Northanger Abbey

Author: Jane Austen

Other Works by Author:
Pride and Prejudice
Emma
Sense and Sensibility
Mansfield Park
Persuasion

Genres: Gothic Parody, Romance

My Rating: 4

Summary: The story’s unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art.

(Summary taken from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: To be honest I had been avoiding this book. I had heard that it was a Gothic parody novel and I thought it might be scary.
I was wrong. There were a few intense parts but it was not scary. My impression was that Austen was almost making fun of Gothic novels.
I was not expecting it to be so short, it made for a nice quick read.
I really enjoyed it.

My Favorite Quotes:
~ “It is only a novel… or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language”

~ “Oh! I am delighted with the book! I should like to spend my whole life in reading it.”

Where can you get this book: Amazon, Librivox

Ishmael

12640204

Title: Ishmael Or, In the Depths
Author: E.D.E.N. Southworth

Other Works by Author:
The Hidden Hand: Or, Capitola the Madcap
Capitola’s Peril
Cruel as the Grave
Tried for her Life
The Missing Bride

Genres: Religious, Family

My Rating: 4

Good for ages: 12+

Summary: Ishmael Worth was born under tragic circumstances. While his parents were married, to the world it appeared as if they were not; therefore Ishmael grew up in poverty and shame.

When he saves the life of Captain Burghe’s sons he is given an education at the most exclusive school in the county, run my Mr. Middleton who soon becomes a good friend. He also becomes great friends with Mr. Middleton’s two oldest children, Walter and Bee, and falls hopelessly in love with the niece, Claudia (who will be the richest girl in the country when she reaches her majority).

At school he continues to grow into a noble, honorable young man and also a great scholar. Within a couple years he excels to the head of the school.

When he learns the ‘shame’ of his parentage he determines to rise above it and make something of himself despite everybody. When a collection of law books comes into his possession he decides to become a lawyer, he studies the books thoroughly. Studying on his own and with the help of Judge Merlin he passes the Washington bar exam with flying colors and soon becomes a famous lawyer – famous in that he is a brilliant barrister and because he takes cases that no one else will take because the client is too poor.

He soon begins to hope that even Claudia would look upon him as a suitable lover, until the arrival of Viscount Vincent.
My Thoughts:
The book is a little melodramatic, when Ishmael is first born and any time he becomes ill the author reminds us that any other child would die. Ishmael is a noble, honorable, brilliant young man but it is slightly overdone and maybe even a little cheesy.

That said it is a wonderful book. I enjoy the slow pace compared to The Hidden Hand, yet Ishmael has his share of adventures. I also get frustrated with the fact that children born out of wedlock were treated so badly even though it wasn’t their fault (Ishmael wasn’t but he is treated so), so I generally enjoy stories where such a child is able to rise above their circumstances and gain people’s respect.

My Favorite Quotes:
~ Remember, dear, that (though I don’t call it harm, but the greatest blessing of my life) if was at a corn-shucking, where we met for the first time, that you and I fell in love long of each other, and have we ever fell out of it yet? No, Hannah, nor never will. But as you and I are both poor, and faithful, and patient, and broken in like to bear things cheerful, no harm has come of our falling in love at a corn-shucking.

~ When you see a person preoccupied, downcast, despondent, and ask him, “What is the matter?” and he answers, “Nothing,” be sure that it is something great, unutterable, or fatal!

~ Then you must know, Reuben, why it is that the wicked are suffered to live so long on this earth! People often wonder at the mysterious ways of Providence, when they see a good man prematurely cut off and a wicked man left alive! Why, it isn’t mysterious at all to me! The good man was ready to go, and the Lord took him; the bad man was left to his chance of repentance.

Where can you get this book: Amazon, Lamplighter

The Heart of Arcrea

Title: The Heart of Arcrea
Series: The Arcrean Conquest #1
Author: Nicole Sager

Other Works by Author:
The Fate of Arcrea
The Isle of Arcrea
Hebbros

Genres: Fantasy, Adventure

My Rating: 4.5

Good for ages: 9+

Summary: The Heart of Arcrea follows the story of Druet the blacksmith, who, hoping to free his father from an unjust imprisonment, sets out on a quest that will solve an ancient riddle and crown a man as Arcrea’s first king. A host of memorable characters join Druet on his mission of justice, but opposition quickly rises to test their level of commitment and their faith in God. Will the dangerous wilds of Arcrea and her seven oppressive lords succeed in bringing an end to Druet’s quest and crush forever the kingdom’s hopes for a just king?

(Summary taken from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: I’m finally reviewing this book, after I had already reviewed the second and third books of the series. I really like it. It’s a little rough, showing that it is the author’s first published work, but it’s good. The characters are interesting, and the adventure intriguing.

My Favorite Quotes:
“The people of Arcrea love him. They consider him a hero-worthy to claim our crown. Should he give the word, all of our people would rise up against us in his name to remove us from our rightful place in the seven seats of Arcrea.”

Where can you get this book: Amazon

To Kill a Mockingbird

Title: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee

My Rating: 4.5

Good for ages: 13 +

Summary: The story is told through the perspective of a ten year old girl growing up in Alabama in the 1930’s. She tells of life with here lawyer father, older brother, and the colored maid. The children are taught not to be prejudiced but they soon learn that even in their nice little town colored people are looked down upon.

When their father is appointed to defend a colored man against a white man the town explodes.

My Thoughts: I read this book after a friend recommended it to me.

I would recommend caution. This book deals with racial prejudice and rape; though told from the perspective of a young girl who doesn’t completely understand what’s going on.

Racial prejudice is so sad and I really respect the character, Atticus, for his stand against it.

Overall, a great book and I’m very glad I read it.

My Favorite Quotes:
~Mr. Avery said it was written on the Rosetta Stone that when children disobeyed their parents, smoked cigarettes and made war with each other, the seasons would change: Jem and I were burdened with the guilt of contributing to the aberrations of nature, thereby causing unhappiness to our neighbors and discomfort to ourselves.

~ The next morning I awoke, looked out the window and nearly died of fright. My screams brought Atticus from his bathroom half-shaven.
“The world’s endin’, Atticus! Please do something-!” I dragged him to the window and pointed.
“No it’s not,” he said. “It’s snowing.”

~ He would return his hat to his head, swing me to his shoulders in her very presence, and we would go home in the twilight. It was times like theses when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.

~ Lula stopped, but she said, “You ain’t got no business bringin’ white chillun here- they got their church, we got our’n. It’s our church, ain’t it, Miss Cal?”
Calpurnia said, “It’s the same God, ain’t it?”

~ As I made my way home, I thought Jem and I would get grown but there wasn’t much else left for us to learn, except possibly algebra.

Where can you get this book: Amazon, your local library.

So sorry

I had intended to have a book review up today like normal but I was not able to finish the book I was reading in time.
Coming next week – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.