White Boots

Since I watched I, Tonya, I have a much less rosy view of the world of ice skating. However, it seems it's always been an expensive, snobby sport, and certainly White Boots confirms that impression.

White Boots has always been one of my favourite Streatfeilds. And it DOES feature a nice mum -- Olivia, shabby-gentry mother to convalescent Harriet, who takes up skating to strengthen her legs after illness. Harriet's whole family subsist on the proceeds of what seems to be a very unrealistic shop, supplied with random goods by Harriet's country uncle, who eats all the best produce himself and sends them ninety sacks of rancid brussels sprouts. I have never fathomed how anyone could possibly run a shop on this basis, but there you go.

Harriet soon befriends Lalla Moore, who has a much more typical Streatfeild family (!) -- ambitious, snobby Aunt Claudia, kind but distant Uncle David, and her two benevolent guardians in the form of loving Nana and intellectual Miss Goldthorpe. Lalla is a skating prodigy, but she likes the attention more than the discipline, the opposite of Harriet, who works away steadily but without Lalla's showiness. I really enjoy the way that Streatfeild contrasts the two friends' different strengths and shows there is a place for both. White Boots is a really optimistic book and a lovely story of friendship and following your dreams.

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