Jodie Glasser, our Head of Culture and Branding, reviews The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy.
In times like these, we all cope in different ways. We exercise, Facetime our friends and binge watch our favourite TV shows, that sort of thing. And some of us, like me, turn to books.
A book is a very personal thing. I’ve always loved the way you can be transported to a different place and how a good story can emote so many powerful feelings. Recently, I haven’t had time to read as I’ve been coping with the lockdown, balancing working, home-schooling, being a mum and looking after a house, so when anxiety levels peaked I decided to reach for a book.
Some of us reach for management, coaching and business books when looking for inspiration, others for self- help on how can we improve our own wellbeing. Some may choose a novel, whether it be love, thriller, crime, anything to take their mind off what’s going on in the real world.
I’ll be honest, I was looking for something that could give me hope.
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse was left on my doorstep by a lovely friend of mine who knew that I’d been struggling and it has certainly given me hope during these uncertain times.
This book takes us on a journey with a boy called Charlie, a mole (who loves cake!), a fox and a horse. Throughout each beautifully written and illustrated page the conversations between the four friends have very heartfelt, poignant messages of love, bravery, hope, kindness, belief, and friendship.
After reading this, absorbing it, laughing and crying, I read it again, this time with my nine-year-old daughter one evening at bedtime. After each page came ‘Mummy please a little more’ and before we knew it we had read the whole book. As she listened I could see that she was touched and that it really resonated with her. She now has it tucked away at the side of the bed and has marked each page that is special to her – I often catch her reading it.
Although the story is simple, the words will stay with me forever. Here are some of my favourites:
‘What is the bravest thing you’ve ever said?’ Asked the boy ‘Help’ said the horse.
‘Everyone is a bit scared’ said the horse. ‘but we are less scared together.’
‘Tears fall for a reason, they are your strength not weakness’
‘Always remember you matter, you’re important and you are loved, and you bring to the world things no one else can’
In a nutshell, 30 minutes reading this book will leave its mark. I will forever go back to it and I feel grateful in dark times to have been given something that has not only lifted my spirits, but reminded me of the beauty of friends, love and following dreams …………. Not to forget the importance of cake 😊