Category Archives: Classics

Belinda

Maria Edgeworth is perhaps best known to readers today as one of the authors who influenced Jane Austen. Belinda is mentioned in Austen’s Northanger Abbey, and fans of Pride and Prejudice may well recognize a bit of Elizabeth Bennett in … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 17 Comments

The Deliverance

I wish I could remember where I heard of this book. I suspect that I saw a blog post or article somewhere about its author, Ellen Glasgow, and decided to try this book because of its subtitle, “A Romance of … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 4 Comments

The Family From One End Street

My husband and I take turns reading aloud to our kids (now ages 9 and 7) in the evenings. One of us will choose a book and read through it chapter by chapter, while the other does the dishes; when … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Classics, Fiction | 13 Comments

The Vet’s Daughter

Well, that was quite a journey. This 1959 novel by Barbara Comyns starts off seeming like one kind of book, but as it goes on the story gets more and more odd until the oddness is the center of the … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 13 Comments

Emma

I have read all of Jane Austen’s major works (meaning that I have not read Lady Susan or Sanditon.) Some of them I’ve read twice, and some I’ve read even more often than that. But back when I was reading … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 28 Comments

Silent Spring

When Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1962, I’m not sure she could possibly have known what an impact it would have on her readership. She might have hoped that people would listen to her urgent, horrifying message about the … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Nonfiction | 24 Comments

A Pair of Blue Eyes

Elfride Swancourt, the heroine of Thomas Hardy’s third novel, is the daughter of a minister and, as we learn in the first chapter, She had lived all her life in retirement—the monstrari gigito of idle men had not flattered her, … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 6 Comments

The Entail

Claud Grippy’s grandfather was once a laird with a great estate. But after a series of financial mistakes, that estate was lost, and Claud was born into poverty. His parents died, and his nanny brought him up, constantly whispering into … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 4 Comments

Desperate Remedies

I sometimes wonder what the proportion of really good to mediocre novels was in the past. Today, it seems like most novels published are middling, good enough for few hours’ entertainment but mostly forgettable. I suspect that’s always been true, … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 20 Comments

The Home-Maker

In The Home-Maker, Dorothy Canfield Fisher presents the story of a family in which traditionally assigned roles are causing everyday suffering. Eva, the mother, feels suffocated: the circumscribed role of homemaker isn’t enough for her passionate spirit, invention, energy, and … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 13 Comments