Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte is the daughter of Marie-Antoinette and King Louis the Sixteenth of France and lives in Versailles. Even though there is relatMarie-Thérèse-Charlotte is the daughter of Marie-Antoinette and King Louis the Sixteenth of France and lives in Versailles. Even though there is relative calm in her family circle, France itself is upset with the royal family. The people are starving and believe that the royal family doesn’t care for those that pay the taxes. Marie-Thérèse wants to go out into the city and see what being outside the palace is like. But she can’t do that on her own. Luckily she looks almost like a twin to Ernestine, a servant girl who lives at the palace. Marie-Thérèse and Ernestine switch outfits and Ernestine pretends to be the princess while Marie goes out to the city to see life for herself. Only the city is not what she expects it to be. People are not just angry, they want to do harm to Marie-Thérèse’s family and any other royals who stand in their way. If it wasn’t for the fact that Marie-Thérèse was dressed like a servant and that she met a nice boy named Henri she would have been in real trouble. Soon Marie-Thérèse and Henri are exploring all over Paris while Ernestine is playing the role of princess more and more. Understandably Marie-Thérèse and Henri soon fall in love while Ernestine falls for Marie-Thérèse’s betrothed. Then the French Revolution comes to a roar and Marie-Thérèse’s family order her and Ernestine to trade places to keep at least one member of the royal family safe.
This book is basically 200 or so pages of drama with a French revolution background. Readers can guess from the first moment that Marie-Thérèse and Ernestine trade places (and thanks to who Marie-Thérèse is and when she lived) just where Marie-Thérèse would be when watching her family meets the guillotine. Of course her family is not what everyone says they are. Of course the revolution is one horrid bit after another. But the black magic? Really? Marie-Thérèse and her re-incarnated mother get to live happily ever after at the end (with loving Henri nearby of course)? And Ernestine escapes the horrid prisons and gets to marry her true love Marie-Thérèse’s fiancé? Those readers who thrive on drama with a historical setting will enjoy this book. But it was not written well enough to really tempt me....more
So the other day while at the library a patron told me about a book that she loved. And since all the books I was talking to her about were ones thatSo the other day while at the library a patron told me about a book that she loved. And since all the books I was talking to her about were ones that she loved as well…I figured that this was a book I needed to read. And it was. This is a book about Della Anders, an orphan who lives with her aunt and uncle in 1899. And aunt who doesn’t like her humble circumstances and an uncle who could care less about even thinking about anything other than business. With a great determination Della decides to go and teach school in Winter Quarters, Utah (a mining town community). Of course there are new problems that come with teaching school in a place where the bread-winners face such dangers that come from coal mining. (And as a reader there is always a bit of worry since this is based on a time where a terrible mining accident happened and you know something horrible is coming Della’s way.) And then there is the miner Owen. He is so king and yet so stubborn. The type of character that is so good and so flawed that he actually seems real.
I found myself dreaming about this book (because I was crazy enough to start it without having enough time to finish it before I went to bed…though I did stay up rather late reading that night). The characters found a way to my head and my heart and I loved to see how they would stand up and make the best of a horrid situation. And I liked the nod to the LDS religion that plays such a great part to the story. Kelly didn’t shy away from giving details about what these characters believed or why they did what they did. It was just part of the fabric of the story. And I liked that. Plus I liked how each of the characters had to think through what it means to have a relationship and to put another person above yourself and what you think is best…all the while staying true to yourself. And that balance is ever so tricky to keep in check. A good, clean romance that stole my attention from the first page. Well done....more
In this edition of the Hazardous Tales Nathan Hale (the patriot/spy) is telling the British officer and the hangman about two ironclad ships that fougIn this edition of the Hazardous Tales Nathan Hale (the patriot/spy) is telling the British officer and the hangman about two ironclad ships that fought in the Civil War. One ship was used for the Confederate navy and the other was part of the Union navy. The South salvaged a burned ship and covered it with iron. The North hired a Swedish inventor to build a small iron ship quickly. Both ships had problems. Both ships made a difference for their respective navies. And of course there are all kinds of bits that made me laugh out loud. (Especially the research babies and the correction baby. I didn’t realize how fun it would be to read some end notes at the end of a story.)...more
May B. is a pioneer girl. She and her family live in a sod hut on the frontier. Her parents arrange for her to go and be a companion to a new bride 15May B. is a pioneer girl. She and her family live in a sod hut on the frontier. Her parents arrange for her to go and be a companion to a new bride 15 miles away. May does not want to go. But her father promises it will only be until Christmas. Once at Mr. and Mrs. Oblinger’s home May begins to do the chores that Mrs. Oblinger should be doing. But Mrs. Oblinger is too occupied with being miserable away from her city life and her family to care about what May is doing. One morning May discovers that Mrs. Oblinger has run away back home to the city. Mr. Oblinger goes after her and leaves May alone. But neither of them come back. May is on her own in a place with little food, prowling wolves, no gun and the potential to be snowed in for months at a time.
This is a heart-wrenching story of the courage of one pioneer girl. Even though she must battle the prairie and live on her own for a few months, she must also battle the seeds of doubt planted by everyone who told her she wasn’t smart and couldn’t do anything on her own. And that truly was the greater battle for a young girl who is dyslexic in a world that didn’t understand what in the world that even meant. And since this novel is told in verse, those that struggle with reading can read May B.’s story without being too overwhelmed by the amount of text on one page. In fact, they can read a beautiful historical story that looks as long as any regular-sized chapter book should be and feel the accomplishment having done so. We’ll done, Ms. Rose. We’ll done....more
In this fourth edition of the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Miss Penelope Lumley has been invited to her Alma Matter to speak at the CelebrateIn this fourth edition of the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Miss Penelope Lumley has been invited to her Alma Matter to speak at the Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Exposition (the C.A.K.E.). As Penelope is trying to figure out what to say at the CAKE speech she also has to juggle the fact that the evil Judge Quinzy is now controlling the board of trustees of the school (and thus the school) and is making all kinds of trouble.
This series is one of my favorites to listen to as a book on CD. Katherine Kellgren is fabulous at reading the Incorrigible Children’s story. I love how she howls, barks, or adds all of the extra details that come along with wolf children being in the story. The humor is quite fun as well. I love how seriously Penny takes everything…even though it is quite really quite amusing and often not all that serious. I also like how the overall story arc is starting to give a few more answers to all the mysteries that are part of the series. Even though we don’t know a lot, we do know quite a lot more. And with at least two more books planned for the series I didn’t expect all the answers to come. But I like how there are some great hints as to who Penelope is and where the wolf cubs might have come from. Oh, and I really liked how Penny figured out how to get the kids not to eat the chickens…she is really quite a genius.
Oh, I can’t wait for the next book in this series. But the audio book, because that is what I love the most....more
Miss Penelope Lumley has her hands full once again. Even though the children were entirely provoked at the Christmas party, Lady Ashton still believesMiss Penelope Lumley has her hands full once again. Even though the children were entirely provoked at the Christmas party, Lady Ashton still believes that the Incorrigible Children are more trouble than they are worth. In an attempt to get out of the house (and to meet a friend in London) Miss Lumley suggests that she and the children take a trip to London. Only Lady Ashton has decided that she must go on a trip to London. And suddenly everything is all that more complicated. Miss Lumley tries to guide the children’s education as they learn all about the big city. But now she is sure that whatever caused the chaos at the Christmas party might have some darker motives concerning the children. For “the hunt is on” and Miss Lumley is pretty sure that the “hunt” will be for the children. And with full moons and mysterious howlings that come from someone other than the children…London turns out to be even more exciting than Miss Lumley has anticipated.
This is another fun story of the Incorrigible Children. However, I must confess that I think I like these books mostly because I love Miss Lumley. She is just such a dear and a trooper. And the mystery of who sabotaged the Christmas party is nothing compared to the mystery surrounding the hidden gallery. And there just might be werewolves involved in this story. All-in-all I liked the story but am now wanting more than ever to find out what is happening and who is after those Incorrigible Children. Good thing book three is ready and waiting for me to read. Although if the answers don’t come in that one, I will be ever so grateful when book four comes out later this month. As for the reading, it was great. I loved the voices and the subtle snarkiness that was given in the tone of the reading. And the way that Ms. Kellgren gave voice to Miss Lumley had me laugh out loud at parts. Even though the loose-ends of the wolfish mystery have me nearly tearing my hair out, I so enjoyed myself by listening to this audio recording that I nearly forgot to be annoyed at not actually finding anything out about the original mystery when instead I just had more of a mystery to puzzle over. This book and audio recording were seriously loads of fun. (Although I often wish the children’s howling/talk was just a bit louder. Sometimes it was tricky to hear while driving in my car.)...more
The 16-year-old Katherine Mary O’Fallon went on a trip away from her Boston home and family to visit her uncle just outside of Calgary, Alberta, CanadThe 16-year-old Katherine Mary O’Fallon went on a trip away from her Boston home and family to visit her uncle just outside of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. There she fell in love with a Canadian Mounted Policeman named Mike Flannigan. Even though her mother made her promise to not go to any farther than Calgary into the wilderness, that is exactly where Katherine goes after she hurries and marries Mike (since he is stationed up north). There this young slip of a girl learns what life is like in the cold, frozen places of the north. And she learns about herself, her new husband, and the people who live in so much snow and ice.
There are parts of this book I really like. There are parts of this book I really don’t. Granted, it was first written in 1947 and it is a historical book (so all our new-fangled modern ideas about what a woman is and can handle and what Native Americans are like are totally different). But seriously. This girl drove me nuts at times. She couldn’t think for herself. Then she could. The way the Native Americans were described made me cringe more than once. Then there would be something written that showed just how good some of them can be. I know people in general sometimes are like ping-pong balls going back and forth as they are figuring out who they are (and Katherine was only 16 when this story started)…but I really couldn’t stand how helpless she was. And how clever her tall, dark and handsome husband was compared to everyone else. I’m glad he was so smart. But this story made it feel like he was the only one who would ever know what to do in a crisis. And Katherine was such a weakling most of the time. Then she could be strong when helping Mike with a random surgery or something. Like I said, there were parts of this book that I liked. But most of it I didn’t. But it is a “classic” so wanted to read it. I think I should have read something else. But I kept at it because I wanted to see if Katherine changed. And thank goodness she did.
Although I will say that the reader was pretty good. I liked all the different accents and voices. Too bad I didn’t actually like the storyline a bit more…...more