Stories about children are not always for children. In "The Watercress Girl," H. E. Bates masterfully depicts a childhood which, by proxy, reveals the mystifying world of the adult. Through a series of short, lyrical stories, the complexities of the world are seen with crystalline purity through the eyes of children. We experience the joyous and painful clarity of youth, full of fears, hopes and make-believe, and the trust and mistrust of the adult world.
A little boy, charmed by the golden-throated Miss Mortenson, witnesses her fall from grace in 'The Pemberton Thrush'. Three children become entangled in a forbidden love when they witness a man attempting suicide in 'A Great Day for Bonzo', and a father reveals more of his past than he intends to in 'The Far Distant Journey'.
First published in 1959, "The Watercress Girl" is a rich collection of stories, exploring a world full of wonder but also of unease; an unease of not yet understanding the world or being fully part of it.