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Showing posts from January, 2014

Book Review: The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen

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The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When Alec Valcourt, famed dancing master of London, arrives in the little berg of Beaworthy after his father's death, he never anticipated that he would be moving to the only town in England that had an unspoken rule against dancing. This is the height of the Regency era, and Alec's sole expertise is as a dancing and fencing master. His mother and sister fall under his care and Alec needs his livelihood in order to provide for them. He cannot always rely upon his uncle to care for them. Enters the entrancing Julia Midwinter, daughter to Lady Midwinter, the woman who has cast a ban on dancing upon Beaworthy. Alec not only must struggle to find work, but now he is bewitched by a woman far advanced in social status. If only the inhabitants of Beaworthy would open their doors to his tutelage, but first Alec must uncover the reasoning behind the ban, a mystery that Julia also wishes to uncover. Together, the two work toget…

Book Review: Dear Mr Knightley by Katherine Reay

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Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I am not one to read all of those "extra" Austen novels that are suddenly flooding the market. I'm quite content with the stories Austen herself wrote, thinking of my own writing and how much I would hate to have someone use one of my beloved characters almost 200 years after my death. However, my opinion is in the minority because these "extra" books are insanely popular. There's no point in my beating a dead horse with my protestations, so I figured I had to start somewhere. That somewhere turned out to be Katherine Reay's debut novel, Dear Mr. Knightley.

Novels written in letter format aren't my cup of tea. Where my sister read all of those Dear America books in her childhood, I simply couldn't bring myself to finish even one. It just felt so unnatural, reading someone else's journal or letters. Fortunately for Ms. Reay, her writing voice is strong enough that I adored her lead c…

CCLE Book Review: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (1958)

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“There is no escape if love is not there," Hannah had said. Had Hannah known when she herself had not even suspected? It was not escape that she had dreamed about, it was love.”

- Elizabeth George Speare,  The Witch of Blackbird Pond
It is January once again, and like last January, I am participating in the Classic Children's Literature Event! If you want even more details about the event, just visit Amanda at Simpler Pastimes. :)

On to the book!
It is the year 1687, a time of Puritans in the New World. When 16-year-old Katherine Tyler's grandfather dies in Barbados, she travels to Connecticut in the New World to live with her only living relation, her Aunt Rachel and family. The journey is rough, but Kit anticipates a warm welcome from her relatives. Her arrival, however, meets with suspicion by the inhabitants of tiny Wethersfield, and even though her aunt is welcoming, her uncle is far from pleased to see her. The town is Puritan, and Kit is far from the legalistic upbring…

Book Review: A Match Made in Texas by Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Carol Cox, and Mary Connealy

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A Match Made in Texas by Karen Witemeyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



In "A Match Made in Texas," Dry Gulch has its very own matchmaker. It is the year 1893, and three different women find themselves matched by a mysterious, compassionate hand. In the last novella, the matchmaker meets her own match in the most unlikely source. To be fair to each of these authors, I will review their novellas individually.

"A Cowboy Unmatched"
by Karen Witemeyer
4.5 stars

I've loved Karen's books for over a year now, ever since I first read Head in the Clouds. So, knowing she was the primary author for this set of novellas immediately peaked my interest.

In "A Cowboy Unmatched" Clara Danvers is recently widowed, pregnant, and barely scraping by in the near hovel her rascal husband provided for her outside of town. When a mysterious note sends Neill Archer (youngest son of the Archer family in several of Ms. Witemeyer's other novels) out as her hired hand, Clara gre…

CCLE Book Review: The Light Princess by George MacDonald (1864)

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"One day he lost sight of his retinue in a great forest. These forests are very useful in delivering princes from their courtiers, like a sieve that keeps back the bran. Then the princes get away to follow their fortunes."

- George MacDonald, The Light Princess
It is January once again, and like last January, I am participating in the Classic Children's Literature Event! If you want even more details about the event, just visit Amanda at Simpler Pastimes. :)
On to the book!
This is The Light Princess by George MacDonald, the author of The Princess & the Goblin and The Princess & Curdie along with a myriad other books. He was a Christian minister in addition to being a writer, which is why his work is more than simple fairy stories. If you wanted to read The Light Princess in an equally light vein, then you certainly could. No one will stop you or correct you. But, it is also possible to pick out the intended allegory of the story, and while allegory is not my stronge…