As a young girl, I loved The Secret Garden and can't even count how many times I read it. It was just magical the way Francis Burnett words spoke to me. I liked The Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy too although not quite as much. So when I was perusing this list of Persephone books, as Karen over at Books and Chocolate suggested, looking for a Forgotten Classic, I was shocked to see the author's name! I didn't know she had written adult books. How could I not know this? And seeing as how the book had less than 600 (fairly high) ratings on goodreads, how could the world not know this? The fact that it isn't available for free on gutenberg.org and I could start reading it right away only sweetened the deal.
And this book is like dessert. So delightful! The "shuttle" of the title refers not only to the ships that carry passengers from England to America and back but is also a metaphor for the invisible thread of fate tying England and America. The plot revolves around a young, almost too perfect American Heiress and the sister in England she is trying to save from her marriage gone wrong. Anyone who has seen Downton Abbey will be familiar with the concept of an English Estate being held up by the American heiress it's owner marries but this book really shows the best and worst of that concept.
Bettina, our heroine, is as I said, almost too perfect. But just almost. I loved her. Sometime it is just nice to read a book where the good guys are good and the bad guys are bad and everyone gets their due in the end. Despite feeling relaxed because I had total faith that would happen, it was quite a page turned. I didn't know how it would happen. And while it had quite a bit of descriptive passages, especially in the middle, and I've said before I struggle with those, I never felt bogged down by these. It had just enough of that same wonderful vague magic that I loved so much in The Secret Garden plus a garden makeover. It really is The Secret Garden for grown-ups.
The Shuttle is my Back to the Classics Challenge Forgotten Classic Selection. Check out Books and Chocolate for more classic reviews.