In the Bookcase


Book Review: Further Chronicles of Avonlea

Further Chronicles of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (5 star review)

Further Chronicles of Avonlea

written by L.M. Montgomery

208 pages // published in 1920 // fiction // short stories

My Review...

5 Star Rating

Ah! A delightful montage of shorts from the same Canadian author who brought us Anne of Green Gables.

To recognize a few of my new favorites...

The Materializing of Cecil On her birthday, Miss Charlotte, now 40, decides to make a change in her life. One that involves telling a falsehood -- that she indeed did have a beau at one time. And then -- the lie comes to life.

The Dream-Child
How a grieving woman who lost her infant son replaces him with a strange little boy that appears out of the ocean one day. A touching story.

The Little Brown Book of Miss Emily
Revisit Anne and Diana again! Young Anne Shirley's imagination captivates the reader with the precious bundle that old Miss Emily leaves behind upon her death...

The Son of His Mother
Thyra Carewe intends to always keep her son's love, and strictly believes no other woman will ever enter his life to direct his thoughts away -- except one day "she" appears. What will the tragic consequences be?

I certainly enjoyed some new favorites from L.M. Montgomery. She charms her way through each of her writings. And I loved getting to meet familiar faces again such as Marilla and Mrs. Rachel Lynde of Avonlea.

The table of contents:
Aunt Cynthia's Persian Cat
The Materializing of Cecil
Her Father's Daughter
Jane's Baby
The Dream-Child
The Brother Who Failed
The Return of Hester
The Little Brown Book of Miss Emily
Sara's Way
The Son of His Mother
The Education of Betty
In Her Selfless Mood
The Conscience Case of David Bell
Only a Common Fellow
Tannis of the Flats

"Her poor father, now--he always said that a woman who liked books better than beaux was an unnatural creature." -L.M. Mongomery (The Education of Betty)

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

Further Chronicles of Avonlea is available on Amazon in paperback.

P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

*Any purchase made through the links in this post support this humble blogger with a small commission. Thank you!


Book Review: Until the Dawn

Until The Dawn by Elizabeth Camden (5 star review)

Until The Dawn

written by Elizabeth Camden

368 pages // published in 2015 // Christian fiction // Victorian time period

My Review...

5 Star Rating

Amazing book in the Christian historical fiction genre!

I like this book a lot. Being my first time to read Elizabeth Camden, she definitely impressed me with her knowledge of the historical time period and depth of interesting characters. And I have a lot to say about the book...

This isn't your average Christian fiction novella. It is complex in composition and has intense family drama (from generations back!) which consequently affects the lives of those in this story, in 1898. (This really drives the point home that what you accomplish and the kind of people you associate with now, certainly affects where your great-great-great-grandchildren might live or what they'll end up doing with their lives.) Deeeep!

Sophie van Riijn, at twenty-six, (who could have been married 3 times over, with each relationship flopping) is a volunteer for the Weather Bureau, a government agency still in its infancy. She revels in the fact that by dutifully taking measurements and calculations from her rooftop weather station every day for the Bureau, she's providing a special service for her country. The bounds of weather are still being discovered; in fact, to find weather predictions in the newspaper is such a new (and helpful) idea. If anything, Sophie wants to make the world around her better, and is even interested in bringing a full climate observatory to Hudson River Valley for jobs -- if only the government would notice what a faithful attendant Sophie is.

I loved this part of the story >> Around the 1890s, people were still figuring out just how to predict weather. New tools and meters had been invented just for this purpose, and a very helpful purpose it was. The entire nation could benefit from knowing that a snowstorm was occurring in the Midwest, while the rain keeps pouring in the South. It's so different how people tracked weather systems back a hundred years ago, and that it could possibly even be a novelty for citizens -- the government couldn't even post meteorologists in every city, and had to rely on thousands of volunteers to manage their best in delivering accurate readings.

Sophie grew up in the Vandermark's mansion, it could be said. She's not an employee of the family, and lives with her father back in town. But through all the years that the rich Vandermarks left their Hudson River Valley property, Sophie was there anyways, cherishing the paradise on its grounds. So it comes as a great shock when the Vandermarks return with plans for Dierenpark -- to demolish it! The plot can only thicken after that, as buried secrets come forth. For generations, some have believed Dierenpark to be tainted by a curse -- a direct effect of the assumed murder that took place after the original Vandermarks immigrated to New York. Many tragedies seem to have dogged each generation since then, and who knows what will be dug up before the story is fully told?

Cons? There's barely any, as I love this book truly. But it does seem like the author has a few "pet" words that she likes to use. Re-use. And re-use, several times.

Lastly, one other thing I loved -- a true religious battle. So much of Until the Dawn relies on the existence of God vs. other religions and atheism. This intellectual quest even comes down to the Vandermarks hiring biologists and archaeologists to solve the mysteries that cannot be figured out alone...

There's definitely a Victorian gothic appeal in this book -- a shadow of darkness covering the pages. But one needs darkness in a story like this, to contrast the brightness of the forthcoming light...

This is adult fiction -- although it's certainly a clean read, I'd personally recommend it for older teens and adults.

Overall? I love Until the Dawn. Can't wait to read another one from Camden.

Thanks to the author and Netgalley for the free review copy & for the opportunity to express my honest opinions.

Until The Dawn is available on Amazon in either paperback or e-book.

P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

*Any purchase made through the links in this post support this humble blogger with a small commission. Thank you!


Want to join some reading challenges with me in 2016?

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

It's January again! That means it's time for the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge. I'm always excited for this!

For the 2016 challenge, I intend to read the Further Chronicles of Avonlea -- a collection of short stories that Montgomery wrote. Last year I read Chronicles of Avonlea (my review), and greatly enjoyed it. I'm excited about the stories I'll read in the sequel collection this month!

Now, to mention a couple other challenges I'm taking on for 2016 >

For the Read Scotland challenge, I'm signing on for the Highlander level (6-10 books), which have to be either written by a Scottish author, or about or set in Scotland.

For the Mount TBR challenge, I'm signing on for the Mt. Kilimanjaro level (60 books), which have to be books I already own and need to get them off my reading pile!

And not to forget this one! >

I'll be hosting the Louisa May Alcott reading challenge again in June! Be sure to join me this summer.

What are you reading in 2016?