Friday, July 29, 2022

"Mandy" by Julie Andrews Edwards

I read this aloud to my kids this summer, and I was surprised to discover I only remembered about a third of it, even though I thought I had read it over and over when I was a kid myself.  I think that I actually just reread my favorite parts over and over back then, which were all the parts where Mandy is planting a garden and cleaning the cottage.  I remember those parts vividly, but there were huge parts of the book that weren't familiar at all.

Mandy is a ten-year-old orphan who lives in a small orphanage in Great Britain.  She sneaks over the wall around the orphanage's grounds, wanders off, and discovers an abandoned cottage with an overgrown garden.  She claims it as her own, works in the garden until it's beautiful, cleans up the cottage, and keeps the whole thing a secret for a long time.  

But then, tragedy strikes, and Mandy falls very ill.  And then everything ends really happily.  None of which I remembered at all!

As a kid, I did not know that the Julie Edwards who wrote Mandy was actually Julie Andrews who played Mary Poppins and Maria Von Trapp -- my copy only has the name Julie Edwards on the cover because that was the name she published it under.  I guess she wanted her writing to be taken seriously for its own sake and not just because she was a famous actress, so she published it under her married name.  Now, though, she's published a lot of books under her full name, so modern copies have her full name of Julie Andrews Edwards on it.

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate it: PG.  There are a few mild curse words and a few instances of adults taking God's name in vain.


  1. How cool that Julie Andrews wrote this!

    When I was younger, my family owned a picture book called 'Dumpy the Dumptruck'--it was very fun and it was also written by Julie Andrews. She's a pretty great author.

    1. Eva, I would love to hear her read this aloud. Hmm. I wonder if that exists....

      We read Dumpy the Dumptruck long ago too! And a lot of her Very Fairy Princess picture books too :-)

    2. We're in luck! o.O

    3. Oh, cool! I wish I'd known about that -- the kids and I could have listened to that instead of me reading it!

  2. I loved this book and reread it regularly. I've never met anyone else who has read it though! This book and The Secret Garden definitely made me want to find an abandoned house/garden and fix it up all by myself.

    1. Jennifer, awww, cool! I'm so glad you love it too :-) It definitely has Secret Garden overtones! And I think both of them are probably a big part of why I love having a flower garden.


What do you think?

Comments on old posts are always welcome! Posts older than 7 days are on moderation to dissuade spambots, so if your comment doesn't show up right away, don't worry -- it will once I approve it.

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)