Books My Mother Gave Me: Magic by The Lake (Edward Eager) Review

Published July 22, 2013 by ElisaChristy

This book follows Mark, Martha, Katharine and Jane again. But it is in fact the third book in the series. It seems a little confusing at first, why Edward Eager would jump forwards into the future, to introduce Martha’s children in Knight’s Castle, but there is a reason which becomes obvious as you read.

The book is set only three weeks after the events of Half Magic, when the four children go on holiday to a lake house. As it turns out the lake is in fact magic, the children talk about how they wish they had found this magic first instead of the half magic charm they had before. But of course, if they had not, they would not be here now, as they are going on holiday with Mr. Smith from the first book, so it’s continuity really, they had to have the half magic charm to be able to get a whole lake of magic.

“Some Jumblies had appeared, going to sea in a sieve. A walrus and a carpenter danced with some oysters on a nearby shore. In the distance Columbus was discovering America.”

As it turns out, they have not stumbled merely on to a magic lake, but a lake full of magic, which of course, are entirely different things. There is so much magic, the four children think there ought to be rules, so things don’t go as wrong as last time. For example they ask that grown-up’s don’t notice anything magic is going on, so as not to upset their mother as they did before. This also means no grown-ups in the wishes can notice them. They can hear them and half see them, but they never really notice.

“I don’t like things that live where it’s uninhabited!”

The magic is relatively standard as it seems to last until sunset, which is fine normally, but as the children discover not so good when you are in the South Pole and the sun may not set for weeks!

Martha decides she has had enough of rules and wishes for them all to be broken, they then goes to a desert island, where unfortunately cannibals can now see them all too clearly.

It is here that it becomes obvious why there was a separate book in between introducing Roger, Ann and Eliza as they in fact turn up at the desert island and help free the children – who are in fact their parents, it’s slightly complicated like adventureception, but it’s explained well in the book – Roger, Ann and Eliza, I think are on an adventure from The Time Garden, so I’ll have to see if it’s mentioned in that book when I get to it.

The continuity of these books was one reason I was interested in doing these reviews, so I could find out things I missed at the age of six. This is definitely one of them. Magic by The Lake was not one I remembered being read as child, nor did I remember the connection between the four children of this book and Roger, Ann and Eliza from Knight’s Castle or Time Garden, but now I do, it makes the other books in the series seem much more interesting, as I find out how they connect.


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