One of my goals for 2018 was to read more fiction books as I tend to gravitate towards parenting books and homeschool how-tos, which whilst often interesting and helpful they aren’t the sort of reading that feeds one’s soul and replenishes one’s energy. I’ve done pretty good with my fiction goal, if I do say so myself and also managed to utilise my local library for the majority of the following books, which has felt like a second win.
Here are some of the fiction books I’ve been reading lately:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I’ve always enjoyed books set in the mid 1800’s to mid 1900’s time period of America, but alas my high school curriculum did not cover this one and thus I have missed out on a much loved modern classic until now. Many of you will know the story well. Young Scout and her brother, Jem develop a fascination with their mysterious and reclusive neighbour, Boo Radley whilst their Father, Atticus works to defend a young black man accused of a crime he did not commit. It’s humorous and heart warming in parts whilst dealing with the difficult subject of racial injustice in the Deep South of America in the 1930’s, and all through the eyes of a young child. I highly recommend it.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy M Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables is another of those books that I missed out on as a girl and yet it is a favourite of so many of my friends that I knew I must finally catch up. This is definitely a book I think I would have enjoyed more if I had read it in my tweens, but that’s not to say I didn’t like it I just think some of the childhood whimsy and teenage angst was wasted on an old bird like me. The story is a sweet one though. It’s starts with a young orphan girl called Anne accidently finding a home with two middle aged siblings on Prince Edward Island and then follows her life through school and college as she makes Green Gables her home. By the end of the book of was feeling very fond of “Anne with an E” and I look forward to experiencing the rest of the Anne series through the eyes of my girls over the years to come.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
I thoroughly enjoyed this epistolary novel and recommend it to all my fellow letter writers. Bernadette is quite the character. She has many unique personality quirks and struggles to connect with her family and fit in with her local community. For the first half of the book you are reading all the various correspondence from schools and personal assistants, between friends and neighbours, knowing that at some point Bernadette will go missing, but still not quite understanding why. I was unable to work this one out on my own and I struggled to put the book down. This one is available at the local library for those Guernsey based folk who fancy giving it a read.
Understood Betsy by Dorothy Cranfield Fisher
This was a sweet read to end the summer with and await the start of the new school year. It was lent to me by a fellow homeschool mum and a gentle reminder about how sweet and enriching this learning lifestyle can be. The book starts with a very timid 9 year old orphan girl, Elizabeth Ann having to leave the sheltered home of her very loving yet over protective aunts to stay with the dreaded Putney cousins. The Putney cousins of course turn out to be rather lovely and their simple way of living out in rural Vermont turns out to be just what Elizabeth Ann needs to transform from a small, anxious and entitled little girl into the healthy, confident and competent Betsy you’ll come to know and love. In an age of over scheduled, constantly connected, rather lazy children this book has an important message to tell. It is a gentle reminder that sometimes the simpler ways are not only sweeter but also more satisfying and life giving. This book contains some important values that are still relevant today, along with some much loved characters and is suitable for junior school kids as well as adults who enjoy some quality children’s fiction.