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At the Back of the North Wind

George MacDonald

Book Overview: 

Diamond the little boy sleeps in the hayloft above the stall of Diamond the horse. The loft is snug but drafty, and after plugging a hole in the wall one night, Diamond is scolded by the beautiful Lady North Wind for closing her “window” into his room. Thus begins their friendship. Spirited away by the North Wind, Diamond embarks on a series of adventures both near to and far from his home. His pure heart and his simple, loving spirit guide him as he journeys to the back of the North Wind and home again.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I was. I can't sing at all, except now and then, and I can never tell what my song is going to be; I only know what it is after I have sung it.—But this will never do. Will you stop here?"

"I can't see anywhere to stop," said Diamond. "Your hair is all down like a darkness, and I can't see through it if I knock my eyes into it ever so much."

"Look, then," said North Wind; and, with one sweep of her great white arm, she swept yards deep of darkness like a great curtain from before the face of the boy.

And lo! it was a blue night, lit up with stars. Where it did not shine with stars it shimmered with the milk of the stars, except where, just opposite to Diamond's face, the grey towers of a cathedral blotted out each its own shape of sky and stars.

"Oh! what's that?" cried Diamond, struck with a kind of terror, for he had never seen a cathedral, and it rose before him with an awful reality in the midst of the wide spaces, c. . . Read More

Community Reviews

If you are the sort of person who only reads the first few sentences of a review, you'd better just look back at my rating to determine my opinion of this book, because I'm going to start out by saying critical things. However, the books I like best, like my favorite people, tend to be those whic...more

**spoiler possible**

The North Wind is Death. This book is about the dealings between death and an innocent child. It's beautiful, it's tender and sad. I read somewhere that Mark Twain struck up a friendship with George MacDonald, and when his daughter died, he remembered fondly the little beat up...more

3rd time reading this through. One of my favorite stories of all time, but honestly, I started to feel that I absorbed as much as I could for this time in my life. The thought occurred to me that I might read this once more before I die, and that’s it. We’ll see what the years bring.

It is a beaut...more

I last read this book when I was 9 or 10 years old. I remembered the portrayal of the North Wind as a beautiful, comforting woman, but was not able at that age to appreciate her mystical, spiritual significance. She now seems to me to be the embodiment of the spirit of love. I don't think she is...more

I am indebted to one of my fellow reviewers for my review, whose horrified thoughts on the death of Diamond, prompted me to think more deeply about it myself. For this reader, Diamond’s death was a pointless, disappointing waste, and killing him spoilt the beauty Macdonald’s creation. This review...more

At the start, for the first half of it, I struggled to push my way through "At the Back of the North Wind." I thought it tedious and drawn out. But by the time I had waded into the middle, I found I was swimming.

I just finished this book, and I have to tell you, I have no way of using my tongue t...more

I recently had an intense, life-changing revelation. I nearly went insane and spent over 2 weeks in the hospital, diagnosed with hypermania. I found At The Back Of The North Wind in the hospital (I think left for a purpose), and it described my situation perfectly. I did not die/visit the back of...more

Thành thực mà nói, tôi không biết phải đánh giá cuốn này như thế nào nữa. Có những đoạn tôi rất thích nhưng lại có những phần đọc mà thấy lê thê, đôi chút mệt mỏi. Nên tựu chung lại chắc là 3,5/5.

Sau lưng Gió Bấc là truyện kể về Kim Cương, về gia đình, mọi người xung quanh em và cả những chuyến p...more

It took me awhile to read this...I am a busy mom and it was important for me to find the time to read and savor this in silence (which doesn't always happen for me). I was disappointed when I couldn't take the time to read this book. It is beautifully written. It is a fairy tale for both adults a...more

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