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Catching up, 2/5/16

February 5, 2016

It’s time for another clearing-out of things I’ve read recently, so I can write at greater length about one or two in particular.

The Phantom Treasure, by Harriet Pyne Grove

This story of an orphan discovering her long-lost family and moving into their home, which is historical and filled with secret passages and things, ought to be great. I just wish it had been written by Margaret Sutton or Augusta Huiell Seaman or someone. Jannet, the main character, gets fried chicken mailed to her at boarding school. She and a friend try on historical costumes in the attic. She finds a stash of notes written by her ancestors when they were being forced to host British soldiers during the Revolutionary War. I just wish the author had felt some kind of enthusiasm about any of those things. But since she didn’t, I couldn’t either.

Carolyn of the Corners, by Ruth Belmore Endicott

Run of the mill story about an orphan softening the heart of a cranky relative, by an author who has definitely read Pollyanna and Little Lord Fauntleroy. Probably other versions of the same trope, too, but those are the ones I’m sure about.

A Poor Wise Man, by Mary Roberts Rinehart

I’ve read this one before, but only once, probably because I’d already sort of read it as V.V.’s Eyes and The Clarion. Still, it’s Rinehart, and if you want to read a book about a rich girl in a growing city falling in love with an idealistic young social reformer, this one’s pretty good. Few authors understand better than Rinehart how attractive it is when a character combines strong emotion with massive amounts of restraint.

This is fun, this catching up thing. It’s better to write a bit about a bunch of books than to sit around feeling guilty about not writing about them, or to write about them at length and then never bother to type up the review, both of which are things I’ve been doing lately.

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6 comments

  1. Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your reviews. Perks up my day, and points me to so many fun reads. Have a great day.


  2. Thanks!


  3. Are you saying you write out your reviews longhand and then transcribe them on the computer? Old school! I commend you!


    • Well, I have a fountain pen habit, so I take any excuse I can to write stuff longhand. But it also makes me take another look at whet I’ve written–I get to revise as I type up a review. (Still, sometimes I get impatient and just type something up super fast.)


  4. Carolyn of the Corners owes a bit to Understood Betsy, as well. ;)


    • Yeah? Nothing specific jumped out at me, but I haven’t read Understood Betsy as often as Pollyanna and Little Lord Fauntleroy.



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