The Corner Shop

By Elizabeth Cadell

I remember reading Elizabeth Cadell with a great deal of nostalgia. I recently finished re-reading her Waynes of Wood Mount series, and that pretty much satisfied my urge to revisit Cadell’s thoroughly English old-timey romances but for a blog I ran across which glowing reviewed this one. I actually happened to run across this title while looking for another book in my library, and decided to re-read it. What a delight. The characters were deftly sketched, and the romance with the unusual love interest was so sweet and charming. The mystery filled out the plot nicely. This is my favorite title by Cadell, as far as I can remember. The only thing I found less than satisfactory was the planned resolution to two secondary characters futures. It was awkward and just wrong. I hope it works out.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

June 3, 2017

Six Impossible Things

by Elizabeth Cadell

“I’ve said I want to marry you,” ended Joey doggedly…Well, what d’you say?” “The answer,” said Miss Stocker without hesitation, “is no….“Look, in the whole of my life, I never once said to a woman what I’ve just said to you.” “Then you’re lucky. If you had, you might have got your face slapped more often.”

Thank you for all those compliments you paid me, that brought the blushes to my cheek. Thank you for all that poetry you read out about my charms. Thank you for screwing yourself up to the point of overlooking my deficiencies, and persuading yourself that I’d do as well as anybody else to carry up your cupper tea in the morning and make you a hot meal at night. Thank you for nothing.”

This was a worthy conclusion to the Wayne family trilogy bolstered by some laugh out loud scenes (The Proposal), a few pages of mystery and suspense (the Disappearing Bridegroom), nice character arcs (Marian and Lady Templesby,) and an evil villain to love to hate (Kenneth.) I was disappointed that Simon, my favorite character in The Lark Shall Sing, did not make an appearance. However, this was Julia’s story, as well as Nicholas, and I liked her almost as much. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

July 2, 2016

The Blue Sky of Spring

by Elizabeth Cadell

..but life was too full—she decided—to worry about whether you looked like a monkey or whether you didn’t. It didn’t matter much until you grew up and wanted to stun some man into marrying you.

A continuation of the gentle English romance and chronicle of the Wayne family of the 1950’s and 60’s. There was a difficult and disturbing scene involving the lovable family dog that struck a discordant note. It ended on a bitter-sweet chord, though we know there is a third book in the series for all to find their happy endings. I didn’t enjoy the main couple as much as the first one. I was annoyed by Estelle, and thought she treated both of the men who loved her rather shabbily due to her wimpiness. First, because she didn’t want to hurt Nicholas, and ended up prolonging his pain, and then kept Cliff hanging way too long and only committed when he finally got tired of waiting for her and told her he was moving on. She was lucky to get him. He was way too good for her.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

June 27, 2016

The Lark Shall Sing

By Elizabeth Cadell

This is a Charming and humorous story of a 1950’s English family in the country trying to stay a family in their beloved home. The oldest sister and head of the family (upon the loss of their parents) almost ruins her life and the lives of her 5 siblings by trying to sell the house and marrying a man totally wrong for her. Luckily, the rest of the family refuses to be bossed and split up. With the help of some “benefactors” along the way, who themselves need a family, everyone finds their hearts desire. Each of the brothers and sisters, and our heroine, Lucille, are very well drawn, interesting and likable. This gentle story has a few laugh out loud moments and some touching ones. It is followed by two sequels, in which, I trust, all of the boys and girls find their destinies.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

June 12, 2016