Book Review: The Borrowers Afield

The Borrowers Afield (The Borrowers #2)The Borrowers Afield by Mary Norton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Borrowers series. Although I enjoyed the story immensely I have given only four stars simply because there is a flaw in the story, which cannot be overlooked.

The first book is narrated by Mrs May, who is telling Kate (her young niece) about her brother’s claims of borrowers living in an old house he stayed in when he was recovering from an illness as a child. The second book brings us back to Mrs May and Kate one year later, but the story of Pod, Homily and Arrietty continues from where it left off. But suddenly Arrietty is a year older too. Suddenly the pillowcase that Mrs May left in the field a year after the borrowers had fled the house turns up a few months later.

This is a flaw that distracted me for a while. I had to let it go, however, so that I could enjoy the rest of the story.


Driven out of their cosy house by the rat catcher, the Borrowers find themselves homeless. Worse, they are lost and alone in a frightening new world: the outdoors. Nearly everything outside—cows, moths, field mice, cold weather—is a life threatening danger for the tiny Borrowers. But as they bravely journey across country in search of a new home and learn how to survive in the wild, Pod, Homily, and their daughter, Arrietty, discover that the world beyond their old home has more joy, drama, and people than they’d imagined.


I found the timing of this book compared to the first one distracting, because of the obvious flaw in the timeline. (For the narrator, Mrs May, and her niece, Kate, a year has passed, but for the Clock family the story picks up where it left off. However, suddenly Arrietty is a year older and the pillowcase shows up a couple of months after the family flee the house, instead of a year as mentioned by Mrs May in the first book.)

But once I was able to put that aside, I was quickly drawn back into the world of the little people. Arrietty and her parents must venture out into the great unknown. Everything is big and scary, but also refreshing and exciting. Arrietty is happier despite the dangers because there’s so much to see and experience. Her parents, on the other hand, fear the dangers and haven’t a clue how they will get on.

It’s interesting to see the family find a home for themselves—an old boot. Then they must learn new skills to survive. There’s no more borrowing, so they have to forage for food. And what will they do in the winter?

The second book had the same effect on me as the first. I was unable to put the book down and literally read for hours on end…and at regular interviews. Any book that does that is certainly one worth reading.

And I will mention the ending of this book as well, without going into specifics. The ending was appropriate, but I felt as disappointed as Arrietty. And, in this case, that means the author has done a fine job with her writing because it also means that the reader is attuned with the character and that’s exactly how the reader should feel.

There is a flaw, but that doesn’t mean the book isn’t worth reading because it is. Again, I highly recommend this book to everyone who has an imagination.

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