Years ago, a kind school librarian noticed an awkward kid, looking for a book to read. The dissatisfaction in the kid's demeanor may have called to the librarian. She asked the kid what books she read that she liked and wanted to read. The kid said she loved magic, fantasy and she particularly enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia.
The librarian then recommended several authors, one of them, Ms. McKinley with this specific book. This is probably my first book with Ms. McKinley and I haven't looked back since. This book is actually several books in one. It is a loose reinterpretation of several lesser known fairy tales. As a child who found going though a wardrobe into a magical world fantastic, finding a door in the hedge immediately appealed to me.
I am not sure what age this book is originally targeted for, but I know as a 12 year old, it was right up my speed. The stories are beautifully written and the female leads tend to be stronger than their original stories. Back in the 80s, there were few and far between female leads who weren't helpless nits. Ms. McKinley was ahead of her time and one of the few authors I recommend to preteens. This book is recommended to readers who enjoy fantasy and magic.