“Mandy, a ten-year-old orphan, dreams of a place to call her own. Escaping over the orphanage wall to explore the outside world, Mandy discovers a tiny deserted cottage in the woods. All through the spring, summer, and fall, Mandy works to make it truly hers. Sometimes she “borrows” things she needs from the orphanage. Sometimes, to guard her secret, she even lies. Then, one stormy night at the cottage, Mandy gets sick, and no one knows how to find her – except a special friend she didn’t know she had.”
-Synopsis from inside front cover
Mandy has been on my reading list for years now, ever since it was mentioned in one of Julie Andrews’ memoirs that I read a few years ago. I was thrilled to see that my library had a copy when I was finally ready to read it.
This is a delightful story all around. My heart truly went out to Mandy as she struggled with being at the orphanage while wishing she had a place of her own. Her heartache over this is very apparent and I think Julie Andrews did an amazing job of conveying that feeling.
While Mandy works to makes the cottage her own, she is lying to everyone so much and stealing so many things to bring to her cottage, that you just know the dam is going to break at some point and her secret is going to come out. When it does, it is both as bad and not as bad as Mandy thinks it will be. The synopsis does not mention what happens after this point, and I think it was a nice surprise so I won’t mention it either.
This is such a great book and I’m surprised Julie Andrews didn’t write any more like it afterward. I would definitely recommend it if you are in the mood for a delightful, whimsical children’s story.