Christine is fake, not fiction

Alice Cholmondeley’s author’s note to Christine prefaces what Cholmondeley says are letters written to her by her daughter, Christine, who was studying in Germany the summer World War I began. A note saying the publisher chose to alter names of some individuals reinforces the idea that the letters are true. Christine by Alice Cholmondeley¹ ©1917. 1917 […]

The Red Planet turns light on heroism

The Red Planet is a memoir narrated by Duncan Meredyth, a widowed Boer War veteran living in a small English country village in 1914. Duncan is cared for my his ex-sergeant who was disfigured in the same shell blast that took Duncan’s legs. The Red Planet by William J. Locke 1917 bestseller #3. Project Gutenberg […]

My picks of the 1918 bestsellers

I had no difficulty selecting my two two choices of the 1918 bestselling novels: Daughter of the Land by Gene Stratton-Porter and The Amazing Interlude by Mary Roberts Rinehart. Both novels have an anti-establishment and feminist edge. I suspect had they been written by newcomers to publishing instead of by highly successful authors noted for […]

Mr. Britling Sees nuanced view of Great War

In Mr. Britling Sees It Through, H. G. Wells gives an account of World War I from the perspective of an intellectual with an optimistic view of human nature. The title character, Mr. Britling, is a moderately well-known writer, who pens essays and articles from his study in Essex, England. Mr. Britling Sees It Through […]

The Hounds of Spring quietly stunning novel

As The Hounds of Spring opens, Cynthia Renner tells her Austrian-born husband she’s “not perfectly satisfied” with their children. She fears they haven’t had enough disappointments to build character. The Hounds of Spring by Sylvia Thompson Little, Brown, 1926. 366 p. 1926 bestseller #4. My grade: A. Within hours, Austria declares war on Serbia. Within […]

Good entertainment on The River Road

Gervais d’Alvery comes home from World War I to marry his sweetheart, Merry Randall, and make his Louisiana sugar plantation profitable again. Gervais sees state politics as a means of improving the economic climate for planters like himself. His war-hero status, family name, and good looks make him a natural. The River Road by Frances […]

One Increasing Purpose seeks answer to “Why me?”

In One Increasing Purpose, A. S. M. Hutchinson presents a nice guy, Simon “Sim” Paris, who survived World War I without a scratch. Sim  wonders why he was spared. One Increasing Purpose by A. S. M. Hutchinson Little, Brown,and Company, 1925,  448 pp. 1925 bestseller #10. My grade: C+. All his family call on Sim’s […]