Harding's Luck by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
Hardings Luck (1909) is the second novel in the the House of Arden series by Edith Nesbit. The first novel in the series, The House of Arden, was published in 1908. Harding's Luck is a rather unusual Nesbit, in that it tells of an only child -- Dickie Harding, living on sufferance with an uncaring woman who injured him so badly as a child that he needs a crutch to walk. With no bantering siblings to lighten things up, and real poverty, as opposed to the struggling intelligentsia found in many of her books, Nesbit has set her sights on a more serious book than her others. Dickie sows some seeds and finds that one has grown into a moonflower. The seeds of the flower, combined with the silver rattle that is his one personnel possession, will take Dickie far from London. The moonflower's time-traveling magic takes Dickie back three hundred years in time, to a life where he is loved, privileged, and no longer lame. There he meets two other children from modern times -- Elfrida and Edred Arden (as also told in The House of Arden), whom he will later meet in the present as well. Yet back in London his "father" is waiting for him, along with all the poverty and physical pain of Dickie's real life. Dickie strikes a balance between past and present, always forcing himself home to see that the man he has adopted is making progress on the path to the settled, uncriminal life that Dickie wants for him. But this balance is disrupted when Dickie learns that he himself has a place in the present time that can give him as much happiness as the past does -- he just has to push aside new friends to claim it.