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The Wise Woman and Other Stories

by George MacDonald
172 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by Jeanne

Excellent read for the young and the old.

Plot

These collected stories of George MacDonald show in an allegorical way the walk of the Christian. The first tale, 'The Wise Woman', tells the story of two young girls, a princess and a farmgirl. Both are instructed by a wise woman and taught the erring way of their hearts. The second, 'Little Daylight', tells the story of the young princess Daylight and how she was cursed as a child and made to sleep all day and wake only by night. The third is the story of how a fairy named Peaseblossom and a goblin named Toadstool attempt to bring two mortals to the Fairy Queen. The fourth and last tale is called 'The Castle: a Parable'. In it, a family of brothers and sisters wait in a castle until the return of the father, readying themselves and their home for the day when he will come back.

Morality

Good and evil are always clearly separated in all the stories.

Spiritual Content

There are magical creatures, such as fairies, in many of the stories. Though no religion is specifically mentioned in any, the stories are very much Christian allegories. Though MacDonald's theology was a bit unstable, these stories are simple and solid.

Violence

Nothing more than a boy hitting a goblin over the head, which has no effect on the creature.

Drug and Alcohol Content

None.

Sexual Content

None.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

None.

Conclusion

These stories are extremely good for anyone, young and old alike. The plots are funny, gripping, and at times heartrending, and the morals and spirituality wonderful. It's the kind of story that would work well as a read-aloud in a setting where the stories, especially the last one, can be discussed with little children, but more mature readers will find it delightful as well.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 8-10

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