A Little Princess

Sometimes, I wonder if the old movies I grew up with are still making their rounds with kids today. I hope so. It is one of the things I do miss out on, not being a parent–getting to read my favorite childhood books and show my old movies over and over.

Shirley Temple was always one of my favorites when I was little. Even though she was way before my time, we watched her constantly in my house. She’s a classic, obviously, but also, she was especially famous in our family because my Nana looked so much like her when she was young. And, of all the Shirley Temple movies we had, the best one to me was, of course, the one about the clever book-addict, Sara.

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I may have watched A Little Princess a million and a half times, but this was my very first time reading the book! Until I picked it up at a Goodwill sale recently, I never realized it was written by the same author as The Secret Garden!

The story was just as magical. Of course my Sara will always be Shirley Temple, although in the book she’s described as much skinner than Temple’s chubby little features. I suppose that makes sense, for someone who is starving. On one hand, the book is sadder–there’s no reuniting with the father at the end–although the ending IS happy, and I thought it was a much more likely, and very sweet ending. Maybe not as Hollywood, but I liked it better.

A Little Princess should be read over and over again, especially at bedtime to your young princesses. It’s a story of hope in a world where there isn’t much hope, and it’s a good lesson in humility and encouragement. The morals in this book are as true today as they were when Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote it in the 1800s, and I think it’s not one we hear very often anymore.

 

This fulfills PopSugar #33:  A book from your childhood.

Trees of Reverie September Readathon Daily Bookish Challenges Day Fourteen

You’ve just started to work at a bookstore or library – what are your top ten go-to book recommendations?

  1. Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
  2. Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss
  3. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin
  4. The Thorn Birds by Colleen Mccullough
  5. Secret Garden by Frances Burnett
  6. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  7. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  8. Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
  9. Quiet by Susan Cain
  10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Sentimental

When I was young, one of my favorite movies was The Secret Garden. I loved the story of the rebellious little girl, sent to live in a big manor house (because even then, I dreamed of living in a big manor house…maybe that’s where it started). She was of course an outcast, left to her own devices. I dreamed of having my own secret garden, a place to play alone, that no one knew about. And then when she finds Colin, sick and sad and angry, and nurses him back to health? *sob*

When I discovered it was a book…even better. And as an adult, the moment I could get my hands on a copy…I bought it. I have a well worn copy, now, that is way overdue for a reread.

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Pride and Prejudice

There are so many books to read, and there is so little time, that I rarely return to books I have read in the past. I’m continuously moving down the list, one after another, devouring the next book in line.

However, there are a select few stories that I crave repeatedly. My guilty pleasure books. My cures. Whenever I get a little stressed, lonely, bored, or when I just can’t figure out what I want to read next, these jump out off the shelves. They are my best friends, my confidants. They are my security blanket.

Their covers are worn, and I rarely lend them out, because I never know when I’ll need to read them again. They are:  Secret Garden by Frances Hodges Burnett, Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, and the most important one, Pride and Prejudice by the wonderful Jane Austen.

When I found out Books & Brews was going to kick off their Monday night Book Club with P&P, I may have done a happy dance in my cubicle. And then I immediately downloaded it to my Kindle because *gasp* I actually loaned my copy out to my sister! I must really love her!

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I have read P&P 10 times at least, but this time was different. I don’t know if it’s because I journaled all the way through, or if I’m reading it from a different place in my life, but there were so many things that I’ve never noticed in the story before.

The biggest one is that Mr. Bennet is a MUCH more complex character than I ever realized him to be. Sure, I always knew he doted on Elizabeth, and rolled his eyes at Mrs. Bennet. But he’s really not that great of a guy, is he? I always loved him because he was such a closeted introvert, but he also goes into town to cheat on his wife pretty much his whole marriage, and his daughters are well aware of it. The whole “If you don’t marry Mr. Collins, your mother will never speak to you again, and if you do, I won’t.” wasn’t so much teasing his wife as it was a pot shot. It makes Mrs. Bennet’s anxiety and nerves seem a lot less ridiculous.

Also, I had never paid much attention to Mary before, but she has a lot of very intelligent things to say. She fades in the background behind her beautiful, extroverted sisters, but I would be really interested to see who she would be today. A lawyer maybe, or a journalist.

I can’t wait to talk about this on Monday. I have so many notes and I’m excited to hear what other P&P fans have to say. Of course, this book is all about the love stories of Darcy and Elizabeth, and Bingley and Jane, but there’s so many other complexities that after more than one read you will find woven into the plot. Sometimes it’s good to come back to reread your favorites.

What book do you come back to again and again?