There’s a range of weirdness levels in books by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott. Molly-Make-Believe reads like it was written by someone who doesn’t not know what to do with a coordinating conjunction. The White Linen Nurse is full of mental breakdown-y things, but in context they sort of work. If you told me the only kinds of punctuation used in The Fairy Prince and Other Stories were periods and exclamation marks, I would want to double check before I told you you were wrong. And Old-Dad makes no discernible sense. I’m not really sure what else to say about it. Read the rest of this entry ?
Posts Tagged ‘eleanorhallowellabbott’
In his two books of “Our Square” stories, Our Square and the People in it and From a Bench in Our Square, Samuel Hopkins Adams veers dangerously close to Eleanor Hallowell Abbott territory: everyone is named things like Cyrus the Gaunt, the Bonnie Lassie, the Little Red Doctor, or the Weeping Scion, and more than half the stories are adorable romances between peculiar young men and beautiful, wealthy young women, cookie cutter-like in their similarity. And if he never gets quite as twee as Abbott, he also doesn’t have her touch with hysteria.
But that’s not to say that the stories aren’t a lot of fun. Barring a few missteps and a dead dog, they are. Read the rest of this entry ?
I decided this morning that I wanted to make a list of ten books I’ve covered in this blog that I would wholeheartedly recommend. Not my favorites, because there are a lot of books — Tracy Park, for one — that I love too much to be able to think about them objectively. I’m not totally sure I’m looking at these objectively, but I do think they’re good, and I can’t see any reason why people shouldn’t still be reading them. I’m a little bit sad that I was only able to come up with six, though. Keep in mind that my standards, as usual, are incredibly inconsistent. Read the rest of this entry ?
So, the real reason I keep reading things by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott is that every once in a while, I reread The Indiscreet Letter and fall in love with it all over again–with the Young Electrician, and the alternating pink and blue lisle undershirts, and the Traveling Salesman’s wife and the whole utterly impossible conversation. I reread it yesterday, so today of course I had to read The White Linen Nurse.
I love coming to something new by an author I’m pretty familiar with and recognizing all the things that make it impossible for it to have been written by anybody else. Especially when I realize new things about the author at the same time. So, The White Linen Nurse was like that, and as such I found it really interesting. Read the rest of this entry ?
If A Versailles Christmas-tide was only accidentally a Christmas story, Eleanor Hallowell Abbott’s Peace on Earth, Good-will to Dogs is it’s exact opposite. It is more emphatically a Christmas story than A Christmas Carol. It begins with the line, “If you don’t like Christmas stories, don’t read this one!” (I should add that, being by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott, it contains much unnecessary cuteness and a really emphatic use of exclamation points.) Read the rest of this entry ?
I hadn’t really meant to read another Eleanor Hallowell Abbott book just yet, but I was looking at Project Gutenberg’s list of this week’s updates, and the first item on the list was Fairy Prince and Other Stories. Short stories are nice because they require such a small commitment, and I thought I would read one or two in order to take a break from Peter and Jane, but then, of course, I ended up reading the whole thing.
The title is somewhat misleading, because all the short stories are about the same family ( Mother: has brown eyes; Father: likes tulips; Rosalee, 17: is pretty; Carol, male, 11: is dumb — literally; Ruthy, 9: is a terrible narrator) and take place in chronological order. Read the rest of this entry ?
And a third Abbott story — I’m stopping now, I promise — Little Eve Edgarton. This one is kind of peculiar. The hero, Jim Barton, is very shallow, and the heroine, Eve, is kind of a social moron, although she knows how to do pretty much everything, from cataloguing fossils to reviving people who have bee struck by lightning to making muffins. It’s hard to understand why Eve is attracted to Barton, unless it is because she, too, is determined to be shallow, and almost impossible to understand why Barton is attracted to Eve. By the end of the book, I’m still not convinced that they’re in love with each other.
The illustrations are rather nice, though. Read the rest of this entry ?