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Thistle and Rose

May 6, 2007

Thistle and Rose, by Amy Walton, is a fairly insipid children’s book about a fairly insipid girl called Anna Forrest.

Anna’s mother is dead and she lives in London with her father, who ignores her most of the time, and when the book starts he’s about to take that a step further and move away altogether. Anna is sent to stay with her Uncle John and Aunt Sarah, who live in a village called Waverley. Just before he leaves, her father tells her that her maternal grandfather, who he has never mentioned before, lives in the neighboring town of Dornton.

There’s barely a plot. Anna has a habit of concealing things in order to avoid upsetting people and embarrassing herself, which is very frustrating to read about, and she finds her grandfather embarrassing because he’s a poor music teacher. She makes friends with Delia Hunt, the daughter of the Dornton doctor, who is a student of Anna’s grandfather and sort of resents Anna for not paying more attention to him. Eventually Anna is sorry and her grandfather forgives her. The end. The final paragraph hints that Anna doesn’t spend the rest of her life as a brat, but I’m not sure that’s really warranted by anything that’s happened.

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