Sunday, May 12, 2013

What I've Read This Week Part II

What I've Read This Week Part II . . .

The Four Graces by D.E. Stevenson -- Historical Fiction

This English village novel picks up where The Two Mrs. Abbotts left off, with Archie Chevis Cobbe's wedding. Archie and his bride only play a minor role in this story, however. The main characters are the Grace sisters, daughters of the vicar in Chevis Green. There's the eldest, Sal, strong and proud; outspoken Liz; Addie in the WAAF and shy Tillie. Does that sound like four other sisters you may know and love? Similar to Little Women, this story is about the daily lives of the four sisters during World War II as they work hard to keep their father comfortable, their home running smoothy and do their part for the war effort. Their father is a bit absent-minded, but they love him terribly and don't want any more change to come to the vicarage. Change does come however. First, a soldier comes calling all too frequently for Tillie's taste. Then, a clumsy Roman scholar arrives and works his way into the hearts of the Graces. When bossy, annoying Aunt Rona comes to stay from London and turns the household upside down, the Graces are at their wits' end. The girls fear Aunt Rona has designs on Father and will never leave. Whatever shall they do? Outside the vicarage, the villages queue up for fish at the market; take in refugees and fight over petty differences - in essence, a typical English village novel. I adored this sweet, simple story. In many ways it reminded me of a Lucy Maud Montgomery story with adult characters and also Little Women at times. It's sweet and funny at the same time. There's not much plot, yet I found myself reading all the way to the end in one setting. I didn't mean to, but I was so captivated by the charming world of Chevis Green that I just had to keep reading. This is exactly the type of comforting read I like before going to sleep at night. If you love English (or Canadian or American) village/small town stories then hurry off to your local library to find a copy of this book!

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