Today’s book review is written for us by “Maiden-in-Waiting”, a friend of mine and one of my blog readers. Some of you may have read her comments or noticed her name in the “Guess a Quote” posts. This is the first guest post (not counting author interviews) for this blog! Hope you enjoy.
“You are right, mother,” said Madeline in a low voice. “We are in a horrible strait; disaster
seems to threaten us in whichever direction we turn; but let us do anything, rather than
commit ourselves into the power of the dreadful sea.”
This vividly compelling novel defines the term “being in an agony of suspense.” Masterfully written, Prisoners of the Sea unfolds during the intolerant rule of France’s Catholic King Louis XIV, who renounces the Edict of Nantes and bans Protestantism.
Abandoned to drown by the cowardly crew of their sinking ship, a small company of the now illegal Huguenots are thrown upon the mercies of the sea, their own ingenuity and the arms of their God. When the regal and gracious Madame de Langres, and her lovely and spirited daughter Madeline, the bold and chivalrous gentleman Balliot, and the incorrigible but resourceful sailor Jack Winters find refuge on the mysterious shores of an unknown island, they hardly suspect the perils that lie ahead. Midnight kidnappings, abandoned mansions, covetous pirates, agonizing miscommunications, a blossoming romance, and an ancient mystery swirl into a tapestry of unyielding tension and suspense, forcing us to wait until the last chapter for an astonishing conclusion!
Author: Florence M. Kinsley
Audience: Teen to Adult
Genre: Classic/Historical Fiction
Pages: 394, of pure enjoyment
Publisher: Lamplighter Rare Collector’s series
Even though Sally Day had just consented to become his wife, Charles left for the North the next day.
At sixteen years old, Sally Day Hammon, a vivacious and incorrigible southern-belle, marries Charles Horne, a stoic and quite Yankee soldier from Connecticut. When she moves to New England with her husband, Sally Day finds that her new life is much different from her old life. Her free-spirited ways clash with the more repressed Northern lifestyle. Can Sally Day adjust to her new family and new surroundings?
This was a fun read with a slightly frivolous feel. It was interesting enough to keep me reading, but I was unsatisfied with the main character, Sally Day. She doesn’t fill the Biblical role of submissive help-meet very well! That said, it’s a clean read with some interesting historical elements. If you can borrow it, I’d say go ahead and read it. If you’re looking for a book to buy, I recommend spending your money elsewhere .
Author: Bianca Bradbury
Audience: Tween–Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Bethlehem Books
Have you read Flight Into Spring? If so, what did you think? Are there any other post Civil War books you recommend?
“The Scarlet Pimpernel, Mademoiselle,” he said at last “is the name of a humble English wayside flower; but it is also the name chosen to hide the identity of the best and bravest man in all the world, so that he may better succeed in accomplishing the noble task he has set himself to do.”
While the French Revolution rages across the channel, the people of England are buzzing about a new hero. No one knows the true identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel, but all admire him. Lady Blakeney is no exception. Her husband, however, is a far cry from this dashing subject of legend. Foppish and dull, Sir Percy is a leader of fashion, but of little else. When her brother’s life is in danger, Lady Blakeney is forced to make a difficult choice. Will her decision bring both the men she loves to the guillotine?
I hope all of you have already read The Scarlet Pimpernel because you’ve been missing out if you haven’t. This is my absolute favorite classic. It is also the easiest to read classic I’ve discovered. The beginning is a bit confusing the first time through, but stick with it and you’ll find it well worth your while. In case you can’t tell, I highly recommend it. 😉
Author: Baroness Emmuska Orczy
Audience: All Ages
Genre: Classic Adventure
Publisher: Dalmatian Press (and many others)
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What is your favorite scene from this book? What other French Revolution stories have you enjoyed?
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“Did I not tell your father that no harm should come to his daughter?” I opened my mouth, and then shut it again, and he continued sadly: “No, you need say nothing. I am a Beast, and a Beast has no honour. But you may trust my word: You are safe here, in my castle and anywhere on my lands.”
Though not normally a fan of fairy tales, this retelling of Beauty and the Beast is a real favorite of mine. When Beauty’s father looses his fortune and the family is forced to move to the country, Beauty adapts to their new life faster than her sisters. She considers herself happy in her new home until her father returns from a trip with a horrifying story.
To save her father from death at the hands of the Beast, Beauty volunteers to leave her family and live at the Beast’s mysterious castle. There she meets him, and after her initial fear begins to fade…Well, I would love to tell you the whole story, but you should read it for yourself.
Audience: 10 through adult (very enjoyable read and not overly romantic)
Mrs. Douglass, I am a poor man now. I cannot continue in my regiment, and so far no path in life has been opened to me; but I assure you of this–that I shall look upon the four thousand pounds you have lost as a debt binding upon me as long as I live, and that, if God prospers me in the future, every single penny of it shall be repaid. I will not wait, however, until I am able to restore the whole capital, for that I fear will be the work of a lifetime; but I will send you from time to time such money as I am able to save, and I will not allow myself a single indulgence of any kind whatever until the full amount is in your hands.
Though the financial ruin is not his fault, and is as much–if not more–his own ruin as that of the Douglass family, young Kenneth Fortesque feels duty bound to repay what they have lost. It was, after all, his father’s foolishness that lost money that was not his to loose. In the days and years ahead, he and Marjorie remain determined to bend their own wills to that of God’s. In Marjorie’s words,
Do you remember that God says He is like that eagle? And so He rakes up the comfortable home nest, and lets us feel the prickles of pain and sorrow, not because He is cruel, not because He wants to punish us, but because He wants us to rise to something brighter and better.
What brighter and better days await Kenneth Fortesque and Marjorie Douglass?
Audience: All ages (reading level is probably ages 11 and up)
NOTE: Written in 1907, this book not only has good values, it is also easy to read and very entertaining.