The Grass People live in small villages, surrounded by the constant threats of mowers and giant four-legged creatures. But their life is not governed by these massive machines and beings. They live and die happy, passionate about their crafts, full of love for family and friends, and finding adventure and resources in everything they come across. Throughout the course of this story, the people travel to escape danger, craft new homes and villages, challenge the traditions of the past, and meet with the elusive beings who surround them. It’s a fantastical story of survival and the challenging of the past, full of a melding of tradition and new ideas, of thoughts – and of stories…
This book is full of thought-provoking themes regarding progression and growth. Many of the grass people are determined to keep life as it’s always been – but the younger ones see their traditions as outdated and worthless. The people must come together to find the right balance between progression and tradition – keeping themselves safe and honouring the past, whilst moving on to better ways of surviving and living. It’s quite a thought-provoking concept; pushing the reader to challenge the things they’re told and to stand up for their own beliefs – but presented of tiny, borrower-like beings.
“I want him to love Life and to question everything.”
I loved reading ‘The Borrowers’ when I was younger – and was delighted to discover that these books were also full of tiny people and villages. Throughout, my head spun with the delights of these tiny people’s world – their traditions and religions, languages, relationships… It was all very sweet and wholesome – from widowed women being ‘adopted’ by other grass people to the very sweet courting process the grass people had. They took great joy in nature, and in the smallest things – such as finding a pretty seed or discovering a new source of food – and I really enjoyed experiencing such an innocent approach to the world around us.
Oh, and I adored this definition – “‘cuddlies’: one-piece pyjamas with feet, worn by young children.”
“She danced for the pure joy of the morning.”
Some parts did feel very sad – death was a very normal part of these people’s lives – as almost everything around them was a threat – horses, lawn-mowers, humans, birds – even a grasshopper was big enough to break the leg of a small person. But throughout, they came across as a resilient group of people, who mourned, lived, laughed and cried together – always supporting one another and filling the pages of their book with family, spirit, and love. Whilst the deaths were sad, and in some instances, heart-breaking, the way that the people drew together dulled the pain a little, filling the empty space with kindness and companionship, and coming together to comfort the bereaved.
“It’s like a field of flowers. If you go too fast, you may forget to notice them.”
One of my favourite things in the book was the design of the grass people’s homes. As one village was situated close to a lake (which would swiftly flood if too much rain fell, the houses were designed to act like rafts. If necessary, the grass people could cast away and float with the water, to avoid being submerged alongside their houses. Another fun idea was that one grass person built her house around a tree, having the trunk go right through her house and arranging her décor around it – what a fantastic idea!
“Words cannot bring back the memories I cherish and want so badly to record.”
This book was delightfully inventive, and was a lovely glimpse into the author’s head. The world within was crafted with care and love, full of interesting words, traditions and people – and I had a lovely time reading it!
*I recieved a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinons expressed here are entirely my own*