Saturday, July 12, 2014

Reading 1914...

See if the plot of Josephine Chase's novel, Grace Harlowe's First Year at Overton College, sounds familiar. Grace is a brand new student at a well-respected institution. In her first weeks at Overton, she makes some new friends, and some new enemies. She gets into some scrapes; experiences several successes as well as a number of setbacks. Persisting through it all, she ultimately triumphs. It could be the plot of the first Harry Potter book. (Minus the magic, of course.) Instead of playing Quidditch, Grace excels at basketball and helps her Freshman team defeat the dreaded Sophomores. She may not be perfect, but she's earnest, kind, and eager to do well. Here's an example of her youthful idealism:
"Being a freshman is like beginning a garden. One plants what one considers the best seeds, and when the little green shoots come up, it's terribly hard to make them live at all. It is only by constant care that they are made to thrive and all sorts of storms are likely to rise out of a clear sky and blight them. Some of the seeds one thought would surely grow the fastest are total disappointments, while others that one just planted to fill in, fairly astonish one by their growth, but if at the end of the freshman year the garden looks green and well cared for, it's safe to say it will keep on growing through the sophomore and junior years and bloom at the end of four years. That's the peculiarity about college gardens. One has to begin to plant the very first day of the freshman year to be sure of flowers when the four years are over."
I thought Grace's adventures at Overton college were light-hearted and funny. You know how it well end when you begin it, but it's still an enjoyable read. The next book from 1914 on my list is Angela Brazil's The Youngest Girl in the Fifth. I have a feeling that it's going to have a similar plot and end up being a VERY similar read to this one. What do you think?

You can jump back to my other Reading 1914 posts here and here.


  1. Maybe I missed it somewhere...why did you decide to read from 1914 this summer??

    It sounds like you are enjoying a different kind of light reading these days!!

    1. With it being the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I this summer, I thought it'd be kind of interesting to read books published from 1914, as well as books about the war. So, it's been a 1914 summer for me...which has been surprisingly fun.