Her Kingdom

October 6, 2009

Objectively, I’m pretty sure that Her Kingdom, by Amy Le Feuvre, is a terrible book. But it’s also old and fat and printed on thick, soft paper, and really nice to curl up on the couch with when the weather is beginning to get cool.

Anstice Barrett’s father has just died, leaving her almost penniless. She goes to her elderly cousin Lucy for advice, and Lucy tells her to marry Justin Holme, who is a bitter widower with three uncontrollable children. This is a totally ridiculous idea, made more so by the fact that Justin is only home about two months out of each year, that his house is in a very rural area, and also that Justin hates women. It’s so ridiculous that the only reason Amy Le Feuvre can come up with to have Anstice accept the offer is to that she’s haunted by a dream of drowning children. Or something.

Anstice’s cheery personality and good sense make a strong impression on the Holme children (the boy, Ruffie, is about eight. The girls, Josie and Georgie, are a bit older, although their father does not actually remember their ages) as well as everyone else in the neighborhood. She also finds God, in a segment that makes very little sense to me, but which I find really interesting. I was going to try and describe it, but I couldn’t make the description not sound offensive, so I gave up.

Eventually, of course, she and Justin fall in love, and it’s all very nice and predictable. It’s weird, but the only good thing I can find to say about this book is that I really enjoy reading it every time. Huh.

Also, I love the name ‘Anstice’.


  1. I have to agree with this write up. It is totally silly, but I love the book so much I stole it from my sister! I nearly called one of my two daughters Anstice, but my husband wouldn’t let me.

    • This comment makes me so happy! I wasn’t convinced that there was anybody else who had actually read this book, and also nobody I’ve talked to agrees with me about Anstice being a wonderful name.

      • I’m reading it currently, translated into norwegian! That’s pretty nice:)

        • Wow! I wouldn’t have thought anyone would want to translate it, but it’s pretty cool that someone did.

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