A sign that Dinah Savage was often tempted to plant in her front yard was four children aren’t too many! Four children, an inadequate income and the memories of an unhappy marriage made Dinah a natural for would-be sympathizers, but she refused to be pitied by anyone.
A widow, her only relative (aside from her children) is a twin brother Dan. By taking her back to childhood scenes for a vacation Dan turns her mind from worry and her little brood takes a new lease on life. (from the book flap)
This is my first Stevenson book. I have an old hardback book club edition. The picture on the dust jacket was deceiving. It put in my mind that the story was set in the 1800’s or something because of the clothes the women had on. We’re told the men were in the navy and a war had just finished but which war was never mentioned. As I read, wishing I knew what time the story was taking place in, I was envisioning people and dress from the 1800’s. Then the movie Arsenic and Old Lace was mentioned and I knew it was WWII! I’d spent most of the book in the wrong century! Other than that annoying little problem I did enjoy this sweet little Kailyard.
I know D.E. Stevenson is an immensely popular author, but I think I like O Douglas/Anna Buchan writing better. Sorry all you Stevenson fan! While reading, just as I was thinking I prefer Buchan one of the characters mentioned her!
‘Always reading, you were, and that’s the result. If you want a book to take to the beach I’ve that nice Miss Buchan’s book all about when they were children. Dear little things they must have been, though maybe a bit of a handful.’ She must of meant Anna and Her Mother!
Other books mentioned were Shock-headed Peter, Kate Greenway and Alice in Wonderland. I love when they mention old books in a story!
Also mentioned was an old game…
‘Get out the Ludo, Mark’, said Dinah hastily. Ludo was the game of the moment and the little Savages played it with enthrallment on every possible occasion.’
I just recently got an old board game Snakes and Ladders and on the back was a bonus Ludo board! The grans and I played them this summer. It’s very similar to Sorry.
The story moves from England to Scotland where Dinah was born and raised. I enjoyed the descriptions of the sea and the countryside and Scot words and phrases scattered throughout…
‘A causey doo’, said Nannie with feminine scorn. ‘There’s plenty like that.’
At the bottom of the page was a note: For the benefit of those born south of Tweed it may be explained that a causey doo is one who coos like a dove on the causeway but shows undovelike qualities at home.
Now I have to watch for an opportunity to use that one!
This counts for Read Scotland 2014. That’s 21 for me now! 4 more to go.