There are some books that are understandably stand the test of time and Scottish playwright J. M. Barrie’s classic ‘Peter Pan‘ is one of them. Like many, I read this classic only after watching the 2003 film ‘Finding Neverland‘ which told of Barrie’s journey of creating boys that never age, fairies that live on childrens’ beliefs, mermaids and villainous pirates and elegant Indians.
Barrie weaves a story of a boy, Peter Pan, who never grows up and visits the Darling family every night from Neverland to hear the Darling mother tell her three children bedtime stories. It is on one of these fateful nights when Nana, the dog, who also doubles as the kids’ nanny, sees Peter’s shadow and catches old of it. This gives Peter enough reason to sneak into their bedroom late in the night with his fairy best friend Tinker Bell to try to find it. All this hullaballoo wakes Wendy, the oldest of the siblings, up. After helping Peter Pan sew his shadow back on, they start talking about Neverland with its many sights and sounds. He successfully lures Wendy to come with him, along with her little brothers.
It keeps you grounded in simplicity and captures the soul of the young candidly and yet so affectionately. It reveals the dark responsibilities and uncertainties that come with growing up and also the unhealthy sides of childhood like blatant possessiveness, obliviousness and naiveté. Peter’s cockiness and crowing just becomes part of his appeal although even nuisance and eventually a stumbling block to his growing and capability to maintain relationships. The best part of this book when Peter Pan proclaims “To die would be an awfully big adventure” displaying Barrie’s ingenuity sewing together the unknown and undiscovered as normal and exploratory for children reading the book. Peter Pan is full of unforgettable characters whether you are forty or four and they feel like friends you have to say goodbye to after spending a long vacation with. It makes one revel in the innocence and colossal imagination kids are capable of.
Overall Rating: 8/10
If you find the book interesting, buy from Amazon or Flipkart here: