Book Review: Willows at Christmas

The Willows at Christmas by William Horwood
The Willows at Christmas 
by William Horwood, Patrick Benson (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

It’s Mole’s first Christmas on the River Bank after meeting his new friends, the Water Rat, Otter, Badger, and Toad. Mole is concerned because no one seems to have any Christmas spirit, and all his friends find excuses not to attend his holiday festivities. Can Mole unravel the mystery of why a mysterious house guest at Toad Hall is ruining the Christmas season for the entire River Bank? The River Bank friends are launched into a Christmas adventure when Toad is arrested AGAIN, and an ancient law invoked by the Lord of the Manor could mean the end of the Willows.

I adore every book in this series, and this one is wonderful too! Such a great plot with lots of action and excitement interspersed with moments of sweet affection and simple home comforts. The writing style is so close to the writing of Kenneth Grahame that I can barely tell the difference. The old-fashioned charm of the story swept me away immediately into the wholesome world of the Willows.

Book Review: The Battle of Life

The Battle of Life by Charles Dickens
The Battle of Life 
by Charles Dickens

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Grace and Marion are sisters, saying goodbye to their childhood friend, Alfred, who has just come of age after growing up as a ward to the girls’ father, Dr. Jeddler. Alfred promises to come back someday to marry Marion when he has finished medical school and made his fortune. The years pass, but their happy plans take a sorrowful turn, and it will take all their courage to survive the battle of life.
Continue reading

Classic Review: Martin Chuzzlewit

Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
Martin Chuzzlewit 
by Charles Dickens

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Old Martin Chuzzlewit is disgusted with his greedy relatives who only want his money, so he disinherits everyone, including his grandson, Young Martin, who is named after him. Young Martin falls in love with an orphaned ward, Mary Graham, who acts as Old Martin’s nursemaid. But the two young people are torn apart when the family quarrel causes Young Martin to seek his fortune out in the world.

When he goes to work for a hypocritical architect, Mr. Pecksniff, Young Martin befriends poor Tom Pinch, a lowly clerk with a good and innocent heart. Because of his generosity and humility, Tom is always being taken advantage of and overlooked.

Mr. Pecksniff and his two daughters renew their relationship with their cousin, Jonas Chuzzlewit, a devious man who longs to inherit the family business and be rid of his doddering old father.

This book includes blackmail, murder, hidden identities, and fraud, as well as two sweet romances, hilarious characters, and a compelling redemption story. Continue reading

Book Review: Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 
by Ray Bradbury

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Guy Montag is a fireman, burning illegal books and the homes where they are found. His world falls apart when he meets a girl with big ideas who teaches him to stop and relish life, and an old professor who teaches him about a past when people were allowed to think for themselves. Continue reading