The “Julie Edwards” who wrote this book is actually “Julie Andrews” of Mary Poppins and Sound of Music fame — she went through a period of writing children’s books under her married name in the 70s (Her name appears as Julie Andrews Edwards on newer editions). Both this one and her Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles were childhood favourites of mine.
Mandy is a sweet story about a little girl in an English orphanage who finds an abandoned cottage in the woods and sets out to make it her own special place. It captures the experience of falling in love with a place perfectly, and Mandy is a great heroine, with her longing for a home she’s never known driving her to commit all sorts of childhood crimes — lying, stealing, and being mean to her best friend. The book has an almost fairytale happily-ever-after ending, which is entirely satisfying in a book of this sort. I think I might start reading this one aloud to my daughter; it’s a truly timeless story that I hope she’ll enjoy just as much as I did.