Book Review: Eighteen and On Her Own

Eighteen and on Her Own by Arleta Richardson
Eighteen and on Her Own
by Arleta Richardson

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Mabel is done with high school and ready to teach her first year of school at a little country one-room schoolhouse. Her boyfriend, Russ, is pressuring her to make plans for their future wedding, but Mabel isn’t ready to commit to a formal engagement. Meanwhile, Mabel has trouble with her country students when there is a scarlet fever scare, a break-in at the schoolhouse, and a blizzard runs through the area. Another young man seems to have feelings for Mabel and she has to decide between a new love or the steady old relationship with Russ.

I just love how spunky and energetic Mabel is! She is always getting into the most ridiculous situations with her best friend, Sarah Jane. Just because she is grown-up now, doesn’t mean she isn’t still mischievous and playful, but her problems are bigger and require a deep solution now that she can’t rely on her parents and teachers to bail her out of scrapes.
I did NOT like how Mabel kept her problems to herself instead of telling her friends or alerting the authorities. At one point, she worries that a student is being abused at home, but decides to try to handle it herself instead of alerting the school board and asking for help. The results are disastrous for both the student and for Mabel, and I was so angry with her for being so foolish!

I was also disappointed in the love story. Mabel barely has one conversation with her new love interest, and suddenly he’s proposing out of nowhere. I needed more interaction between those two to believe that they could really have feelings for each other. The love story was “told”, instead of “shown” so it fell flat.

But for the most part, I enjoyed this book and the tales of the country school house. I love the old-fashioned innocence of the book and the charming writing style.

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