The end is near – the end of the Back to the Classics Challenge for 2016! I completely fell off my pattern after moving. I can blame it on that: moving cross country, setting up new routines, whatever. Realistically, Pinterest gets a fair share of the blame as well… I’m swapping some of my original choices around to accommodate some lighter reads. I won’t get 12 done (there’s only 18 days left in the year!) but I’m aiming for 9. This is book #7.
Originally published in 1908, The Wind in the Willows is a collection of episodes of anthropomorphized animal friends. We begin with Mole who just *has* to leave his spring cleaning to go enjoy the weather. He quickly stumbles upon the Water Rat. This kindly soul collects Mole for a boating adventure and picnic as we get a brief introduction to life by the river side. Mole moves in with Rat and they begin a life of leisure along the waterfront.
I’m going to add a break so I can “spoil” some of the story; click read more for the rest.
This isn’t a heavy handed story. If there are deeper meanings, I skipped right over them to just delight in the antics of the characters. Badger’s wisdom, Ratty’s poetry, Mole’s desire to please, Toad’s conceit… it makes for a hilarious chain of events. I love how the poor humans who suffer due to Toad’s motorcar obsession don’t seem to even realize – or care – that he is a toad and not a human. They *know* it (the jailer’s daughter does at least) but it makes no difference. The reader must not expect it to make sense; it is a story for pleasure sake.
I don’t really get “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.” It seems a step away from the oddly-believable world of talking animals into pure mythology. I need to read this chapter again to grasp it better.
I wish Rat had gone with the Sea Rat, even just for a bit. It would have been fascinating. Of course, that would lose the flow of the story around the one particular river front though. It just makes me curious – what if?
I love the character of Toad. He made me laugh out loud repeatedly. His cycles of humility and conceit are both hilarious and relatable. I found myself at the end smiling for joy at his attempts to be a good toad. I wish him the best on his life changes ❤
I love these characters; I love this book. They feel like old friends and I’ve only read it once! I can’t wait for it to come up on Grace’s curriculum in a couple years. I look forward to sharing it with her.
This is my 7th book for the Back to the Classics Challenge. I rearranged a few of my previous reads to make room for this as my “20th Century Classic” (published 1908). You can find the rest of the link up here.