Jul. 15th, 2012

readallthenewberys: animated gif of Snoopy writing a story with multiple strange subplots (Default)
[personal profile] justice_turtle
Summary: cut for spoilers )

Review: I should mention up front that until the ending, this book's plot is very similar to another of the author's books ), so I was (consciously or unconsciously) comparing them throughout. Therefore, while this book does have good sections and excellent prose, I was most struck by its relative fail compared to the other book, cut for length and vague spoilers )

Conclusion: One star out of five, where a three-star rating is "meh". I'd strongly recommend reading other books by the same author instead, because she has done a lot of much better ones. Three suggestions:

* The Covered Bridge is arguably her best, certainly her most excerpted; it's set in post-Revolutionary War Vermont, and guest-stars Ethan Allen. Also, a little girl and an old lady are the central characters, and as I recall (it's been a while), the flashback stories are much better integrated than in most of her other books: not gems in a setting, but well-crafted parts that fit with the whole.

* Wind in the Chimney, also set in post-Revolutionary War times, is another excellent story, with a much more nuanced portrayal of the antagonist's motivation for her actions; it also features a good balance of male and female characters, with the female ones a bit more memorable imo, and the pacing of the various subplots is extremely well-handled.

* The Kingdom of the Winding Road, set in medieval-esque European-fairytale times, is a set of short stories with no frame, tied together by featuring the same mysterious wandering minstrel in bit roles. It's one of my very favorites - slightly reminiscent of Agatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin in tone (with fantasy replacing the murder-mystery elements), and absolutely beautifully written. Worth a look.

Overall, I'd say Ms Meigs's historical fiction is much better than her contemporary work. The Windy Hill is possibly the least good of her books I've read, partly because some things that wouldn't be as discordantly faily in a historical setting (feudal-style landownership, attitudes toward characters of color) stand out badly against the "latest improvements" modernity. It's a shame this is one of the ones that made it onto the Newbery list.
readallthenewberys: animated gif of Snoopy writing a story with multiple strange subplots (Default)
[personal profile] justice_turtle
Weekends are going to be a bit heavier on posting than weekdays, I think, for obvious reasons. Sadly, I cannot find a "scheduled post" function here on Dreamwidth.

Standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, books are not, Newberys belong to the ALA. Commenters, keep the language G-rated, please.

This book is available on Project Gutenberg. Also it is AWESOME, go read it. :D

SPOILERS - The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles )

Profile

readallthenewberys: animated gif of Snoopy writing a story with multiple strange subplots (Default)
Read ALL the Newberys!

September 2017

S M T W T F S
      12
3 4 56789
10 11 12131415 16
17181920212223
24252627282930

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 01:21 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios