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Post Posted:: December 3rd, 2012, 8:12 pm 

Joined: April 14th, 2010, 2:22 pm
Posts: 718
Location: California
Now before anyone shouts out: "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm"! or "Little Lord Fauntleroy"! I'm looking for something more abstract than the life of an orphan, or farming towns, though both are fine if the other elements are there.

I'm looking for writers, hopefully public domain, who are able to express the curious and humourous details of individuals, and if they can express the setting and natural world as well, so much the better.

For example, after repeated readings of the Anne series I fell to favouring "Anne of The Island" (#3) rather heavily. It wasn't for the romantic conflict either since after several readings the basics are fairly well memorized. However, the odd proposals, the feline interaction, the layout of the college town including historical references, Philippa's missive over what happened on the street car, (I shan't give it away!) these are the type of little things L.M. Montgomery's books tend to be chock full of. We're not so worried over any good versus bad issue, more just being introduced to interesting people we can follow about with little stress involved. (Which I think counts for MUCH of the rereading that happens!)

I hedged my bet on college girls books but so far "When Patty Went To College" by Jean Webster was the closest I got so far to incorporating, if nothing else, at least the personal stories element "Anne of The Island" had, minus the flowery setting description. (I say close, not identical.) Putting a bunch of legal-age youngsters in a town'ish setting (i.e. college) is fraught with many the minor hilarity.

Still, the more I investigate the more I come across the dreaded cheating student (bad guy), or a short step from a Nancy Drew mystery. One half of the characters are twirling a moustache while the rest are going down to the blacksmith to have their Sword of Virtue sharpened to Ginsu finesse. (The better to trim the moustaches, I suppose.)

So what I'm looking for is the low-stress angle and the writing style that helps one to feel that characters are real people, or at least realistic. They have daily foibles and smaller joys.

Any ideas? :?:

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Post Posted:: December 3rd, 2012, 11:14 pm 
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Joined: April 17th, 2008, 8:41 am
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Location: Kent, England
Not really my field, but 'daily foibles and smaller joys' brought to mind Mary E. Wilkins Freeman. I have only recorded one of her short stories, The Revolt of Mother, but was rather taken with her characters and writing style.

I think she was mostly known for short stories, but certainly wrote some novels too, including Pembroke.

Ruth

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Post Posted:: December 4th, 2012, 12:24 am 

Joined: April 14th, 2010, 2:22 pm
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Location: California
Thanks, Ruth! Just went looking about and likely downloaded too much than I could ever get to. I'll give her a shot!

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Post Posted:: December 4th, 2012, 3:33 am 
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I don't know if I've really got my head around what you want, Grant. Maybe something by Herbert Jenkins, maybe. Patricia Brent has some lovely character studies. Or perhaps E.F.Benson? We have a lovely Queen Lucia in the catalogue.

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Post Posted:: December 4th, 2012, 12:48 pm 

Joined: April 14th, 2010, 2:22 pm
Posts: 718
Location: California
Cori wrote:
I don't know if I've really got my head around what you want, Grant. Maybe something by Herbert Jenkins, maybe. Patricia Brent has some lovely character studies. Or perhaps E.F.Benson? We have a lovely Queen Lucia in the catalogue.



Ooo, those look good, too! Thank you.

Something that just struck me that I often forget to mention when I'm chuntering on about L.M. Montgomery. With all those other attributes, there are often characters who exchange various anecdotes. Usually in books it's simply the story at hand rather than the characters displaying their own bits of history and often seemingly trivial but still makes for well-rounded people, if not quirky.

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