Little Miss Grouch

August 9, 2011

All you members of the fluffy romance contingent will not want to miss out on Samuel Hopkins Adams’ Little Miss Grouch, the most adorable and entertaining novel of transatlantic crossing that it’s ever been my pleasure to read.

The Tyro, starting out on his first voyage across the Atlantic, makes the acquaintance of the titular character when she repeatedly steps on his foot as they both bid farewell to the retreating shore (he’s just waving for the fun of it; she’s trying to avoid the notice of a man who is jumping up and down, trying to attract her attention). She’s veiled and dowdily dressed, and she’s crying, so her nose is red and her face is puffy, and she’s altogether a pretty unprepossessing sight. However unattractive he finds her, though, when he hears that she’s running away to avoid marrying the guy her father’s forced her to get engaged to (the jumping-up-and-down guy), he’s sympathetic. And she’s sort of grateful to him, but becomes less so when she overhears him calling her homely.

She appears the following morning looking beautiful, all traces of her crying jag being gone, and takes great pleasure in embarrassing the Tyro. She also refuses to reveal her name, and so he makes one up, leading to a series of misunderstandings that always felt much less contrived than it probably should have.

The Tyro and Little Miss Grouch fall in love of course, and normally I’d complain that he only likes her because she’s beautiful. And based only on what people say outright, that’s true, but it turns out they don’t have to say the other stuff, because there are sparks between Little Miss Grouch and the Tyro from the first time she steps on his foot. And then he gets all heroic and stuff, but kind of casually. It’s lovely.



  1. This sounds like my kind of story. I’m looking forward to reading it.

    • It is totally your kind of story. Enjoy!

      • Not only did I enjoy it, I started SHA’s Wanted: A Husband, which is even more delightful. It’s about an ugly duckling who decides to turn herself into a swan. I think I’ll be reading all of his books I can find.

        • I keep meaning to read more of his books. It’s good to hear from everyone that they’re all awesome.

  2. I’ve become a huge Samuel Hopkins Adams fan. This probably only my third fave of his books I’ve been able to read so far, and I LOVE this one, so you can figure that I’m gaga about “Average Jones” and “The Secret of Lonesome Cove”.

    • Hmm. The only other thing of his I’ve read is Average Jones, and while I liked it a lot, I ddn’t love it. I think part of what got me about Little Miss Grouch was the pacing, and the structure, and Average Jones doesn’t have much of either.

    • On the other hand, you seem to have just inspired me to reread Average Jones.

  3. Fluffy romance! That’s me, I love fluffy romance! Must try to find this for my kindle. :)

    • Project Gutenberg has a kindle version! My kindle’s been out of commission for weeks because I’ve mislaid the charger, but if I find it this weekend — which I hope to do — there are definitely going to be some Samuel Hopkins Adams books on it soon.

  4. what a delightful review! This is now on my kindle and is going to be my road read for my road trip next week (moving myself from Idaho to Atlanta). So excited to dig into this, but saving it for my first nite on the road! And, as always, I vow to spend more time on your blog… it is so exceptionally written and I love it so. xo

    • And? How did you find it?

  5. Has anybody read ‘The Unspeakable Perk” by the same..it’s hilarious!!

    • I was actually wondering earlier today which Samuel Hopkins Adams book to read next. I guess it will be that one.

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