Classic Sci-Fi Review: Out of the Silent Planet

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, #1)
by C.S. Lewis
4 out of 5 stars
Ransom is kidnapped and taken to another planet, where he escapes his kidnappers and must fend for himself on an alien world. Everything he encounters is entirely foreign and strange, from the water to the trees. The landscape is wild and inhospitable, and there are aliens who (he has been told) need a human sacrifice for some pagan ritual.

Malacandra is such a vibrant planet, with rich cultures and languages of its own. I love all the little details of the aliens and their society that make it feel like a real place. It’s utterly bizarre and wild, but with little flecks of familiarity that endear you to the alienness of it all.

The writing and story-telling are truly brilliant. The plot is exciting, and the writing draws the reader into each scene so that you are experiencing what Ransom is experiencing through every adventure. I love that there are a lot of philosophical questions and spiritual lessons in this book, but it never weighs down the plot or spoils the adventure.

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Poetry Review: Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell

Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell by Charlotte Brontë

Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell
by Charlotte BrontëEmily BrontëAnne Brontë
4 out of 5 stars

I got 64% of the way into the book and decided to DNF it for now. About 90% of the poems are about death. They are very gloomy, all about suffering and despair and darkness. It was making me depressed, so I decided to DNF it.

The poetry is good. Some are almost genius. There were several poems that really touched my heart. The Brontës certainly have a way with words. So many of the phrases are beautifully crafted.

These poems are very emotional and wild and raging like a storm. But they can also embrace a little detail, a look, or word, or the simple comfort of a hearth.

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Classic Children’s Book Review: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
by Kate Douglas Wiggin
4 out of 5 stars
Rebecca leaves her home at Sunnybrook Farm to move in with her two aunts, Miranda and Jane. With many little brothers and sisters at home with her mother, Rebecca hopes to get a good education and be able to support the family someday. But Aunt Miranda is terribly strict, and Rebecca must find consolation with her more compassionate Aunt Jane.

I have always loved this sweet story about a smart girl growing up in the middle of nowhere. Rebecca has imagination and cleverness far beyond anyone else in her little country town. But she learns to appreciate the kindness and neighborliness of the people around her.

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Classic Review: Emily Climbs

Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery

Emily Climbs (Emily, #2)
by L.M. Montgomery
5 out of 5 stars
Rereading this for the tenth or twelfth time, I enjoy it just as much as ever!

Emily is growing up, honing her writing skills, and getting an education at Shrewsbury high school along with her friends, Ilse, Perry, and Teddy. She gets into innocent mischief, makes honest mistakes, and generally has little adventures around PEI.

I love the character development that Emily has in this book. There are some surprising developments with her family clan, the Murrays, as they begin to recognize that she’s no longer a little girl that they can bully.

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Classic Review: Emily of New Moon

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery

Emily of New Moon (Emily, #1)
by L.M. Montgomery
5 out of 5 stars
When her father dies, Emily goes to live with her maiden aunts at the New Moon farm. She dreams of becoming a writer someday, but her strict Aunt Elizabeth has forbidden such frivolous things as writing poetry or reading novels.

Reading this for the 12th or 13th time, I enjoy it just as much, if not more, than ever! Emily is such a sensitive and courageous little person. This book has such extreme emotions, and explores really deep feelings and experiences. Emily deals with terrible grief and fear, but also finds exquisite joy and beauty. All the characters are so vivid and interesting. They are all so different, and each person feels real. The writing pulls you into the story. The plot has something funny and weird and new in every chapter.

Such a delight to reread this old favorite!

Book Review: Mistress Masham’s Repose

Mistress Masham's Repose by T.H. White

Mistress Masham’s Repose
by T.H. WhiteFritz Eichenberg (Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars
Delightful book!!
Rereading it for the second or third time, I have enjoyed it just as much as the first time.
Orphaned Maria lives in a crumbling old palace that her ancestors built on an extensive estate full of gardens and obelisks and temples and monuments. But there is no money to repair the palace, and she lives in poverty with her governess and one old cook.

When Maria is exploring around an island in a small lake, she encounters the tiny Lilliputian people who Gulliver brought back to England after his travels. They are in danger of being discovered by Maria’s evil guardians, the vicar and governess, and Maria must use all her ingenuity to save them from being kidnapped and sold as slaves.

I love how imaginative this book is. My favorite parts are the scenes that describe how the Lilliputians make their living on the Mistress Masham’s Repose island. They fish, and hunt, and train mice as their horses. They have their little homes in the roofs and hollow pillars of the Repose cupola, and keep their tiny farm animals in stables built into the steps of the structure.

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Classic Review: Emma by Charlotte Bronte

Emma by Charlotte Brontë

Emma
by Charlotte BrontëAnother Lady
4 out of 5 stars

This book is a continuation of Charlotte Bronte’s last writing before she died. She only finished the first two chapters of this book, and it has been finished by “another lady”. I am usually skeptical about modern authors trying to finish work from a classic author, but this was well done.

The writing doesn’t exactly mimic Charlotte Bronte’s writing style, but it does a fair job. The themes and plot have many elements that I would expect to find in a Bronte story. There is a gothic moodiness, plot twists, wild scenery, and of course, complex and compelling characters.

Mrs. Chalfont is a lonely widow who adopts an abandoned child and tries to penetrate the mystery of the child’s true identity. With the help of Mr. Ellin, she embarks on a journey of discovery and intrigue to unravel the secrets the child is hiding. It is only when the ruthless Emma appears on the scene that the depths of crime and hatred become apparent, and only Mrs. Chalfont can save the innocent child she has come to love.

I loved the story so much! I was laughing and crying and clutching the book to my heart! The emotional power in the story is very reminiscent of Charlotte Bronte’s style.

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