Jane Austen’s life is shrouded in mystery. She was an unusual woman for her time, holding firm to her values. She believed in love matches; her stories are full of unlikely couples, yet she remained unmarried.
It’s frightening to grow up. Taking on responsibilities, leaving old habits behind, speaking of childhood in the past tense—it’s no wonder so many people take their time, whether or not they realize it. The world is a scary place, after all. I believe this message was the strongest theme for Nine Ladies Dancing, the fourth … Continue reading Nine Ladies Dancing: Clinging to Youth
Two words describe The Chilbury Ladies' Choir--heartbreaking and hopeful. I liked the way it was written, a first person novel following the points of view of several members of an exclusively female choir. While the notion might not seem unusual now, it was previously unheard of in the book, and only formed because all of … Continue reading Strength in Song: The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir
Goodwill for the Gentleman is one of the warmest stories I've read this year. If you want to know why, check out my review here. It is an amazing joy to have contacted the author, Martha Keyes, with questions about this charming Christmas story that had me believing in happy endings again. I believe that speaking … Continue reading Q&A With Author Martha Keyes
If a story is good, if it has the author's heart in it, the reader will never forget the day the book was read.
After one month in its pages, I have finished The Pickwick Papers. It is part of my 2019 Classic Novel Challenge, one of the longer ones on the list. I'm unable to critique writing by my favorite author. How can I nitpick the gripping prose, the humorous twists and turns, the delightful poetry? I cannot … Continue reading The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
The second book in my 2019 classic novel challenge was The Story of King Arthur and His Knights. These stories were released in serial form for a children’s publication; they are characterized by their bold protagonists, as well as their focus on virtue and morality. It is not a novel, but a compilation of tales … Continue reading The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle
The first book I read for my 2019 reading challenge, The Mayor of Casterbridge, is compelling because of its characters. Though there are many, it focuses on a man named Michael Henchard, a man none of us would envy. It is the story of a mistake he made as a young man and how this mistake … Continue reading The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
In my final reflection on David Copperfield (for now), I want to muse on a paragraph which appears to me as a living, direct link to the author and what he stood for. It is a reflection on the homeless of his time--and ours. In context: still a child, David Copperfield has escaped horrific months … Continue reading David Copperfield: The Call to Action
Charles Dickens' David Copperfield is, in many respects, autobiographical. Readers see the protagonist in bleak situations, many of which take root in things the author himself experienced--child abuse, poverty, instances when it was difficult to count one's blessings. As a reader and writer, the following paragraph stood out to me. It describes Copperfield as a … Continue reading David Copperfield: Escapism and Books
Paragraphs can be so telling. Here, I'm going to compare two passages from David Copperfield that made their way into my reading journal because of their devastating depth. Here is the first: When my mother is out of breath and rests herself in an elbow-chair, I watch her winding her bright curls round her fingers … Continue reading David Copperfield: Contrast of Summer and Winter
The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery. This is the original title of Charles Dickens' eighth novel, published in serial form in the year 1850. Now sold as a 700-page book, it was originally released in 19 monthly one-shilling installments. This makes for a delightfully long story … Continue reading David Copperfield: Intro