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Celia Garth

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  1,451 ratings  ·  214 reviews
This is a story about a girl who wanted things to happen to her.

Celia Garth lived in Charleston, South Carolina, during the American Revolution. She had blond hair and brown eyes and a sassy face, and she worked in a fashionable dressmaking shop.

Things did happen to Celia, but not as she had planned. The king's army captured Charleston. The ravisher Tarleton swept through
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 1959 by Thomas Crowell Co. (first published 1959)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rosina Lippi
I wrote the introduction for this edition of Celia Garth, but it appears under my pen name, Sara Donati. And here it is:

At age thirteen I discovered historical fiction by means of Gwen Bristow's Jubilee Trail, and with that began a life long preoccupation with stories set in the past.
By the time I was seventeen I had read hundreds of novels about civil wars (British and American), the Revolution, the Anglo-Saxons and the Norman Invasion, ancient Rome and Greece.
I considered myself something of
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Misfit
This is the tale of Celia Garth, a 20 year old woman trying to make a living as a seamstress in Charleston, South Carolina during the Revolutionary war. The author does a great job of setting up the scenes of the town and plantations, and the history of the time. We follow Celia and her friends through the seige of Charleston by the British, living through the constant shelling and lack of food until the final surrender.

At first, things seem normal after the surrender and Celia begins to build
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Laura
Aug 09, 2012 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: junior high and up
Shelves: 2012
This book is what all historical fiction ought to be - accurate historic facts and a gripping story line of fictional characters. I enjoyed it so much, I plan on purchasing the book so it can be read again! It's a great companion to "Johnny Tremain" because in that book you have a male hero right in the middle of all the action, but in "Celia Garth" you have a female hero on the outskirts of it. I love getting the two perspectives.

Celia Garth, the main character, is a naive girl working as an a
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Tweety
Dec 10, 2014 Tweety rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: American Revolution fans
Recommended to Tweety by: Misfit
Celia Garth, was fabulous.

I mean, really. It was the perfect gloomy day read.

I liked how Celia grew from a young twenty year old to a mature young woman. She went from thinking the war was dull since she couldn't see it to thinking it was a horrible thing. She learned that it was possible to love two men, and that sometimes what you think you want isn't really it.

Jimmy was a tall, lanky and ugly captain of the revolution. He was so kind to Celia, helping her catch her dreams and watching out
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LemonLinda
This was such a comfort read for me - quick and easy historical fiction set in Charleston during the American Revolution with strong, lovable characters and a good storyline. That is a perfect read for me. Celia Garth is a strong, independent young woman who lost both parents as a child and lived with her uncle and his family who although in the planter class struggled a bit. When the family begins to try to marry her off she turns to her talents as a seamstress and she secures a place with a we ...more
Amy S
Celia Garth is a young and pretty girl who works in a dressmaker's shop in Charleston. Although the Revolutionary War is being fought, Celia really doesn't care as it doesn't seem to affect her life much. She only knows she wants adventure and fun.

But when the British invade Charleston and her life is changed forever, Celia finds out what she is really made of and what she really cares about. She is forced to grow and change through times of devastating loss and true joy. She finds courage as a
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Margaret
It's always interesting to go back and re-read books one read as a child/teen, as is the case with this book. This is the first book where I learned about the Swamp Fox (Frances Marion) and Revolutionary War in the South. I was struck by the fast pace of the book during the siege of Charleston (or Charles Town as one character wrote). The author definitely knew how to keep my interest when describing Tarleton's raids, the hardships of Marion's swamp rats, and the tension of those on plantations ...more
Terri
Picking up this book again was like reuniting with an old friend. I first happened upon this book as a teenager as I roamed the shelves of my local library. AFter that, I returned often to check it out again and again. What can I say, I'm a sucker for historical novels, especially that involve women and more especially with a little romance.
In my current city, the local library only has 1 copy of ANY book by Gwen Bristow and that is truly a shame. I just finished reading "Thes is My Words" by N
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Mary Anne
This was the first novel I ever read. I was around 12 years old and I'll never forget the experience. It's historical fiction set in Charleston, SC during the American Revolution. And it's a romance. What more could an adolescent girl want. I went on to read every book written by Gwen Bristow and perhaps this is where my love of history began. These books are light but very interesting and gentle by today's standards. I would be comfortable recommending them to any parent for their daughters.
CLM
I don't know if I would have eventually found this book anyway but it was in the library of the girls' school I attended in junior high, and I fell in love with it immediately although previously had not been much of an American History fan, other than Elswyth Thane. It is still a book that is wonderful to reread! Bristow's writing style has a lot of similarities to Frances Parkinson Keyes' but I think is warmer and less mannered, thus has not become as dated over the years.
Carrie
I enjoyed this book, as it showed a side of the Revolutionary War I had never known anything about. Celia Garth helps the Continental forces by spying for their cause working in a Tory dress shop in Charleston.

I enjoy Gwen Bristow, and while not as "meaty" as Jubilee Trail or Calico Palace, it is nonetheless a good read.
Jennifer
This is the 2nd Bristow book I've read. The author does her research well. Loved the story line and characters.
This story takes place during the Revolutionary War period. It tells of the early plantation owners in the Carolinas. Celia is a young girl who has lost her parents early and lives with an aunt and a not-so-favorite cousin. She decides to go into Charleston to get a job rather than be under her cousin's thumb. She becomes a front room girl in a dress shop. She falls in "like" with a you
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Anne
I read this in high school and it is my favorite, maybe the only, historical romance that I like. It is set in the Revolutionary War which is a particular favorite of mine and the heroine is a seamstress, which I love sewing. It has many favorable attributes.
Tilara
Even after the 100th read of this book, I still love it and would continue to recommend it to my friends.
Deborah
In pondering why I enjoyed this book as much as I did, I realized that the history and place (Charleston during the Revolutionary War period) was as prominent as the characters Mr. Bristow created. I appreciated that. She wove the daily lives of her characters into the fabric of the time, and of Charleston, South Carolina. Several years ago, we lived quite close to where the story took place, and that gave the book a bit of nostalgia for me, and made it a bit more personal.
When I first began r
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Jan
Dec 28, 2008 Jan marked it as to-read
recommended by Constance
Lauren
This book is really hard to rate...

The first time I read this book, maybe 9 or 10 years ago, I loved it. Now I live in South Carolina, love Charleston, and wanted to revisit life there during the Revolution. But now I have probably developed more taste (and a critical eye) when reading fiction.

First off, I have to say that Garth is a master storyteller. She had me turning the pages, wanting to know what was going to happen.

Also, she had a firm grasp of the timeline of events in South Carolina--p
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Qnpoohbear
Warnings:
1) The jacket flap gives away the plot. Don't read the whole thing!
2) This is a story about war. There are horrific acts of violence that appear as part of the plot. You can't skip it because the whole plot depends on it. The war action is told rather than shown, but it's told in enough gruesome detail to be a textbook, similar to An Infamous Army.

Plot summary without spoilers

Celia Garth is young, pretty and bored to death working as an apprentice seamstress in Charleston, South Carolin
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Stephanie
I fell in love with Celia Garth and her sassy thoughts! I mean what woman today calls her thoughts sassy? I've definitely been going around having sassy thoughts since I started reading this!

I have always loved historical fiction. It really doesn't matter when or where as long as the characters are strong and the story is good. Celia is a very strong protagonist. She begins her journey as a dressmaker to prevent herself from becoming "the poor relation" dependent on her cousin Roy whom she does
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Tara Chevrestt
This was an enjoyable novel with great details about the American Revolution, namely Charleston's involvement. Celia Garth is a twenty year old lady working in a seamstress shop. She feels there should be more in her life tho than merely greeting customers and desires to prove herself thru her excellent sewing. This desire of hers leads to her meeting some interesting people. There is Jimmy who becomes her fiance, Darren, a friend and Rebel, Luke, a charming and debonair potential womanizer, and ...more
Gail Amendt
This is a largely forgotten gem of historical fiction. When I ordered it into my local library there was only one copy in the entire system. Originally published in 1959, I believe it has been re-printed recently, but is not well known. This is a young adult romance set in Charleston,South Carolina during the revolutionary war. It tells the story of Celia, a twenty year old apprentice dressmaker who is caught up in the events of the American revolution. It gives the reader a very good look at li ...more
Michelle
Bristow writes a compelling story about an orphan, Celia, who is rather neutral about the Revolutionary War at the beginning of the novel. Events in Celia's life, however, slowly change her feelings toward the Rebel cause. Bristow skillfully created a likeable and believeable character in Celia - strong, determined, yet not too feminist for her day - with plenty of room for growth.

It was gratifying to see Celia evolve as a person as the story unfolded. She loves, loses, and loves again. She mak
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Kellie
I had a hard time getting really excited about this book. First, the good things….Learning about Charleston and Kings Mountain’s role in the Revolutionary war was fascinating. I love reading novels about places I have actually been to. The story of Celia is OK and I did like her character, Luke and Jimmy. There were parts of this book that grabbed me and I raced thru the words to find out what happens next. The historical aspect of this book is very interesting and I think the author did a good ...more
Anne Osterlund
Celia is driven to prove herself. Not an easy feat when you’re alone in the world and your only chance at financial independence is a job as an apprentice seamstress in revolutionary era Charleston. Especially when the owner of the dressmaker’s shop refuses to offer Celia a single task more complex than stitching on buttons.

But Celia knows she’s capable of more. And she’s willing to take risks. Even if it means braving the legendary exactitude of Vivian Lacey. When Mrs. Lacey decides to hire her
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Holly Weiss
What an absorbing comfort read. Set at the end of the Revolutionary War, the Patriots battle the British. Guerilla warfare specialist Francis Marion with his band of militia and spies (Marion's Men) helps defeat the British as they lay siege to Charleston, South Carolina. Within the city Tories and Patriots fight their own battles.

Celia Garth, a dressmaker, is set to marry into a wealthy family when her life crumbles around her. Even though most of her family is dead, she is strong woman yet she
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Audrey
It took me a bit to get into this book. At first I found Celia to be a rather superficial, silly character. She grows and matures a lot throughout the book, though, and I enjoyed that progression. I am really glad I stuck with this one as it ended up being a very good story that I had a hard time putting down. The action and events described felt very real. For example, during the siege on Charleston I could practically hear the bombs and bullets whirring and feel the stifling heat. Some element ...more
Rusty
For me, the most fascinating portions of this novel were the outstanding descriptions what it must have been like for southerners to live through war and occupation. The tragedy, the fear and the loss of all one knows and loves is so dramatically portrayed that the reader feels like he/she is on the streets of Charleston with the characters of the novel. How people react to occupation, defeat, death, patriots, the Redcoats, the Tories and invasion is fascinating. Greed and self-preservation is c ...more
Debbie
I've been reading Les Miserables for one of my book clubs and wasn't supposed to read anything else until I finished it, but I cheated and read Celia Garth, which I was delighted to find was back in print. A friend at BYU recommended this book to me, so I checked it out of the library. I'd enjoyed it and looked for it periodically in the years ensuing but never found it. But it's just been re-released - wahoo!

Celia Garth is a story about the Revolutionary War from a Southern point of view, somet
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Karen Hartshorn
This was a good book. I have seen reviews comparing it to Gone With the Wind but for the American Revolution. I guess that kind of works. It was not so well developed as GWTW but I like the characters much better. I didn't spend most of the book wanting to thottle Cilia. She started out young and immature but she grows up. She is able to make the transition to wife and mother unlike the spoiled brat in the other book. I really liked the second half the best though. The first half was kind of slo ...more
Booklady
I fell in love with Charlestown, S.C. through this book! What fun to finally go there and walk the same streets, worship at the same church, and wander some of the same buildings as Celia! I knew modern-day writers research their subjects thoroughly, but never imagined writers from my childhood years also were so meticulous -- I knew things about Charlestown that our tour guide didn't.

Orphaned and abandoned by rich relations, Celia is determined to be independent, and thus becomes a seamstress i
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American author and journalist. She studied at Columbia University and afterwards wrote for a number of literary magazines and journals. Eventually she moved to New Orleans, and worked at the Times-Picayune. She became interested in longer forms of writing—novels and short stories—through her husband, screenwriter Bruce Manning, and published her first novel in 1929.

Bristow reached the pinnacle o
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“I’m not really beautiful,’ she said to herself, ‘but tonight I feel beautiful. And I look like a girl who feels beautiful.' (84)” 8 likes
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