Thursday, November 12, 2020

"A Very Bookish Thanksgiving" by Kelsey Bryant, Sarah Holman, J. Grace Pennington, Rebekah Jones, and Amanda Tero

This is a charming collection of five novellas, each revolving around a different classic book, and each centered around giving thanks for blessings, especially on Thanksgiving Day.  If you're looking for something clean and heartwarming to read as you prepare for Thanksgiving yourself, this is a great pick!  I can't think of many books that revolve around Thanksgiving, so it was really refreshing and different that way.

A Promise of Acorns by Kelsey Bryant and A Fine Day Tomorrow by Amanda Tero were definitely my favorites here, but all five stories were enjoyable.  I handed this to my 13-yr-old son when I was almost done with it, and he liked it a lot too.

A Promise of Acorns by Kelsey Bryant is about a young nanny at her first real nannying job, caring for two grandchildren of a reserved and remote art professor.  He asks her to teach his grandchildren about Thanksgiving traditions, and all of them learn many things by the end of the story.  This one is inspired by Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

As Long as I Belong by Sarah Holman is about a young woman with a less-than-ideal family life who is befriended by another family.  As she grows up, she grows closer to one of their sons while working together on the family campground/pumpkin patch, but newcomers make her feel unwelcome, and she wonders if it's time to move on with her life.  This one is inspired by Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.  This was my son's favorite.

The Windles and the Lost Boy by Rebekah Jones is about a trio of siblings who help protect a runaway boy with the help of a mysterious man with a reputation for helping lost people.  This one is inspired by Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie, and was my son's other favorite.

Grand Intentions by J. Grace Pennington is about a young woman who dreams of being an author, but whose life always seems to get in the way of her having the time to write.  When her grandmother asks her to house-sit for her while she goes on a long trip, the girl believes she'll finally have time to really write.  But she learns that the lack of time is not what's holding her back.  This one is inspired by Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

A Fine Day Tomorrow by Amanda Tero is the only piece of historical fiction here.  Set during WWI and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919, it follows four sisters as they struggle with many troubles both personal and societal.  Their father is a chaplain in the army, and one sister's fiance is also in the army.  The story focuses on that sister and her attempts to help others despite not being quite healthy and strong herself.  This novella has a lot of heartbreak, but also a lot of hope and love and joy.  And, since we're still battling our own pandemic, it's a timely read as well.  This one is inspired by Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

I loved the idea for this anthology, of not so much retelling classic books as using them to highlight similar struggles that the characters in these stories face.  Each book plays a role in the story it inspired, which was also a neat touch.  

This is a "limited edition" collection, which I assume means it will not be available forever.  It also appears that there will be more collections in the works! You can learn more from the Instagram account A Very Bookish Holiday.

(Mine from my Instagram account)

Particularly Good Bits:

What a pity I wasn't in a novel where my author fed me words woven with pen, ink, and contemplation (p. 45, A Promise of Acorns by Kelsey Bryant).

While some might find sewing the same thing over and over a boring, tedious job, Essie enjoyed the monotony. She found an odd comfort in the little, reliable things in life. A quarter-inch seam was a quarter-inch seam. Its plans wouldn't be changed (p. 365, A Fine Day Tomorrow by Amanda Tero).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: G.  Good, clean, wholesome storytelling.

This is my 42nd book read from my TBR shelves for #TheUnreadShelfProject.

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