Synopsis: Little Eepersip doesn’t want to live in a house with doors and windows and a roof, so she runs away to live in the wild – first in the Meadow, then by the Sea, and finally in the Mountain. Her heartbroken parents follow her at first, bringing her back home to ‘safety’ and locking her up in the stifling square of the house. But she slips away once more, following her wild heart out of the door and far away… Barbara Newhall Follett was just thirteen years old when she published The House Without Windows in 1927. The book went on to become a million-copy bestseller. Years later, as an adult herself, Barbara followed in the footsteps of her radical heroine – dissatisfied with the limitations of life as a respectable married woman, she walked out of her house one day and simply disappeared.
Review: The first thing that struck me about this book is its beauty, the illustrator Jackie Morris has done a phenomenal job. We follow the child Eepersip as she frolics through meadows, prances in the sea and dances in the mountains; Making friends with the Deers and the Butterflies along the way.
Whilst reading this novel you may think it possesses the kind of whimsy only a child could conjure, and you would be right. the book was written by a 12 year old Barbara Newhall Follet as a gift for her mother. The story literally dances along with all the flow of the streams that Eepersip is discovering on her journey of whims.
Throughout the book the adults in the story are seen as hunters trying to trap and restrain the girl who just wants to be free to play in nature. A feeling I’m sure all of our young selves felt to some degree as children wanting to continue to “play out”.
Some people have commented on the strange detached way that the protagonist leaves her friends and family behind. However, I think the young author did know that most little girls would be sad to leave their family, thus the creation of a sister who loves nature bu doesnt want to give herself over to it like her big sister.
Overall, this book is a beautiful story of desire for the wild places and love letter to nature herself. I simply loved the ending of the book and it left a smile on my face. Definitely worth a read if you are a fan of flowery adventures.