Locked away in separate rooms as punishment by their ruthless grandmother, Nan, Robert, Timothy and Betsy decide to make their escape—out of the house, out of the garden and into the village. Commandeering a pony and trap, the children and their dog are led away as the pony makes his way nonchalantly home. The pony’s destination happens to be a house that belongs to the children’s uncle Ambrose. Gruff but loveable Uncle Ambrose agrees to take them under his wing, letting the children have free rein in his sprawling manor house and surrounding countryside.
Befriending the motley collection of house guests, including an owl, a giant cat, and a servant who converses with bees, and getting to know the miscellaneous inhabitants of the village, the four siblings discover a life in which magic and reality are curiously intermingled and evil and tragedy lurk never far away.
This charming story beautifully depicts early twentieth century English country life while conjuring an air of magical adventure. It is full of vivid characters, battles between good and evil and wonderful spell-binding moments.