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In search of…

August 3, 2012

…a book I read a few years ago and meant to review. I foolishly neglected to write down the title or the author anywhere, but sometimes I find myself wanting to revisit it.

It was about an older woman who, when the story begins, is living in a home for elderly women. She unexpectedly inherits lots of money and a big house from a relative and relocates. She gets to experience all kinds of luxuries for the first time, but she also brings her own stuff to the table — common sense, mostly. She invites an old suitor to live with her as a companion, and I think she eventually adopts a kid or two. And there’s some stuff about fixing the problems of people in the neighborhood, which may involve her bringing them donuts she’s made. Also I think she buys a car.

It’s an American book, and for some reason I think it was published in 1911. Any help finding it would be appreciated. Recommendations of similar books would be appreciated, too. And if you’re searching for some public domain book and need help finding it, describe it in a comment and maybe someone here will be able to find it.

ETA: Found! I vaguely remembered that the title had a number in it and somehow dug up Drusilla with a Million. Feel free to comment with similar books or things you’re looking for, though.

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12 comments

  1. I was SO excited that I knew exactly what book it was–but you figured it out. I fell in love with Drusilla (racist, anti-suffrage, but absolutely a doll) and her commonsense ways.


    • Sorry — I think writing out what I was looking for helped me remember enough to find it.

      When I first read it, there were a lot of things I didn’t like so much, but recently I found that my memories of it are almost entirely good.


      • Yeah, I noted on this one that “Drusilla was so consistent in her inconsistency, it began to seem like the author–and the character–were paying lip service to the prevailing social mores of the day, but all the while showing a better way of behaving through the actions that were portrayed in the book. I ended up enjoying “Drusilla With a Million” tremendously, and, bearing in mind the above-mentioned warnings, I recommend it.”


        • I am reading it now and really liking it.


        • Yeah, was there any point at which she agreed with prevailing views? Sometimes her contrarianism was excellent — I love the bit where she’s disgusted by the way the Settlement is run, but not so much the insistence on everyone being married and having lots of kids.


  2. This book sounds great—especially because it’s old and would be
    fun to read to see how life has changed–I think I’ll put it on my “to find and read” list. Thanks for the inspiration.


    • You’re welcome — and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but everything on this blog falls into the “it’s old and would be
      fun to read to see how life has changed” category.


  3. That reminds me of a few Grace Livingston Hill books I’ve read (Cloudy Jewel, Aunt Crete’s Emancipation) so of course I’ve downloaded and started it.

    Another one you might want to try (I’ve just started it) is The Amazing Inheritance by Frances R. Sterrett, about a shopgirl who inherits an island kingdom. So far it’s a lot of fun.


    • I have Cloudy Jewel but haven’t read it yet — where does it fall on the Grace Livingston Hill sliding scale of religiosity?

      The Sterrett book sounds fun — I’ll add it to my list.


      • “where does it fall on the Grace Livingston Hill sliding scale of religiosity?”

        I would say it’s pretty close to the top! And yet you can skim through those parts and focus on their finding and furnishing their house and getting new clothes, etc.


        • Furnishing houses and buying new clothes will make up for a lot, for sure.


      • It goes completely over the top at the end of chapter ten. GLHL gives her Sabbath-keeping hobby horse full rein in that one.



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