Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tuesday Mini Reviews: Montgomery, Brandes, and Doyle

In lieu of a big review today, I thought I'd polish off 3 books in one and write about 3 novels I've recently enjoyed. If your reading stack is a bit thin, or you're wondering what in the world to tackle next, consider this post a prescription slip to while away some February days:

Kilmeny of the Orchard 
I read this before The Blue Castle, and finished it on a Friday night (That's right, Eric wrote a letter making fun of my cooking as I recall.) A sweet and old-fashioned romance, Kilmeny is a predictable story, but absolutely lovable. It contains Montgomery's trademark bittersweet themes, clean loving, and beautiful descriptions of people and places. If you're in the mood for something sweet, relaxing, and well-written to kick back with, Kilmeny is a great book to choose after a long day of work or studies.

A Time to Speak 
Installment #2 in the Parvin series, A Time to Speak follows her and Willow as they face persecution back in the West. When the government betrays the people of Unity Village, destroying their clocks and making them Radicals, Parvin is forced into leadership along with Solomon, an Enforcer. She and Solomon have an adorable romance (though my heart still tugs towards Jude), and Parvin learns lessons of courage and independence that are challenging to consider. I can relate to her reluctance and fear about speaking up when God prompts. Her confidence as she makes decisions on her own initiative in obedience to God is convicting, though I would like to see her study the Bible more and not just rely on God's inner voice in her heart. The action is tight and non-stop, with character actions and reactions in a powerful domino effect that makes it impossible to rip yourself away from the pages. I read myself into a headache more than once because of it. With a suspenseful climax that rallies together a disparate group of allies, A Time to Speak catapulted me straight to Amazon to read the sample of A Time To Rise, so I could end the dreadful suspense.

stop throwing tomatoes. i did it for the sake of my sanity. 

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 
I haven't read this in a couple of years, but when Annie and I recently decided to do a read-along together, I began reading a mystery every other day, posting occasional thoughts with the hashtag #Schuylock on Twitter. (This name is awesome, folks) It's been a joy to rediscover these classic stories, and they're the perfect length to enjoy during breakfast. They inspired a burst of creative genius in which I recently started a mystery novella of my own. I love the humor that Sherlock and Watson share, the loyalty in dangerous moments, and I'm also noting intriguing pieces of Holmes' personality or details about his apartment that I hadn't paid attention to before (anyone else know that Holmes was quietly genial?) I'm enjoying this so much that I'm going to continue on into Memoirs. Characters are sad, cute, infuriating by turns, and Holmes is somewhat warmer of a personality than I remembered him. Doyle created fascinating characterizations in these stories. You will be seeing more Sherlock on the blog in future.

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