Tag Archives: fiction

A children’s series that ages with its audience: Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill captures 10 year old life well

Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill is the third in Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy series. The girls are now 10 years old and the largely standalone chapters of the first two books smoothly transition into larger story arcs … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century Children's, 7 years and up, American, Children's, Children's Classic, Children's Classics, Coming of Age/Rites of Passage, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Novel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Would you like world-ending pink topping with that? Lost is a Good Book is a generous second helping of Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde is the second book in the Thursday Next series. Despite a sudden celebrity for saving Jane Eyre and improving the ending, not every one is happy with what Thursday has done. A … Continue reading

Posted in British, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, General adult audience, Novel, Speculative Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mansfield Park: A mature but, for us, challenging novel by Jane Austen

Of all Jane Austen’s heroines, Fanny Price of Mansfield Park is surely the least appealing, the most ‘foreign’ to our age. Unlike Emma’s assertiveness and Lizzy’s humour, Fanny’s combination of self-effacement and moral conviction are at odds with modern core … Continue reading

Posted in 18th Century, British, Classic, Fiction, General adult audience, Novel, Novel of Manners, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bucketlists and marriages of convenience: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery uses a bunch of tropes before they were popular

The Blue Castle was L.M. Montgomery’s only book written for adults and my favourite of her non-Anne books. Really the only difference between it and her young adult novels is that the heroine is 29 and unmarried teen pregnancy is … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, 20th Century Light Fiction, Canadian, Fiction, General adult audience, Light Fiction, Novel, Romance, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Multifaceted Australian crime fiction: The High Commissioner by Jon Cleary

The High Commissioner by Jon Cleary is the first in the Scobie Malone series. Malone, a police detective, is sent to London to bring back the Australian High Commissioner for the decade-old murder of his wife. Malone finds himself in … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, 20th Century Light Fiction, Australian, Crime fiction, Fiction, General adult audience, Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pleasant, light reading that leaves me with a warm feeling towards my fellow-human beings: The 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith

The 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith is a modern serial novel published daily in the Scotsman and subsequently in book form. It follows a number of characters in Edinburgh as they drink coffee, negotiate childhood with a … Continue reading

Posted in British, Contemporary, General adult audience, Light Fiction, Scottish, Serial Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Climbing trees, cutting your own hair and making messes with all the things you find in the kitchen: Maud Hart Lovelace’s second Betsy-Tacy book beautifully captures the experience of being 8 years old

Betsy-Tacy and Tib continues Maud Hart Lovelace’s engaging series of early 20th century American childhood. Betsy, Tacy and their new friend Tib are now 8-year-olds. Life is full of adventures, often with their genesis in Betsy’s fertile imagination. In this … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century Children's, 5 years and up, American, Children's Classics, Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our attitudes and experiences of near neighbours haven’t changed all that much in the last 160 years, if Emily Eden’s The Semi-Detached House is any guide

The Semi-Detached House by Emily Eden is a social satire written in the mid-19th century. When young Lady Chester moves into a semi-detached house in the suburbs she anticipates being forced into awkward intimacy with vulgar neighbours, whose daughters will … Continue reading

Posted in 18th Century, British, General adult audience, Novel, Novel of Manners, Victorian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What would you do if your parent left you and your siblings in the car and never came back? That’s the start of Homecoming, a classic YA novel by Cynthia Voigt

The first in the Tillerman series, Homecoming follows the four Tillerman children after they are abandoned by their mentally ill mother in a car park. When she doesn’t come back they set out to find other relatives several states away. … Continue reading

Posted in 11 years and up, 20th Century YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A book that argues the indispensable value of spinsters: Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym is about capable spinsters – truly excellent women capable of dealing with any sort of drama – observant, helpful, available and overlooked. Mildred, the protagonist, is just one of these women, pondering her life and … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century Literature, General adult audience, Novel of Manners, Social Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment