” All around us are people, of all classes, of all nationalities, of all ages. For three days these people, these strangers to one another, are brought together. They sleep and eat under one roof, they cannot get away from each other. At the end of three days they part, they go their several ways, never perhaps to see each other again.” – Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
My imagination has always had a tendency to romanticize train rides. As I close my eyes and dream, I am transported inside the cabin of a vintage locomotive. The year is 1950. A host of strangers are traveling beside me. The person sitting to my opposite left is a blond haired woman where she is filling her time dreamily staring out the window. Beside her is a man. Maybe her husband? Or is he just another stranger known to no one else but himself? Sitting beside me is a young mother entertaining her small child by bouncing him on her knee. Who are these people? What are their stories? Where have these souls been and what secrets do they hold? This is what my imagination pictures.
Ms. Christie obviously had the same inclinations. She perfectly sums up the reasoning behind my own fascinations. Only in a vintage train can so many individuals from all over the world come together, share a roof for a small time, and then depart only to be strewn across the world again. Christie saw the possibilities. Hence, her masterpiece Murder on the Orient Express was born. It does not disappoint!
I’ve been recently sharing my favorite books from the past year. Sadly, we come to the last one. For those who have missed my other posts on 2015 books, check them all out at the links below.
You Could Say I’m a Fan
A Good Book Always Contains A Dragon
New Beginnings and a New Book
Tea With A British Grandmother
This next book is highly important to me for the message it gives. It is..
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Rated A –
I believe each individual should have this on their shelf.
I think everyone is relatively familiar with this work, but how many have actually read it? How many have actually grasped the message? To one, it may just be a nice, entertaining, historical fiction novel, but to me, it was a wake-up call for America and her church. Whether it was read during the times of the Civil War or read even today, the message of this book still holds true. People cannot see people as people, and here the church sits idly by doing nothing.
Not only is this story convicting, Read more
For me, Easter marks the beginning of spring and newness of life. The trees are already showing off their newly formed leaves while tiny blossoms are making their first debut in our lawn. Now, what better way to celebrate this newness than finding a new book? Continuing on my theme of favorites from 2015, this is…
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
S – c
There was some cussing, but honestly, not all that much. I’d feel comfortable recommending this to pretty much anyone.
My interest in this book was actually sparked by a preview from a mini series based upon it. It made Dicken’s work look so full of intrigue and mystery! I just HAD to read it! I devoured each bookstore aisle looking for it, but when found, I was immediately turned off by its shear enormity! Never before had I attempted such a long read! But eventually climbing over my fear, it wasn’t ALL that bad. LONG, but not too bad. (obviously, if it’s on my favorite reads list!)
Honestly, I have never seen anyone make a more complex plot like Dickens. Murderers, debtors, crabby old ladies, wealthy leaders of society, and a plethora of unique characters only Dickens can create come together in one mind-boggling work to enrich the imaginations of readers fearless enough to attempt it. The story mainly revolves around the Dorrit family who were unfortunate enough to have landed in debtors prison. Like Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, Amy Dorrit is the glue which binds this family together. Though the youngest in the family, she plays no small part. She constantly cares for them whether through poverty or through gain. But there is certainly so much more! I don’t even know where to begin or end with all the people or events! You’ll just have to check it out for yourself. Mind you though, Mr. Clennam is mine! 😉 Well, I might be convinced to share him.
Out of all of Dicken’s novels, I’m surprised this one is not more popular. One never hears of it mentioned. I feel like I’m in a fandom all by myself! Hopefully, that won’t be for long. Buy the book here and join the fandom!
I would love to give a shout out to a fellow book drunkard of my acquaintance. Not to long back she gave a challenge to share with each other a favorite quote from either a past or present read book. This is my quote for the week:
” You mistake me my dear, I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have hear you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least. ” – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I’m afraid if you were expecting something profound, you were sorely mistaken. If we cannot see humor wherever we walk, what sort of life is it we live? (This was my poor attempt at being profound if the above quote somehow disappointed)
There always seems to be cases with either one book or another where one character, no matter how amazing he or she may be, is always overshadowed by the main characters. I find this relatively true of Mr. Bennett who made the above statement. Does no one realize how amazing he is? He’s the glue that holds the family together. His care is so evident. One way I see his love is in his listening to his wife’s chitter-chatter. She may be all full of nonsense, but he takes time to love her and take concern in some of her antics. (grant it, to a certain extent. He does draw his lines) Mr. Bennett also wants better for his girls. He wishes them to grow up to be sensible with a mind of their own. I think, in short, he has such a great attitude and loving character, that even though the family can be a bit crazy, he makes them feel secure. They know they are safe and loved. To me, he is the perfect model for a fantastic father.
Continuing on the review topic of yesterday, this is another favorite from 2015. Allow me to introduce to you…
Larkrise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
Rated: S – c
Though I rated this S for some and C for cussing, there were only two cuss words, (but mine was abridged, so I don’t know if there were more) and I’d truly feel comfortable recommending it to anyone. But, I thought it fair to rate is S anyway only to caution others.
As the title communicates, reading this is like having tea with a British grandmother speaking about her childhood. Though stated as a work of fiction, Thompson uses her work to tell about her own childhood in an old English hamlet before the Industrial Revolution. The main character, Laura, is supposed to represent the author during her journeys through coming of age. The book doesn’t really have a plot. Instead, it gives detailed descriptions on hamlet life. To some, this book would be considered boring, but I found it relaxing to let my mind roam through the English countryside. I read about the loving and caring folk who lived there. I read of the simple lives they led, and dreamily wondered what it would be like to go back to that. How serene would it have been to live in a simple village where every neighbor was a friend.
Truly, I wish you’d take a look at it. It’s not like any other ordinary book. After a long day, let your mind relax and stroll the ancient countrysides of England with Larkrise to Candleford. Take time to meet the people there. Become acquainted with their lives, and you will learn to love them.
Find your own copy here