Archive for March 30th, 2020

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Dora’s Housekeeping

March 30, 2020

What we all need in the middle of a pandemic–if we have the time/energy/attention span–is some light reading. I’ll try to find some for you soon, but for now: Dora’s Housekeeping, by Elizabeth Stansbury Kirkland, is very dull.

You know how Ten Dollars Enough can drag a little when there are too many recipes in a row? Dora’s Housekeeping never stops dragging. I recommending getting your cookbook-in-novel’s-clothing fix elsewhere.

Oh, you want to know what it’s about? Well, Dora Greenwood is a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl with four younger siblings. Her mother is sent abroad to recover from an illness, and Dora takes over as housekeeper. She’s got a helpful aunt and cousin next door, but she has trouble finding and keeping a good cook, and she still has to go to school.

I liked that Dora has the capacity to be a bit of a brat–sure, you’re definitely the person most affected by your servant’s mother’s illness–and that her father is a little finicky and not always as nice as one would wish. But Kirkland really looks down on the servants, and there’s too many recipes to too little story.

This is a sort of a sequel to Six Little Cooks; or, Aunt Jane’s Cooking Class, in which Dora’s helpful aunt teaches Dora’s cousins to cook. I think I won’t read it.