Posts Tagged ‘janeabbott’



October 28, 2014

This is my third attempt at writing a review of Aprilly, by Jane Abbott. I’m not sure why writing about it is so daunting. It’s never going to be my favorite Jane Abbott book — there are structural issues, and a lot of what happens feels unearned. Also I found it hard to sympathize with the protagonist, and wished some of the other characters got more page time. But all of these things are things I’ve had time to think out. When I finished the book, I mostly just thought, “that was nice, but the romance was kind of creepy and unnecessary and Laughing Last was better.”

Anyway, I enjoyed it, but I doubt I’ll want to read it again. And if you want more information than that (you should) here’s a bit of a synopsis:

April Dangerfield is left penniless and homeless (I mean, approximately) after the death of her circus performer mother, and somehow ends up in a small town in Maine, where she finds a number of friends, including the usual crotchety spinster, and eventually acquires a family. And also a horse.

Jane Abbott falls flat for me sometimes, usually in the books everyone else seems to like best. I guess this is just one of those times.


Laughing Last

August 6, 2014

I’ve been feeling lately like I’m having a hard time being enthusiastic about the books I’m reading. That happens every once in a while, and it’s always hard to tell whether it’s the books, or me suffering from a general deficiency of enthusiasm, or just my poor memory of how much I enjoyed things.

Looking back at recent posts, I don’t think it’s that third thing. I ended up mostly liking Dwell Deep, and Up the Hill and Over was fascinating, but neither of them comes anywhere near being my new favorite book. Although actually, The Turned-About Girls was great. And I guess Laughing Last, by Jane Abbott, isn’t my new favorite book either, but I love it enough to that I feel like I can safely blame any lack of enthusiasm on my recent reading material. I mean, I don’t feel like gushing about it or anything, but basically it was delightful and I have no complaints. Read the rest of this entry ?


Six Recommendations

October 15, 2009

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 ?


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 ?


I kind of thought I’d posted this last week, but apparently not: Red-Robin

April 24, 2009

After finding Keineth so wonderful, I immediately started two more Jane Abbott books: Larkspur on my computer and Red-Robin on my Kindle. Red-Robin is the one I finished first — I don’t know whether that was because I was reading it on the more portable machine or because it was kind of awesome.

Somehow, Red-Robin seemed a lot older than it was, which I think might be because the storyline reminded me a lot of a Mary Jane Holmes novel. But even though Jane Abbott uses the same plotlines so many other people use, she brings a sort of freshness to them. Things that you expect to happen because you know how the story goes do happen, but they happen more naturally and spontaneously than you would believe possible. Read the rest of this entry ?



April 11, 2009

I should be writing about Graustark, by George Barr McCutcheon, which is probably the book the phrase “Ruritanian romance” was invented for, but I just finished Jane Abbott’s Keineth this morning, so I’m not in the mood for talking about Grenfall Lorry’s supposed heroics.

Jane Abbott was recommended to me by frequent commenter Elizabeth, who has far better taste in girls’ books than I do, and I started with Keineth because it was one of the only ones available on Project Gutenberg. I have trouble imagining that I’ll like any of Abbott’s other books better, though. Read the rest of this entry ?