by Charles Dickens
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
by Frederick Marryat
The plot is full of action and intrigue, betrayal and sneaking plots, raging storms and bloody battles, and of course a little romance. I love the setting of the British frigates cruising through the West Indies looking for trouble with the French.
by Ann Radcliffe
The Marquis who owns the dilapidated Abbey, discovers them living on his land, but inexplicably allows them to remain, making a mysterious alliance with Mr. La Motte. Ghoulish skeletons, mysterious manuscripts, and gruesome secret rooms are lying around all over the Abbey, and the dark forest holds secrets of its own.
The friendly Theodore warns Adeline that her life is in danger, but he is called away to his regiment before he can explain or help her. Adeline goes through every kind of disaster and terrifying mishap, fleeing for her life when she is betrayed by those she trusts.
This is Gothic melodrama at its best! I lost count of how many times Adeline fainted, but it must have been more than twenty times. She dissolves into tears, is frozen with terror, collapses under the strain of horror, and is prostrate with grief in every single chapter.
by Charles Dickens
They are all certainly interesting and varied, but so disconnected and strangely unfinished that I couldn’t really enjoy them.
by Charles Dickens
When Edwin goes missing on a stormy Christmas Eve, suspicion falls on an innocent young man, Neville Landless, who had an argument with Edwin weeks before. Jasper vows to bring the murderer to justice, and spends his time spying and searching out his neighbor’s secrets. Frightened by what the impassioned Jasper might do, Rosa flees to her guardian in London and befriends Neville’s sister, Helena. From the opium dens of London to the quiet streets of a country village, the mystery takes many shapes as each character searches for the truth.
It’s amazing to me that even this little fragment of a story still holds such power and interest hundreds of years after it was written!
by Daphne du Maurier
The writing is expressive and really paints a picture of the setting amidst the dark moors. The story is certainly striking, even though I found the plot fairly predictable.
Mary’s character has a good balance, since she’s plucky but also vulnerable. The other characters are vivid and interesting too, even the awful villains. Each person has such colorful dialogue, descriptions, and body language that they jump off the page into life! I was truly afraid of the villains, truly sorry for the pathetic Aunt Patience, and absolutely disgusted with the nasty smugglers. I could almost smell them, they were so close to life.
Excellent writing and a good tale of mystery and suspense!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Young Alleyne has had a sheltered up-bringing in a monastery, learning how to read and paint, but knowing very little about normal life in Medieval England. When he ventures out into the world as a young man, he finds a place as squire to the famous knight, Sir Nigel, the leader of the White Company, a band of English archers. They march to war with Spain, and Alleyne is determined to win glory, love, riches, and honor without losing the saintly virtues that the monks taught him as a child.
I loved the adventure, the action, the rousing dialogue, and knightly courage! The plot ran through all these unexpected turns that took me by surprise. Continue reading