Yesterday afternoon I started reading A True and Faithful Narrative. I picked it up (and by picked up, I mean put on hold and had it sit there for a long time until I got around to it on this historical fiction kick) because it was well-reviewed on Nina’s Newbery.
At around one in the morning, I finished it. I read it on my break at work, and while I ate dinner, and straight from about 11 to 1. I briefly considered putting it down, but what’s more fun than staying up late to finish a book? Well, okay, some things are more fun. But this is pretty high up there.
It wasn’t one of those books where I had passages I wanted to mark or share, or where there were particularly clever lines. But it was one of those books where you are led into somewhat familiar territory – a girl who is unconventional for her times, but who contemporary readers can sympathize with, is approaching marriageable age and wonders whether it would be better to remain unmarried, and allowed to write like she wants, or whether she should accept one of the young men wooing* her. You start one to think, oh this will be one of those nice solid books, with an engaging character and a glimpse of history.
Which, yes, it is. But it has that extra oomph & strength beyong the ordinary. For starters, it’s not one of those books where it’s SO obvious which guy she’ll end up picking (because they always pick one, don’t they? are there any books where they don’t?) Edward would be the more romantic pick, with the adventures and the story to tell. But Meg doesn’t really know him all that well, and you reserve your judgment with her. And Will doesn’t think she should write, and that he would run the household, but he & Meg have this nice banter/teasing thing going on, where you can see that he’d never quite have his way. And the book presents views & stereotypes of the time as they would be perceived then, but also shows how individual people can grow & change without leaving their historical context behind.
Anyway, READ IT.
*Perhaps one of my favorite words. Woo. Woo. Woo.