Posts Tagged ‘fluff’

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From the Car Behind

June 10, 2010

From the Car Behind starts off really well, and I almost wish it hadn’t, because I wouldn’t have gotten so frustrated with it if I hadn’t liked the characters so much.

Allan Gerard is an executive at a car company — it’s called Mercury, but this was written before there really was a car company of that name — and he’s the usual romance/adventure hero, circa 1910: handsome, athletic, clean-cut, good-natured, and sensible. Also rich. He’s pretty much perfect, and I’m not quite sure how Eleanor Ingram manages to make him so likable. Or how someone like Jeffery Farnol manages to make essentially the same character profoundly irritating. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Melting of Molly

May 25, 2010

The Melting of Molly is by Maria Thompson Daviess, whose last name really is spelled like that, and it was a bestseller in 1912.

The melting in question is a metaphorical description of Molly falling in love, of course, but it’s nominally meant to refer to weight loss. Molly Carter is a twenty-five year old widow, and this book is supposed to be her diary, written to keep track of her diet and exercise regimes.

Mr. Carter, dead approximately one year, was nobody particularly interesting–just someone Molly married after Al Bennett, the young man she was in love with, had gone off into the world to try and make a name for himself or something. That was when Molly was seventeen, and now Al Bennett, having heard that Mr. Carter is out of the picture, has started sending Molly love letters and talking about coming home. Apparently he expects to see her in the same dress she was wearing when he left, only that was eight years ago, and it doesn’t quite fit. And by “quite” I mean “at all.” Read the rest of this entry ?

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Happy House

September 27, 2009

I read Jane Abbott’s Happy House for the first time in May. It’s different from the other Abbott books I’ve read in that it’s aimed at a slightly older audience, and also in that…well, it seems a bit more formulaic. But I like it a lot.

The main character is a girl who has just graduated from college. Her name is Anne Leavitt, and so is that of her best friend, but the protagonist is usually called Nancy. The two Anne Leavitts, along with their other best friend, Claire, are packing when a porter arrives with a letter addressed to one of the Annes — they’re not sure which. After reading the invitation from Sabrina Leavitt to her niece, they conclude that it belongs to Anne, not Nancy, but Anne is just about to leave for Russia to do something vaguely humanitarian, so she persuades Nancy to go in her place. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Rose-Garden Husband

September 4, 2009

I finally followed a long-ago recommendation from Redeeming Qualities reader Elizabeth and read The Rose-Garden Husband, by Margaret Widdemer. And I love it. It’s so completely up my alley that it’s hard to believe it’s real. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Little Eve Edgarton

May 11, 2008

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 ?

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Molly Make-Believe

May 10, 2008

So, I just read another Eleanor Hallowell Abbott story: Molly Make-Believe. And it’s a full-fludged romance novel this time — although a very small one — which is sort of not in its favor.

Molly Make-Believe tells the story of a winter in the life of Carl Stanton, a young businessman who is confined to his bed by his horrible rheumatism. He has recently become engaged to a girl named Cornelia, although it hasn’t been announced yet. Carl’s doctor is astonished to discover that Cornelia is going South for the winter in spite of the fact that Carl is ill, but, as Carl puts it, “Every girl like Cornelia had to go South sometime between November and March.” Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Fortunes of Fifi

June 11, 2007

A while back Danielle at A Work in Progress posted a bunch of advertisementsfrom the back of a book that had been published in 1907. The most entertaining one was for a book by Molly Elliot Seawell called The Fortunes of Fifi. I said I’d look out for it, but somehow I never thought to look for it on Google Books ’til the other day. It’s there, freely downloadable as a pdf. I’m kind of entertained by the way they scan things for Google Books — they scan every single page, even the ones that haven’t got anything on them, so each illustration is followed by a blank page; the other side of the thicker, shinier paper used for the illustrations.

So, The Fortunes of Fifi is pretty entertaining. Fifi is a nineteen year-old actress working in a fourth-rate theater in Paris. It’s 1804, and Napoleon is just about to be crowned emperor.
Read the rest of this entry ?