I love this book. It's fun, heart warming and exciting. Although it doesn't start out as very fun as it is set during or just after the English Civil War (my history is a bit hazy) and follows the lives of four children whose father was killed during one of the battles. He was fighting for the King and his house is burnt down, with his four children supposedly inside.
But they weren't inside because they had escaped to the New Forest (hence the title) and the book follows them as they learn a new life with one of the keepers. Which seemed to involve running from one side of the forest to the other a great many times. But it's nice, they have their adventures and help the people that they meet and the tension is never too much to handle - it won't keep you all night!
The only issue I had with it was that the end seemed a bit hasty. I felt like I knew the characters and I just wanted a little more time to say goodbye. But other than that it was very enjoyable and is perfect if you want a nice read with a hot chocolate. Much to my delight I have found that this was not the only book written by Captain Marryat, so no doubt soon I will be on a quest to find them.
Another random fact (at least I think it is true) is that Captain Marryat is buried vertically (as in feet first in the ground) so that he can look out to sea.