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Esther Ethelind Enock

Autor/a de Francis Ridley Havergal

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Obres de Esther Ethelind Enock


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The four Gresham girls - twenty-one-year-old Phyllis, eighteen-year-old Ruth, sixteen-year-old Dulcie and fourteen-year-old Nora - had lived together since the death of their father. When Phyllis, who was supporting her sisters by working as a secretary, lost her job, things seemed very bleak. Then the girls received word that they had inherited a fortune, from a man whose life their father had once saved. This allowed the three younger siblings to return to their schooling at Dene College, run by their guardian Miss Chester, while Phyllis kept house for them. The three elder sisters were "saved" - i.e.: fervent evangelical Christians - and hoped that the youngest, Nora, could be as well. They wanted to use their blessings to help others, and to show them the way to Jesus. In both their school and personal lives they did just that, helping to reform the snobby Chatham sisters, and leading to a happy union between a number of couples amongst their older, adult circle of friends. In the end, both Nora and cousin Cora were also saved, and all ended happily...

One of a number of Christian children's novels from Esther E. (Ethelind) Enock, who also wrote Christian non-fiction, Four Girls and a Fortune was first published in 1935. It is a book that I became aware of through Sue Sims and Hilary's Clare excellent reference work, The Encyclopaedia of Girls' School Stories, and I sought it out because of my interest in the school story genre, rather than in any of its Christian themes. I have no particular objection to Christian themes in my fiction reading - much of the older children's literature I have read has some kind of religious content - but I do like to feel as if the story is more than just a vehicle for those themes. Perhaps it is unfair, but the more recently published the book is, the stronger this preference becomes. I expect James Janeway and other 17th-century Puritan children's authors to hit me over the head with their beliefs, but am less tolerant of such things with 20th-century writers. In the end, I felt that the storytelling here was too weak, and there was just too much 'saving' going on, for the book to succeed, as a story. I have read other British authors of girls' fiction from the 1920s and 30s who incorporated Christian themes into their work - authors like Agnes Adams or Dorothy Dennison - while still managing to write well and spin engaging tales, so it is not impossible to produce something worthwhile in this vein.

All in all, although it was not dreadful, Four Girls and a Fortune is not a book I would strongly recommend, unless one is a determined fan of the girls' school story genre.
… (més)
AbigailAdams26 | Jun 11, 2020 |



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