Three books stuffed with Amazingness


Missed you, folks. That's all I'm going to say this time, although I feel very much the same as I did when I wrote this post.

My family and I had a restful five days in Switzerland. It was a bit difficult, due to the not-meant-for-twelve-people chalet we stayed in and due to the fact that it was Rather Chilly. But then there was Swiss creamy nutty perfect chocolate and bluey mountains and clouds that looked happy, so it was okay. Also, it was Great because of the three Amazing books I read there. I bought three new books in the beginning of July, to read in Switzerland, and YES THEY WERE AS GOOD AS EXPECTED.

I'm going to book review, people. I don't do that often, because I think my book reviews are boring (there, aren't I modest?) but I think that with such GOOD books, their reviews can't be That boring, so yeah. I'll do it.

I read three amazing books. 'Dawn's Early Light' was the first one I read. Then I plunged into 'Violins of Autumn'. And then I finished off my holidays with 'Celia Garth.'

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Dawn's Early Light

My gorgeous friend Emma recommended this book to me. She has for eons. ;-P I've FINALLY read it now, Emma. You ought to be relieved. :-)

I'm going to start with the negative points. Very pessimistic of me, I know, but one might as well start with it and get it over and done with. (Please, though, bear in mind that I LOVE this book and that I gave it five bright gold stars on Goodreads. The good stuff will be rambled over very shortly.)

The one-pence copy I bought from Amazon was very ugly (it's the copy shown here), very cheaply produced. The book was filled with typos - not even the typical ones, I mean ones like 'JuHan' instead of 'Julian' and random captial letters and stuff like '24876//' propped between words. This is cumbersome, people. (But then, that's not the fault of the book, of course, it's a fault of the copy.)

The one thing in the story I didn't like is the politics/historical detail/war attack stuff. There was a bit more of it than I wanted. I don't know much about the whole Tory-Tea-Indian-part-of-history, and I'm also not That dead interested in that part of history, so, being honest with ya, some of the bits where the men discuss politics bored me, and there was one chapter I skimmed because I wasn't interested. But that's all, and now comes the bright chirpy part of my review.

Okay. Where to start? This book is Amazing. I closed it with happy tears and I started it in fascination.

Elswyth Thane's writing style is beyond glorious. She writes so vividly, and so On Point. Like, the things her characters do and say are so natural and real. Seriously, I can SO see this book as a movie - I so desperately want there to be a movie. But even if there will never be a movie, that's okay, because this book is like watching a movie. You can smell the water when Julian stands on the ship. You can see the frothy dresses Regina and Dorothea wear; hear the swish. It's super vivid.

Julian, a twenty-one-year-old guy, handsome and loyal, is the main character of the book. I've realised I love books with male main characters when they're well-written. It's interesting to see male points of view. I didn't fall in love with Julian, I've got to say, but he Really is a great hero. (Notice the capital R.)

Now, let's talk about Tibby. SHE WAS MY FAVOURITE. (Minorly spoilers ahead. Just saying.) She was Adorable! I felt Soooo sorry for her though - poor thing; she get's beaten, she quietly falls in love with Julian who's ten years older than her, her mother and brother die, she has to struggle and fight to get an education (not that I thought she really needed one - the girl is million times smarter than I.) and she sees her hero Julian fall in love with the reckless Regina. I LOVED it when Julian bought her that pink frilly doll in the ball gown. I LOVED it when they said goobye in the moonlight and when Julian said 'You see, no-one cried when I left England' and promises Tibby he'll stay where she lives till he grows a long white beard. I LOVE it when Tibby goes and pretends she's Kit! (Seriously, that was the best part of the book, ever.) And THEIR LETTERS. When Julian starts it off with 'My darling Tibby.' And then Julian PROPOSES and I cry because Tibby finally has what she deserves, dear soul.

I shipped them so much. So much, that I just loathe Regina to bits.

I also liked Dorothea - straight-away, from her first letter to St John. In fact, I thought she'd end up with Julian in the beginning. Poor girl, though, that she ends up on her own. But still, I'm glad Julian had Tibby. So glad. I just love Tibby.

Thank you, Emma, for recommending this to me! You've got a good taste in books. Not that I've not noticed that before, haha.


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Violins of Autumn

This book got recommended to me by Eva. I looked it up after she mentioned it to me, fell in love with the cover, and promptly told myself I would buy it. I'M SO GLAD I DID.

First of all, is not the cover GORGEOUS?!! I can't get over it. (Although it's a pity the girl on the cover's wearing bright red lipstick, because the book mentions that Adele hates wearing lipstick. But never mind.) My copy is an old hard-cover library copy, but yet it's so gorgeous. I LOVE the purple violet sky. I love violet skies - I saw one yesterday and I'm obsessed with the beauty of violet sunsets.

The inside of the book is gorgeous too. A lovely font.

This book is like a TRAIN. Seriously. Once you open it and start to read, you're mesmerized, glued, inside, stuck. It starts with a parachute jump in the middle of an inky black night, for Pete's sake. I knew this was a book about a teenage WW2 German spy, so I knew it would be an exciting book, but man, I hadn't expected it to be This zooming exhilarating and exciting. I couldn't stop reading!!! It was so doggonned good.

First of all (haha, this is the second time I'm saying 'first of all.' How awkward.), the writing style. As a writer myself, I always notice it when a book is written well. Amy McAuley, I salute you cordially. The words you use chill me to the bone - the mesh of adjectives and adverbs you used to describe those high-action scenes made my heart beat. If I were wearing a hat, I would take it off for you. Well done. :-)

Adele, or Betty (I think of her as Adele, of course, just as I think of Denise as Denise, and most certainly not as Sarah), was a great adventurous spirit. She's terribly unlike me, and she would probably find me the most annoying little scardey-cat ever, but I love her to bits. She's a second Jo March, and she's brave and Does Things. She's also loyal and surprisingly romantic and super super clever. I wouldn't be able to do half of the things she does, suffice to say. (Also, Adele's hair is so pretty. The way it's described. Mah gosh.)

I loved Denise perhaps even more. She's a character one doesn't see often. She's a lipsticker, and a lover of jewellery and pretty new clothes, but yet she's super tough and adventurous and GOES for stuff. She's such a good friend, despite her flaws.

This book felt so beautiful, despite it being rather y'know exciting-sweaty-eeeeek-y-story-like. For instance, when Adele and Denise talked about the things they missed. They thought of oranges and chewing gum and toothpaste (I don't know why! I just think that sounds utterly beautiful.) And when they talk about Deanna Durbin and Little Women and Gone with the Wind. And then the romantic scenes are so beautiful. (Spoilers ahead) Because, yeah, ROBBIE. I love Robbie. I want Robbie. Even though I think young teenage romances are Rather Annoying in many books, I couldn't help it, I LOVED Adele and Robbie's romance. The Almost Kiss was UNFAIR. And their first kiss was described in such a beautiful saw - shy, and sweet, and perfect. Shhhh. I just love them and I ship them.

But then I strangely enough also like Pierre and Adele. I don't 'ship' them, but there's something. I like them much less than I did with Robbie and Adele, but still, they were a maybe-match. Pierre is so handsome, too. Not that looks help, of course, but the way the books describes him is Very handsome. Just saying. :-P (I didn't really like that they kissed, though. I thought it was a bit much, after Robbie.) It's very confusing, this love triangle.

And then the whole spy plot kept me reading and reading. As I said. This book sucks you in with immense force and speed and grip. It's scary and it's sad and it's beautiful. And it almost made me cry, for various reasons (like when Denise talked about her fiancé who died).

One thing that's a bit of a pity is the language. It's not half as bad as 'The Book Thief', but there are words I could've done without. But anyway. I LOVED it and I'm so glad I've got it in my possession! Thank you, Eva!



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Celia Garth

Beware. Capital letters ahead.

I LOVED THIS BOOK.

Emma recommended it to me, again. Yes, she does that a lot, recommending. She'll never stop. :-) But then I'm exactly the same on my part. (Because people, Emma hasn't read 'Rebecca' OR 'Daddy-Long-Legs' yet. T'is a scandal.)

THIS BOOK. GAH. I can't tell you how much I loved it and enjoyed it and hugged it and cooed over it and gushed over it. Every time, during the day I read this book in (yup, I read it in just a little more than one day), when one of my siblings came past the place where I was reading, I would say, 'OH THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD.' (And they would say, 'Yes, yes. You told me.')

This book is SO me. It's pinky and twinkly and deep and sweet and golden and fluttery and funny. Emma said I would LOVE it, and she knows me well. She was right. I LOVED it. I loved it the most of all the three books in this post, which says a lot, because I love all three. :-)

Right, now you've got the point, I can elaborate.

The book starts off with a simple description of Celia's face. Blonde hair and brown eyes. (I know. The picture on the cover I have has a girl with black hair. Why? (My seven-year-old-sister commented on how the girl on the cover looks like Jane Bennet in P&P95. I agreed immediately. What do you think?)) A girl who sews better than anyone else in the country, with a sassy face. How can you not like a book with such a character? She actually annoyed me sometimes, but I still just love Celia. :-)

I surprisingly enough liked Vivian Lacy a bunch. I expected her to be plain MEAN and podgy and deceitful, but she's not. I almost related to her sometimes. I have to say, I wouldn't like to be her dressmaker, though. She really IS difficult. :-)

Celia and Jimmy, a tall and lanky and ugly but very kind and happy guy, form a very adorable attachment during the first half of the book, and I 'shipped' them piously, like any good fangirl would, because seriously, I loved those two (even though I always felt *something* lacking, but I didn't quite know what.) Their New Year's Eve ball was my favourite bit to read (although not the part where it get's interrupted. That was a pity.) IT WAS DESCRIBED SO BEAUTIFULLY. Her deep red velvet dress! Her gold flower bracelets Jimmy gave her! Her emerald necklace! "She felt beautiful and she looked like a girl who feels beautiful." She danced and danced, while outside was raining and the raindrops looked like the reflection from women's jewellery on the windows. IT WAS GORGEOUS. I reread and reread the ball and dress-description paragraphs over and over again.

But then Luke comes. And I liked him too. The way his shimmering bewitching blue blue eyes are described - 'too beautiful for a man's face.' And the way he uses the Bible so much for messages. I just like him, but then I also dislike him and it's CONFUSING.

(Spoilers ahead!) When Jimmy died, I went and checked the last pages to see who on EARTH Celia would end up with. Luke, I read. No way, I said. I didn't want that to happen, but then, as I read on, I did. Because Luke and Celia are perfect together. They understand each other without talking. And the way Luke calls her 'sassyface' makes me grin. And the way they talk together when Celia realises she's pregnant. "Do you want a boy or a girl?" "I don't care. Except, Oh - I'd have such fun dressing a girl!"

Oh, this book was good. It reminded me of Gone with the Wind, but I dare say I thought it was better. (Nicer characters, that's it, I think.) I LOVED IT. I LOVED IT. It's seriously my new favourite book. Mwah.

The things I didn't like were the whole rabbit-bone stuff. They way they kept it in their pockets and rubbed it for 'good luck.' A bit weird. I also didn't really like the last chapter. The story was just so happy and then they had to put a sad light into it by making Celia think about Jimmy and all the things she used to have that the War took away from her.

But STILL. Buy it. Please, for it'll do you immense good. :-)

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What books have you been enjoying lately?
Have you read these books? Let's talk.

13 comments:

  1. So much fun to read! It truly is a joy to have you back again, Naomi me darlin' :)

    Just curious--what's the setting for "Celia Garth"? Is it America, or England, and which war is going on? I just wondered because I love historical fiction and so I always want to know the historical details.

    Switzerland sounds LOVELY! It's so awesome that you actually live in Europe and you get to visit these places often. I really, really hope I can go to Europe at least once in my life, but I don't know if that's ever going to happen :) If I do, though, I want to see Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Italy, Poland, and Lithuania. For starters.

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  2. (May I just say that I LOVE how you use different font colours in most of your posts? It makes your whole blog look so lovely.)

    You're back! I've missed your blog posts and emails a lot. :) And now to respond to all (or most) of the comments you made about VoA. (Let me tell you, it was wonderful to find such a nice, long review in my Blogger dashboard this morning.)

    I could stare at the cover all day. Gorgeousness abounds. Adele doesn't like wearing lipstick? Ohhhhh, that's RIGHT. Huh. Well, I don't blame her - lipstick isn't one of my favourtie things either. :P A lot of reviewers said that they thought the book was slow and not a lot happened, but I think exactly the opposite. It's so thrilling nearly all the time, isn't it?

    Yessss. The writing. I wish I could write like that. Nope, I never think of Adele as Betty (ugh) or Denise as Sarah. By the way, I love the name Adele - I want to use it for one of my fictional characters sometime. Denise is AWESOME.

    I loooove the 'things we miss' conversation. Love it to bits. And all the GWTW references. ALL the references, really. OH AND ROBBIE. I could go on and on about him. <333 I ship him and Adele so hard and their kiss is so sweet and just...AOSDIFJAWOESADF. So. Wonderful.

    Pierre. Meh. :P I don't really care for him, and frankly, I hated how he and Adele kissed. Uggggh.

    This review was awesome! I loved reading it. :) Thank you for doing this book justice.

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  3. Oh, gosh! Can your blog be any more lovely? Wow! You got to vacation in Switzerland! I plan on visiting Europe one day and Switzerland is on my list, the whole country is so beautiful! I was just curious but have you ever visited the U.S.? and if you haven't have you ever wanted to? and where would you like to visit? I think it so neat m that your an European. Every American girl I know wants to go to Europe and live there!

    Anyway, I've loved looking through your blog and on a whim I picked up the BOOK " Wonderland Creek" and oh my gosh!!! It was so good! It is now my favorite Lynn Austen novel.

    So glad your back!

    -Morgan

    ...that Testament of Youth picture is so beautiful, I loved Vera's outfit in that scene!

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  4. You had me at Gone with the Wind references. :)

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  5. Oh Yay you are back!! =D I was just about to email you!
    Ooooh lovely books I've written them down but the middle one I simply MUST read soon.. Geuss what?! My school libarary just got in a shipping of Lynn Austin! =DD
    Lucky Duck being on holidays, I have to go practise for another big orchestra concert coming up soon
    We are playing this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-4q-fHRqTk
    ~Evie

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  6. Oh and Switzerland!!!!! I've always wanted to go.. :D
    Naomi,
    could you please email me some photos?? (Sorry if that sounds wierd)
    ~Evie

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  7. Glad you're back, Naomi, I was missing your lovely posts :-)

    These books sound good! The description in "Celia Garth" sounds perfectly scrumptious. I just LOVE good description that sounds amazing and natural at the same time.

    I wish I could go to Switzerland. It sounds so wonderful. It must be great to ACTUALLY live in Europe - I hope that some day, I will be able to visit Ireland, England, Lithuania, Italy, France . . . I could go on all day :-)

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  8. I don't have time to read this entire post right now, but I just wanted to hop over and say welcome back! This blogging world isn't the same without you! :)

    I'm glad you had a good time in Switzerland!

    ~Miss March

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  9. Jessica, Oh it's so good to be back, m'dear! :-)
    Celia Garth is set in America, during the American Revolution, I believe. *checks to have a look* Yup.
    Oh dear, I guess I don't realise how lucky I am then! I don't really like travelling actually, so I don't do it that much. :-)

    Eva, Awww, thanks darling. :-) It's an easy way to make blog posts prettier, I've noticed. :-)
    NOW LET'S TALK. *rubs hands* Yeah, remember? Where Denise puts in on her for the evening out? She didn't like it. (I don't like lipstick that much either. I'm a no-make-up-kind-of-girl.) Really? People SAY that? That 'nothing' happens in the book? Ridiculous assumption. :-/
    Adele is SUCH a gorgeous name. Much nicer than Betty. :-) I do like Sarah better than Denise, but Denise IS Denise. Right? Right.
    YES ROBBIE AND THEIR KISS AND OH THEY ARE JUST SO ADORABLE AHHHHHHH. I love Robbie so much. The way he plays the piano. The way he GRINNNNNS. (We've talked about the grin before, I know, but I HAD to mention it again.)
    Pierre was a pain, I know. I didn't like their kiss either. Totally unneccesary. Thanks so much for the comment, Eva!

    Morgan, You are so sweet! Thanks so much! :-)
    Oh yes, I want to visit the USA very badly. Mainly because I want to visit my online friend, Emma, who lives there. I think that wherever you live, you always want to go SOMEwhere. The girls in Europe want to go to USA and the girls in USA want to visit Europe. How unfortunate. Haha.
    WONDERLAND CREEK IS AMAZING. I'm soooo glad you loved it as much as I did! It's not *my* favourite Lynn Austin book, though - my favourite is 'Hidden Places.'

    Jillian, I KNEW it. :-) I was thinking of you.

    Evie, Yes, you should read these. AND all the Lynn Austin books. :-D
    Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't bring my camera along, so I don't have any pictures. :-(

    Rosie, that's very sweet of you. Thanks! :-)
    Yes, 'Celia Garth' SO does that. The description is beautiful and natural at the same time. I LOOOVE it. :-) (But then, there was no need to say that.)
    Haha, well, I'm not at ALL the travelling type, so I'm actually rather happy to stay at home for most of the year (although I DO love going to England.) But yeah, Switzerland is gorgeous. Some of the villages we passed... MY GOODNESS. It's like a movie - soooo picturesque.

    Miss March, Aww, thank you! That makes me happy to hear. :-)

    I'm glad to be back, everyone!
    ~ Naomi

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  10. MY BESTIE DEAREST IS BACK!!!!! :-D

    Okay, there is so much here to remark on and swoon and gush over -- I shall do my best to be coherent.

    BUT NAOMI YOU READ MY BOOKS AND LOVED THEM AND I JUST CAN'T CONTAIN MY ECSTASY!!!!!!!!!!

    I should probably do a separate comment for each book. This one is for Dawn's Early Light.

    You called me gorgeous! *faints* Thaaaaanks. :-) Yes, I am relieved. But more than that I'm overjoyed because now we can TALK ABOUT IT.

    Whoa, that's a freakish cover. Never seen that one. (The copy I read, as I probably told you, was a plain little orange binding that I love to pieces.) Wow, all those typos sound horrendously annoying. I'm sorry you had to get through all that stuff!

    See, I'm DEAD interested in this part of history -- it may be my favorite period to read about. I LOVE reading about Tories and Patriots and Indians and the founding of the United States. So that stuff fascinated me. Plus, I've read about all those historical figures in history books, and I've been to Williamsburg so I really loved the parts where the men were talking in the Raleigh Tavern. (I HAVE SEEN THE RALEIGH TAVERN.) But I get why you wouldn't be as interested. You're either 'into it' or you're not.

    But can we talk about the writing?!!! Yes, yes, yes, to all of the above. You're right, it feels so much like watching a movie! I think this whole series would make an amazing miniseries (if they did it right, of course).

    I really love Julian. :-) When I first started reading about him, he immediately struck me as being a lot like Horatio; quiet, sensible, bookish, not overly outgoing. Now, I often get annoyed with the Roger-Hamley-type hero who falls in love with the girl who we KNOW is no good for him, but somehow I understood Julian, and instead of getting angry with him I just wanted to set him straight, to make him see how much Tibby loved him...

    Which brings me to Tibby. TIBBY IS AMAZING. She's one of the most fascinating characters I've ever read. My golly. I just want her to be real. One of my favorite parts is when Kit dies, and she goes and brands her name onto his grave...by then I was already completely immersed in the book, but that was when I really went crazy. As in, my jaw dropped, my eyes popped, and I couldn't do anything before I finished the rest of the book.

    I like Regina a lot, actually. Yes, she's a flirt, but flirts tend to fascinate me, because usually there's a reason why they act that way and when you find that out, it sometimes makes you like the character even more. Regina really DID love St. John. I LOOOOOOVE the part where St. John is wounded and he comes to Regina's house, and then David comes looking for him and Regina tells David that she married St. John. Go, Regina! I think she's really got spunk, and I admire that.

    Aww, and Dorothea is such a doll! She didn't end up exactly on her own -- she married that French dude, remember? But still, it was saaaaaad. :-(

    You're welcome!!! I'm so thrilled you loved it! (Bet you hadn't deduced that yet from my reaction, haha.) I'll be back to rant about Celia Garth. :-D

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  11. YAY! You're back!!!:D

    Aww, I don't think your book reviews are boring;) Especially not these! I really should look these up...I have the sequel to Dawn's Early Light (haven't read it YET, but I will eventually), and Violins of Autumn sounds especially intriguing:)

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  12. Yay, you're back! I've missed your posts very muchly this week. :)

    I know you're not a fan of travelling, but I'm glad you had a good and restful time in Switzerland regardless! It's funny-- I, along with countless other American girls, would absolutely LOVE to travel Europe someday. It's going to happen. Eventually.
    (Although I will say that travelling itself isn't always the greatest. I enjoy long car rides {which give plenty of reading-and-writing-and-shameless-daydreaming time}, but the destination is always my favorite part of the whole thing. And I'm kind of a homebody. Still, EUROPE. It's so thrilling to think of! I like to think the adventure would make the hassle of international travel worth it.)

    And thank you so much for these book reviews! I'm in need of new reading material, and Dawn's Early Light and Violins of Autumn both sound perfectly wonderful. I'm going to look 'em up on Kindle as soon as I finish this! (Yes, I'm quite neutral on the whole paper-copy-versus-technology debate; I make good use of them both, and gladly! {It helps that classic novels like Jane Austen books are typically free.}) So yes, again, thank ya kindly. :)

    It's so good to have you back, Naomi!
    --Emily

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  13. Emma has returned! Now I'm going to gush over Celia Garth.

    It's true, I DO do a lot of recommending. I probably shall never stop. Yes, it's a scandal, I am aware of this. Well, I'd read it if I could find it anywhere!

    I'm just sitting here smiling and giggling to myself because I KNEW you'd love this book! I remember when I read the very first page, thinking, "this sounds JUST like Naomi." Celia Garth reminds me a lot of you, actually. The way she thinks about people and her sparkly sense of wit. She annoyed me too sometimes, but that's why I came to like her so much -- because she was REAL.

    Vivian Lacy is just de coolest. I love how the reader gets introduced to her by that letter she dictates -- something about not going to another wedding or funeral as long as she lives -- and we can see her strong-willed personality and salty humor. She's great. :-) Did you know I named my favorite pen after her? Vivian Lacy. That's right.

    AND JIMMMMMMY OH MY GOODNESSSSS!!!!!!!! I LOVE JIMMY. "Captain James de Courcey Rand." *plops on the floor unconscious* Jimmy is an absolute dear. I did NOT see it coming when he got killed, so it was one of those moments when I just went "WHAT? HOW? NO!!!" But I kind of knew something had to happen to Jimmy, because...well, Luke. Which brings me to Luke...

    Luke Ansell. Ohhhhhh my stars and stripes. I'm rather in love with him. I love what he says to Celia when they first meet, about his last name -- "A for anybody, N for nobody, S for somebody, E for everybody, and L for like-a-body -- twice, because I've seen you twice and liked you both times." Even though you love Jimmy, there's just this sense from the very first time Luke shows up that he's The One. The way he calls her 'sassyface' -- OH! There's something very attractive about a man who gives up all thought of his own reputation for a higher cause, and that's one of the things I love most about Luke. He doesn't care what anyone thinks.

    My faaaaaavorite part -- listen-- my FAVORITE part is after the war is over, and Luke comes back to Celia and tells her how it was when he and his men heard the news, and then when they all said goodbye to each other. I can't remember it word-for-word, but I have it written down somewhere. Something about how none of them knew what to say, how -- OH! I remember! -- "It was over, and we were glad it was over, yet while it had lasted it was the most glorious thing that ever happened to us." THAT'S MY FAVORITE PART. Because it's such a fitting way of describing those emotions.

    The last chapter is so saaaad! I know. It could have ended differently. Did you cry? I think I cried, a little. I know I did a whole lot of sighing. The part about the bells is really depressing. But, I don't know, I sort of like sad endings -- it didn't make me like the book any less. It was kind of fitting, I thought, because Celia had endured a LOT of sadness.

    Oh, Celia Garth is SOOOOO much better than GWTW!!!!!!

    This review made me smile and giggle and swoon and share in some of the beauty of reading this amazing book for the first time again. :-) So thank you, Naomi!

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