24 July 2021

“Honor All Men” by Rebekah A. Morris

Honor All Men
(Stories Through the Seasons, Story 7)
 by Rebekah A. Morris

Devin Moreland doesn't smile. Why should he when his home has been vandalized? Things change, however, when Sergeant Sinclair steps in with a 4th of July celebration to remember.
(From Goodreads)

My Review:
 & ❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎
4.5 stars & 5/10 hearts. I was very much looking forwards to this story and I was not disappointed. It was pretty funny, and it taught a really important lesson. I really enjoyed the characters, too. Probably my favourite Story of the Month, at least so far!

A Favourite Quote: “‘[Y]ou men … fought in the war no one wants to remember. You went when others were burning their draft cards and protesting. Even if you didn’t want to go, you did. That is worth remembering and honoring. Thank you.’”
A Favourite Humorous Quote: “…a timid knock sounded on the front door. ​
“‘That sergeant said he’d send someone to fix the window today,’ Mr. Moreland muttered, ‘but if the man knocks like that, I don’t know if I’d trust him to put a window in.’”

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20 July 2021

“Grandmother Elsie” by Martha Finley

Grandmother Elsie
(Elsie Dinsmore Series, Book 8)
 by Martha Finley

On the return trip to America, Edward is reacquainted with the Loves, a father and daughter who had been vacationing in Italy. Edward and Zoe, the daughter, fall in love and marry.
Meanwhile, at home, Captain Raymond, a widower, courts and wins the love of Elsie's daughter Violet. Elsie, her children, and their families spend a happy summer at the shore. When the time comes for the captain to return to sea, Violet and his children are left in the care of “Grandma Elsie and her father.

(From Goodreads)

My Review:
⭐⭐ & ❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎
5 stars & 5/10 hearts. Every single one of the Elsie books seems to dwell on the topic of trusting God no matter what, and I am so grateful for that. It’s a blessed reminder for what’s going on right now. I really loved getting to know Captain Raymond and his children in this book; I look forwards to seeing more of them! And I really love Zoe & Edward’s relationship. <3 And all the old characters are as sweet as ever, except I do have to say that Mr. Dinsmore & Elsie’s relationship is a liiittle awkward. But I do also understand that some things were just how it was at the times. There was also one kiss before marriage. But I enjoyed this book, and I strongly recommend the Elsie books for when you are struggling with doubt or fear. They are very sweet, Humorous, gentle, and quiet... very soothing and relaxing, but usually with a thread of mystery/suspense/excitement. 

A Favourite Quote: “‘Mamma, you seem to have a heart always filled with love and gratitude to God, and never to be troubled with the least rebellious feeling, or any doubts or fears for the future[.]’
“‘Have we any right or reason to indulge repining, doubts, or fears, when we know that all is ordered for us by One who loves us with an everlasting and infinite love, and who is all-wise and all-powerful? O my darling, no! ... Oh what a blessed assurance! goodness and mercy while here in this world of trial—all things working together for our good, that so we may be brought at last safely to our desired haven—and then to be forever with the Lord!’”
A Favourite Humorous Quote: “He seemed to be, as of old, on the best of terms with himself and very graciously disposed toward Elsie.”

17 July 2021

“Emma” by Jane Austen

by Jane Austen

When her former governess finds happiness as the bride of a local widower, the brilliant and beautiful Emma Woodhouse—one of Jane Austen’s immortal creations—flatters herself that she alone has secured the marriage and that she possesses a special talent for bringing lovers together. The young heiress next busies herself with finding a suitable husband for her friend and protegé, Harriet Smith, setting off an entertaining sequence of comic mishaps and misunderstanding in this sparkling comedy of English-village romance. Beneath its considerable wit, the novel is also the story of a young woman’s progress toward self-understanding. Emma abounds in the droll character sketches at which Jane Austen excelled. In addition to the well-intentional heroine and her hypochondriacal father, the village of Highbury during the Regency period is populated by an amusing circle of friends and family—kindhearted but tedious Miss Bates, a chatterbox spinster; ambitious Mr. Elton, a social-climbing parson; Frank Churchill, an enigmatic Romeo; Mr. Knightley, Emma’s brother-in-law and the voice of her better nature; and a cluster of other finely drawn, unforgettable personalities. The author’s skill at depicting the follies of human nature in a manner both realistic and affectionate elevates this tale of provincial matchmaking to the heights of scintillating satire. A classic of English literature that has delighted readers since its 1816 publication, the novel is now available in this high-quality, inexpensive edition sure to charm a new generation.

My Review:
⭐⭐⭐⭐ & ❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎
5+ stars. This book has converted me into an Austenite, and I cannot wait to read more of her writings. The genius of this book. The writer in me revels and I could just talk about it forever. The realistic characters, that make you grow to love them (SPOILER! except the Eltons *glares* I forgot that Mr. Elton had been nice by the end!! END OF SPOILER! and poor little Harriet, who I pitied but never really liked.); the amazing dialog; the daily life scenes; the pithy remarks on human nature; the humour and wit; the complexity and mystery of the plot... ahhh!!! ^_^ I guessed a few things but for the most part it baffled, hooked, and delighted me. My favourite character is undoubtedly Mr. Knightley. Gallant, gentlemanly, kind, honest, caring enough to speak out concerning Emma's faults... <3 And very humorous in a dry way. ;) But all the characters make their way into your heart—even those that irked me at first, like Mr. Woodhouse, Miss Bates, and Frank Churchill. (I love how Frank teases Jane—it shows how boys have always been boys! ;) ) The romance is among the purest and sweetest I have very read. <3 Jane's story is an excellent lesson—I loved the moral of it. Can't say too much because of spoilers, but... My only disclaimer is that Emma exclaims “Good God!” several times and that one clergyman becomes drunk. I could talk over this gorgeous book forever, so of this review is brief, it is because I am being merciful. ;)

A Favourite Quote: “‘There is one thing, Emma, which a man can always do, if he chuses, and that is, his duty; not by manoeuvring and finessing, but by vigour and resolution.’”
A Favourite Beautiful Quote: “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”
A Favourite Humourous Quote: “After this, he made some progress without any pause. ***** *******'s confession of having behaved shamefully was the first thing to call for more than a word in passing.
“‘I perfectly agree with you, sir,’— was then his remark. ‘You did behave very shamefully. You never wrote a truer line.’” *edited for spoilers XD*

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15 July 2021

“A Threat & a Promise” by Angie Thompson

A Threat & a Promise
(The Quiet Valor Series, Book 1)
 by Angie Thompson

What will it take to move beyond her mission?
Jaelyn Rolfe has grown up with a singular purpose: to end the reign of a brutal dictator and rid the world of her father's terrible legacy. But victory comes with a price, and she soon finds her role in the plot spawning consequences no one anticipated.
Caught unexpectedly between her training and her heart, will Jaelyn find the strength to chart a new course? Can a girl so skilled at deception ever truly earn trust? And when a sudden blow threatens her hard-won triumph, will everything she's fought for be lost forever?
The Quiet Valor series follows a diverse group of women striving to live with strength and courage in a torn and broken world. Because its author can't do anything the easy way, she describes its genre as Victorian era kingdom adventure with a dash of sweet romance and just a hint of steampunk.
(From Goodreads)

My Review:
⭐⭐ & ❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎
5+ stars & 8/10 hearts. How in the world am I supposed to review this book? “Bridgers” is still my favourite of Angie Thompson’s books, but this one is a very, VERY close second. The excitement is excellent and the story is hooking right up to the end. The writing style is simply gorgeous. The only remark I have is that there is some touching touching between Niklaus & Jaelyn (totally undetailed). The characters were simply amazing, and I loved them all. Jaelyn and her quiet strength, Niklaus the protector, Loegan and his humour, Blenwyn the caregiver, wise Elrod, Sallas the guardian (I love Sallas so much), precious Emmalie… <33 They were all so real! The humour was soooo excellent (I really love Nkilaus’ and Jaelyn’s banter!). The message/lessons were just so true and beautiful. Angie Thompson outdid herself with this series, and I just can’t wait for the next book in the series. 

A Favourite Quote: “‘Do you believe in Him, Niklaus?’
“Yes.’ …
“‘But you can’t trust him. With your heart. With your plans. With your future. With Emmalie’s…. He’s so much more worthy of trust than I am. I may mean well; I may try to do good, but He is good always and works good even in our darkest trials. You’ve trusted Him with the future of your soul. Can’t you trust Him with the rest of your life?’”
A Favourite Beautiful Quote: “The word brought a prick of light, like a single star beginning to glow beneath a dense fog.
A Favourite Humorous Quote: “‘The trees are lovely this time of year’ The moment the words left my mouth, I wanted to slap myself. Trees? I expected him to talk about trees? And while the new growth of leaves in the spring always spurred my wonder, ‘lovely’ was a severe overstatement, even in my own mind. Niklaus didn’t seem to think my comment either needed or deserved an answer. I licked my lips and tried again. ‘I’m glad the weather’s been so warm. We haven’t had to crowd the campfire too closely at night.’ The weather and our sleeping arrangements. Another brilliant set of topics. Maybe living in an isolated cabin for the last eight years had affected me worse than I’d realized.

*I received a copy of this book from the author but I was not required to write a review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.*

13 July 2021

“Defined” by Sarah Holman


(The Tales of Taelis, Book 3.5)
by Sarah Holman

Jacob’s brother is king and married. His sister is about to be. His younger sister is happy in her home. But where does he fit in? Is he too young for the job his brother has given him? 
A story of faith, family, and identity. A sequel short story to Courage & Corruption.
(From Goodreads)

My Review:
⭐⭐ & ❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎

4 stars & 4/10 hearts. This is a great story with such an excellent lesson! I really enjoyed seeing Christopher & Catharine & Jacob & Lily again. An excellent little story.

A Favourite Quote: “‘If we want to preserve the stability of the nation, we cannot lose our allies.’
“At the cost of doing what is right?’”
A Favourite Humorous Quote: “‘None of [my counselors] stuck with me and are willing to say the hard things to me like you have. They are not my brother.’ ...
“‘There are others.’
“‘Other brothers? You know something I do not?’ Christopher chuckled.”

6 July 2021

“The Clue in the Diary” by Carolyn Keene

The Clue in the Diary
(Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, 7)
by Carolyn Keene

Nancy, Bess and George, returning from a country carnival, witness the malicious burning of a stately home. Fearing its occupants might be trapped in the fire, they rush to the rescue. Other motorists including handsome, Ned Nickerson, are also at the scene. Nancy notices a mysterious man running from the fire and finds a lost diary. Nancy learns the homeowner and the man who kept the diary are involved in a business transaction in which the latter was cheated. Despite strong evidence to the contrary, Nancy is convinced of this prime suspect's innocence. While working to exonerate the troubled man, Nancy is delighted by her new friendship with Ned. This is the revised text from the 1932 original book. The plot is the same with minor revisions. A sub-plot about a mail fraud swindle is added to this version.  
(From Goodreads)

My Review:
⭐⭐ & ❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎


5 stars & 5/10 hearts. I’ve come to the conclusion that when Carson Drew isn’t being kidnapped and drugged, Nancy Drew is in hot water with the police for some reason that her enemies cooked up.
Maybe that’s an exaggeration. But it kinda feels like it by now. 😂
At any rate I actually started really liking Mr. Drew in this one, which was nice! I love that his first reaction to her car accident was “are you all right?” and his second “how big of a lawsuit do I have on my hands now?” I also really liked finally meeting Ned Nickerson (what a typical way for them to meet, haha!!). 
This story was intense but pretty straight-forward, which I liked. And the plot was well-done and the characters very enjoyable. Another awesome Nancy Drew mystery. 😉

1 July 2021

Blog Move

 Hey guys, this is just a quick post to let you all know I’ve moved to https://oldfashionedbooklove.wordpress.com. I hope you come join us over here, and thanks for following along here! :)

26 June 2021

“His Mighty Acts” by Rebekah A. Morris

His Mighty Acts
(Stories Through the Seasons, Story 6)
 by Rebekah A. Morris

With the second World War still raging, Mrs. Lydia Newham plans to spend her anniversary alone. But her son, James, has other plans. So does someone higher up.
(From Goodreads)

My Review:
 & ❤︎❤︎❤︎
3 stars & 3/10 hearts. This was a nice little story, old-timey and sweet. James and his mother had a really sweet relationship, and I would have liked to see more of Michael! The ending wasn’t quite what I expected and I was a little confused how it came about, but I really liked the theme of “one generation shall tell to another of the Lord’s mighty acts.”

A Favourite Quote: “I remember the verses we chose for our verses that first morning as a married couple. ‘Great is the Lord,... One generation shall praise Thy works to another, and shall declare Thy mighty acts.... The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.’ Those verses are still true, dearest. I have seen horrors and tragedies, but I have also seen the hand of the Lord, and I’m sure that many years from now one generation will declare to another some of the mighty acts of God in this terrible war.
A Favourite Humorous Quote: “‘He’s well, and he likes the ocean better than land because there are no mosquitos.’
“James burst into a hearty laugh. ‘What does he call those large ones that fly in the sky?’

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24 June 2021

“Owls in the Family” by Farley Mowat

Owls in the Family
by Farley Mowat

Every child needs to have a pet. No one could argue with that. But what happens when your pet is an owl, and your owl is terrorizing the neighbourhood? Owls in the Family is a delightfuly treasure to be read again and again, now available as a Penguin Modern Classic. 
In this exciting story for young readers, a boy's pet menagerie, which includes crows, magpies, gophers and a dog, grows out of control with the addition of two cantankerous pet owls. The story of how Wol and Weeps turn the whole town upside down is warm, funny, and bursting with adventure and suspense.
(from Amazon)

My Review:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ & ❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎
5 stars & 5/10 hearts. Talk about a hilarious read. This one still makes me laugh even if I’ve read it many times. It is just FULL of hilarious anecdotes—related in the most humorous way. There’s a few euphemisms, a mention of a ghost, a mention of an Indian hanging himself, & a mention of the maid seeing visions. The owls have amazing personalities—Wol’s pranks are just hilarious, and his confusion when he tries to be human and owl. And the dog... oh, this whole thing is just crazy. Definitely a book you should read—and a great readaloud too.

A Favourite Humorous Quote: “[The dog], the owls, my friends and I used to ride [on the car’s rumble-seat when we went camping]. Mutt always rode with his head and front feet stuck away out over the side of the car, while Bruce or I held onto his tail so he wouldn’t fall out on his nose.... Because his eyes used to get sore from the dust of the Prairie roads, Mutt had to wear goggles—the same kind that motorcycle riders wear. The sight of a goggled dog, two horned owls, and our prairie schooner used to make people in other cars take a long look at us as they went by.

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22 June 2021

“Elsie’s Widowhood” by Martha Finley

Elsies Widowhood
(Elsie Dinsmore Series, Book 7)
 by Martha Finley

In this seventh volume in The Original Elsie Dinsmore Series, Edward and Elsie's daughter, young Elsie, is saddened by a separation from her beloved Lester, who decides to study abroad. Shortly after Lester leaves for Europe, Edward falls ill and dies. Elsie learns to rely on her father, Horace Dinsmore, for strength while depending on her heavenly father as well.
(From Goodreads)

My Review:
⭐⭐ & ❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎
5 stars & 5/10 hearts. The title of this book gives the plot away, so that was a bit of a let-down for me. And everyone knows I don’t object to drama in my books, but I do object to inexplicable or arbitrary drama—and Elsie’s husband’s death annoyed me in that it was completely unexpected & random—he wasn’t shot or anything, & she never explained what happened to him! Other than that quibble, I did enjoy this book a lot. I admit I cried... but oh, I love the message of having hope & peace in spite of death, & of being glad for those who have gone on ahead of us. I loved getting to know more of Elsie’s children as grownups, & there were some amazing new characters too—and a lot of humour! As usual, I’m eager to read the next book. <33

A Favourite Quote: “‘And why shouldn't I be patient?’ he returned; ‘didn't Christ suffer far more than I do?’
“‘And he comforts you in the midst of it all, does he not?’ asked Mrs. Perkins.
“‘He does, indeed, ma'am.’ 
“‘I have always found him faithful to his promises,’ she said. 
“‘And I,’ remarked another lady...; ‘strength has always been given me according to my day, in the past, and I am glad to leave the future with him.’” 
A Favourite Beautiful Quote: “[T]hey ... sat in the sand revelling in the delicious sea breeze and the sight of the ever restless, ever changing, beautiful ocean, with its rolling, tumbling, dashing waves.
A Favourite Humorous Quote: “‘And young Massa Jones, he preach bery nice sometimes, but sometimes it 'pears like he disremembers what's in de bressed book, and contradicts it wid some of his own notions.’”