Books 39-42

Book 39: The Betrayal is book 2 in the Abrams Daughters series by Beverly Lewis. More family secrets are revealed, and the consequences of rebelling against the standards of the Old Order Amish are harsh. It’s fascinating to read about the Amish, but I am so thankful to be a part of a denomination that focuses on God’s grace and mercy.

Book 40: Mansfield Park is my fourth Jane Austen novel of the year, and I’m finding it easier and easier to read as I go. I have a month to read her last two books, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Both are relatively short, so I think I’ll make it. Mansfield Park is more moralistic than Jane Austen’s other novels. In contrast to her other books, her heroine, Fanny, is very meek and timid. The stronger women in the book are severely flawed. They make poor choices, and in the end the meek, “good girl” character benefits from the desire of the stronger women to be independent. They fall from their pedestals and Fanny prevails. It was an interesting departure for Jane Austen. Mansfield Park also counts as one of my 12 classics for the year, but I’m not sure what number I’m on.

Book 41: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a wonderful juvenile historical novel set during the Depression in Mississippi. It follows the story of the Taylor family, who are unique among their share-cropping neighbors in that they own their own land. This causes a lot of resentment among the white people in the community, who want the land for themselves. I read this book when I was young, and had to read it now for my children’s lit class. Since my daughter is the same age as the main character, I thought it would be a good chance to read it to her as well. I love that this book drives home the point that there is a time to stand up against oppression, and there are also times when you have to go along, at least outwardly. You have to choose your battles carefully and weigh the consequences. A good lesson for all of us.

Book 42: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is book 4 of the series, and things get very intense here. I wasn’t going to include books I’ve read in the last ten years or so, but face it, I’m four books behind, and the Harry Potter books are intense reads. My daughter is reading them right now, and I ended up reading this one aloud to her because she didn’t want to read anything else. So I’m counting it.

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