Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Just For Me
I'm still gorging myself on D.E. Stevenson around here. These books are so perfect and simple at the end of the day when I'm tired. Here's what I've read lately:
Summerhills is the sequel to the very wonderful Amberwell, which remains my favorite Stevenson book so far. Summerhills was a good read and I enjoyed finding out what happened to all those familiar characters, as well as some new ones, but this book was not perfect in the way Amberwell was. Summerhills focuses on siblings Nell and Roger Ayrton. Roger decides to open a local school for boys, in part for his own son Stephen who Nell has been raising since the war. The Ayrtons are a few of the single people featured and we get to see how they sort themselves out and couple off. The most curious character in Summerhills is Miss Glassford, nanny to Stephen. Everyone is very surprised by her. She wears pants! And her favorite hobby is running! Early in the morning! They all think her very odd and cannot quite articulate why they simply do not like her or consider her romantically. She is obviously ahead of her time and I felt a little bit bad for her. All ends well for everyone else, though.
Celia's House was written in 1943; what is perhaps most curious about this book is that of course, the war was going on, and while it's definitely in the background here nobody knows what is going to happen. The first Celia is an elderly lady who aggravates her nephew when she decides to leave her estate to another relative, Humphrey Dunne, and his family. She does make a rather unusual stipulation though, as to the future owners of the home. I read this a few weeks ago so I am a little thin on details here. This nice family grows up in the house and the children become successful adults and their is romance and it is all quite nice and enjoyable.
Finally for today, we have Bel Lamington. Bel is slightly different from the usual Stevenson heroines as she begins with a rather sad and lonely existence. She is an orphan who lived with her aunt until adulthood when she died and now Bel is all alone in London, missing the country and working as a secretary to earn her keep. Lots of things happen to Bel in a short time: she meets an artist whom she cares for but who turns out to be a cad, her boss goes out of the country and Bel unexpectedly is fired from her job. This leaves Bel able to accept an invitation to Scotland to join her friend and Bel recuperates there, finds work, and finally true love comes calling.
If you're tired of these old books I've been reading, come back another day as I've read an excellent modern book.