Matilda, by Roald Dahl (Review)

“All the reading she had done had given her a view of life that they had never seen.”

Rating: 5 stars.

Despite the fact that Matilda was one of my favourite movies as a child, I’d never read the book. It was on my 100 books bucket list poster, and I knew it would be a quick, delightful read, and now I wish I’d read it as a child, because I would have related 100% with Matilda, with my parents struggling to keep me in books to feed my voracious reading appetite.

Even as an adult, Dahl’s work is beautiful, a children’s book that doesn’t treat children like they’re stupid, but explains things simply and succinctly. Admittedly, there’s a sadness to reading Matilda as an adult, if you look too closely at neglectful parents, abusive behaviours (Trunchbull holding Miss. Honey’s head under the water as a child, anyone?!) and a real weird moment of realisation that Miss. Honey is my age. Mostly, though, this is a beautiful tale about standing up to bullies, and well worth a couple hours reading after work.

The weirdest thing about this for me, was reading it a week after reading Carrie by Stephen King… not a kid’s book in the slightest, but a veeery similar concept. Except Matilda uses her newfound powers to try and help someone who’s kind to her, instead of punishing people who are cruel (though she does a little of that too). It was strange halfway through to realise that without Miss. Honey’s kindness, Matilda could have totally turned out to be a Carrie-esque horror. Weird.

Note: This review was copied verbatim from my Goodreads account dated June 4th 2019.

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