The Time Garden by Edward Eager

The Time Garden by Edward EagerThe Time Garden (Tales of Magic #4) by Edward Eager
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers (1958), Paperback, 208pg
Source: Library
Genres: Adventure, Contemporary Fantasy, Fantasy, Fiction

Four cousins spending a summer in a house by the sea discover a magic thyme garden from which they embark on a number of adventures in time. (from Goodreads)

Eh. Magical creature + group of kids + time travel stuff = what SHOULD be a great book, but instead turned out to be bleh.

Magical plants are interesting and I liked the kids (kinda), but there’s just something in this book that kept me from really loving it. Maybe it’s too much like some other Edward Eager books? There’s time travel and visits to foreign lands, which is basically Half Magic and Seven-Day Magic. There’s a group of kids causing trouble and doing magic (ALL of his books). And there’s parents going off and doing things and the kids helping them out (Half Magic again, also Magic or Not?). It’s even vaguely connected to another book in the Tales of Magic– the kids in The Time Garden are the children of those kids. The Time Garden felt very much like a rehash of all the things EE likes to stick in his books, only this time it fizzled instead of sizzled.

Possibly I’ve reached the event horizon with Edward Eager books for this year. Sometimes, especially with authors like EE, you can read TOO MUCH of them. Their books are so similar that instead of enjoying each one based on its own merits, you end up comparing them and finding fault. Usually I get this way with formulaic series, but it can happen to standalone books, too!

I still like Edward Eager’s books on the whole, but The Time Garden was mostly a dud for me. I think I’ll take a break from his books for a while and recharge my interest. (Meanwhile, I still very much recommend Magic or Not? and Seven-Day Magic, my two favorite Edward E. books I’ve read this year.)

Read: July 12, 2013

Note: The Time Garden is actually a direct sequel to Knight’s Castle, which I haven’t read. Possibly that didn’t help with my enjoyment, either.

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