As far as Laddie goes, I like it. What I've read of it, at least. The young girl who narrates it is very much like Anne of Green Gables, though she doesn't talk quite so much. But she has a lot of imagination, and a great capacity to love.
My favorite part of the story so far, has been the first Sunday that we see them in church. Beginning on page 43 (in chapter 2), one of the brothers gets up in front of the congregation and starts reciting scriptures. The verses he recites, that he chose because they are short, also apply to many people in the congregation. Such as, "Give not sleep to thine eyes nor slumber to thine eyelids." as he looks at a man in the congregation who is sleeping. He does thirteen of these, most more offensive than this one, and it is pretty funny :-) When the boy is finished, his father calls the congregation to prayer, kneels, and prays out loud,
"Our Heavenly father, we come before Thee in a trying situation...
Thy word of truth has been spoken to us by a thoughtless boy,
whether in a spirit of helpfulness or jest, Thou knowest.
Since we are reasoning creatures, it little matters
in what form Thy truth comes to us;
the essential thing is that we soften our hearts for it's entrance,
and grow in grace by it's application.
Tears of compassion such as our dear Savior wept
are in our eyes this morning as we plead with Thee
to help us to apply these words to the betterment of this community."
More than the entertainment I got from the verses being read, this sweet prayer by the father made my heart melt. How humble, and wise, to go in public prayer and help everyone see that, no matter what, truth is truth. It's application is far more important that being bitter of the way it was given. If we all could be like this father and son, I think there would be much fewer offenses. The boy didn't mean to offend anyone, he was just looking for short verses to memorize, and then they all seemed to apply. It ended up being one of the best and happiest days they'd ever had in their congregation.
Why is it that some people take offense so easily at things like this? Is it because they think children have less authority than adults? Would they still be offended if an adult did that publicly? Would it make a difference if it were done privately? I wish I knew. Definitely good food for thought though.
Other then that, the little sister telling the story does a very good job of being descriptive of the landscape, as well as the people and behaviors. Apparently, the author grew up in a very similar situation. She had made a comment saying that three-fourths of the book is absolute truth from her own childhood experiences. I find that incredible, because it seems like such a fun way to live.
I will do my best to finish before Saturday, but it may not happen. I'll keep you informed.
Silly and sickly boys,
The Page Traveler