Grand daughter. I was a big hit.Published 13 months ago by Michigan Girl
Not good. Meant for 8 yr old. Type too small. Pages uncomfortable to grasp.Published 13 months ago by RITA
Though I remember when the movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney was being shown (I never did get to see it), and though I have long wanted to read this book, only now... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Schmerguls
I have not read it yet but the book itself is in good condition. I like books that are old and not paperbacks. Read morePublished on November 30, 2013 by Nora M Qudus
This is very dated now but was once obligatory reading for horse-mad girls, if only because there wasn't a lot of other such books. Read morePublished on May 23, 2013 by Clare O'Beara
An endearing story of a horse and a girl. They learn to become brave and daring together. A story of true friendship.Published on January 5, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I bought this for a young girl. She loves it so much that she has almost memorized it. Arrived quickly and in great shape.Published on April 22, 2010 by C.
We all know the story of National Velvet and stories like it, as it has become the plot point of many horse themed books and movies. Read morePublished on February 28, 2010 by writer/rider