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In 1972 our family spent a sabbatical year in a small village in Dorset living in an old thatched cottage called Random Cottage. It was the sort of place that begged for a story! One afternoon, when we were exploring the nearby woods, we came on two derelict cottages in a small clearing. On a second visit to the cottages, we were a bit unsettled to see a man tending a beehive that we were sure hadn’t been there on our previous visit. We exchanged a few pleasantries about the weather and went on our way.
Back in Oregon, with the memory of this incident still in my mind, I began to write about a girl living in Random Cottage, who finds the ramshackle houses in the woods. On a second visit, instead of seeing a man tending bees, the girl encounters someone of her own age -- a girl who had once lived in one of the cottages.
While we were in Dorset, the village school had a big celebration marking its hundredth year. Many of the nearby towns and villages were celebrating their centennial that same year. It was more than a coincidence. A hundred years earlier, an Education Act mandated that all children should learn to read and write. I sent Elizabeth, who was having a hard time fitting in at the village school, back to a past where a new school was being built, but she would to go.
“This story has such a beautiful weave of today and yesterday – you will be compelled to read it again and again. I read it many times as a child and found that I enjoy it just as much now! . . .I would actually give this book more than 5 stars if I could . . . Amber Rieder
“One of my very top favorite books from when I was a child. Such a gem! I had the great pleasure of meeting Margaret Anderson in person when she came to speak at our school when I was in 5th or 6th gradw. My parents allowed me to buys this book along with Searching for Shona. Ms. Anderson signed both books. Unfortunately, over the (many) ensuing years, both books were misplaced/lost/destroyed/ I am thrilled to find Shona is available in the Kindle edition and hope one day To Nowhere and Back will also be available again. … What a treasure this book is!” . . . Meredith
So that’s why I’m issuing this title as an e-book! Margaret Anderson
Elizabeth, an avowed realist, finds herself able to move in and out of the mind and body of a girl who lived one hundred years earlier.
Posted January 25, 2008
This is one of my all - time favorite books growing up! Mysterious, captivating, enchanting! If you can purchase a copy, it's a wonderful read for children as well as adults!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 19, 2001
This is a beautiful story that got me through some difficult times as a young girl. It is magical and so vividly written. I always had it out of the library! I wish I had bought a copy of it to have for my own, because I can't find one anywhere. I wish someone would re-release this book (and 'Jane-Emily'!). Good luck.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.