As someone who loves reading historical fiction and is fascinated by the Dionne Quintuplets (the first identical quintuplets to survive babyhood) I had to read this fictional story, The Quintland Sisters, about them as told by midwife in training Emma who is there when they are born and then spends several years with them as their nurse. Emma thus has an inside look at the feud between the Dionne parents and the Quintuplet’s doctor and guardian Dr. Dafoe. As the years go by she is torn between loving the little girls as individuals and the circus surrounding them as they are put on display for visitors to gawk at. As Emma grows both emotionally and mentally she slowly comes to realize the part she plays in their exploitation, the same kind of exploitation that the Quintuplets were taken away from their parents in the first place to avoid. The exploitation that would change the lives of the Quintuplets for the worse as they and their parents and other siblings would never be able to bridge the gap left from those years of separation. Even though I already knew the story of the Dionne Quintuplets from biographies (like The Dionnes by Ellie Tesher and The Dionne Years: A Thirties Melodrama by Pierre Berton) and their autobiographies it was fascinating to read a fictionalized version of their story which is as much about Emma’s journey in life as it is about the Quintuplets.
See also this post: The Dionnes by Ellie Tescher.
My new favorite heroine is a hamster! Harriet the hamster, to be precious, princess, knight and all around rescuer in the series by Ursula Vernon. It’s been a long time that I rushed through a whole series to find out what happened next but that’s what happened with this series. The books are like a combination book/graphic novel and star Harriet, a twelve year old princess hamster, who circumvents all the typical princess stereotypes of her world and doesn’t wait to be rescued by a prince but rescues herself and others. Each book is a take off on a different fairy tale with Harriet as the plucky star helping dancing princesses, Ratpunzel, Whiskerella and others in distress (with her friend Prince Wilbur and her pet quail Mumfrey going along for the ride). Make friends with Harriet – you’ll be glad you did!
I’ve always enjoyed series books from my earliest days since my parents read me the Little Grey Rabbit books by Alison Uttley. Then as I grew up I read other series on my own and enjoyed detective series like Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. Now I am enjoying a current mystery series – the Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley. Flavia is a young motherless girl growing up in 1950s England in a run down mansion with her father and two sisters. Her great interest is chemistry and she often uses this a way to solve the mysteries that she comes across. What I enjoy most about this series is that Flavia actually grows up and matures unlike Nancy Drew who solved thousands of mysteries all at the same age.The next book in the series, The Golden Tresses Of The Dead, will be published in January 2019 and I can’t wait to to read it!