O the Red Rose Tree by Patricia Beatty
William Morrow and Company, 3rd edition, 1972
Genre: Children’s literature, historical fiction
Synopsis & Review:When thirteen-year old Amanda Barnett and her friends Molly, Jessamine, and Euphemia meet the new neighbor Mrs Hankinson, they’re convinced she’s a witch. But her kindliness and fun spirit soon wins them over, just as her poverty, eccentricity, and pride alienate her from some of Nahcotta’s adults, including Amanda’s crotchety grandmother. To show up Grandma Barnett for her snobbery and rudeness, Amanda and the girls offer to help Mrs Hankinson find seven true reds so that she can make the quilt she’s dreamt of for the last sixty-three years of her life, the pattern O the Red Rose Tree–and in the bargain, show up Grandma by winning first prize at the County Fair.
Amanda has her shiftless but handsome brother Allen make a quiltframe for Mrs Hankinson while the girls work on finding seven different reds. On Washington’s Peninsula in 1983, this poses no small task, as the most common red in America is the cochineal-dyed Turkey red. Other than the ubiquitous Turkey red, all other true reds are European and very expensive, but where there’s a will, the girls will find a way. They will brave galloping pneumonia, Kissing John, shipwrecks, a flooded Portland, and do whatever it takes to help Mrs Hankinson.
This was the book I was looking for forever, and I must say, it was worth all the effort. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, what is serious? Looking over my list of the last fifty-one books read, I see not much in the way of Very Serious High Art Literature-Type Books. I like the funny.Are we looking just at stories that don’t end well, books without a Happily Ever After? Or novels with Serious Themes that Make Us Think? I don’t know.
I do enjoy a lot of books that are fairly mindless; I don’t watch much TV, and I guess we all desire mental junk food.I’ve only got a couple of Classics listed at the moment: Jane Eyre, some Colette, and White Fang. Colette’s always witty and amusing, though. Do the others count? They were pretty far back.
All the Cornell Woolrich books I’ve read are very serious: they’re dark novels of love and despair. And I highly recommend all of them.
I don’t count any romance (thanks to the HEA), so I have to consider that when looking at the historical fiction. In which case The Bearkeeper’s Daughter is probably the most recent completed serious book. O the Red Rose Tree, which I read last night, but haven’t yet posted, had some serious undertones, but was also more amusing than not.
Of the books I’m currently reading, Villette, Everything is Illuminated, and When Christ and His Saints Slept are all serious in that they all require more of my attention and concentration than many books, and they touch on fairly serious or even dark subject matter.