|Collins, 1949, 1st edition|
|Armada paperback 1964, cover Peter Archer|
The book ends with swift and unbelievable coincidence: the requisite ponies – two in fact – are granted to the family to ride right at the end of the book, as a reward for retrieving a necklace, and a couple of pages further on, more ponies are promised as the children’s father has had a rise in salary.
|Armada paperback 1964, cover Peter Archer, variant edition|
This whirlwind of equine acquisition sits rather oddly with the struggles the book has been concerned with up until then. The Pennyfields has not found favour with fans of the genre: pony book aficionado Barbara Mclintock said “It is not only that I didn't find the characters likeable (although I didn't), but for some reason which I can't quite fathom, I didn't find them realistic either. They just never came across to me as a real family.”
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For much, much more on Diana Pullein-Thompson, see her page on my website.