Thursday, October 3, 2013

Good Luck  -  1896
Mrs. L. T. Meade
141 pages
genre  -  Inspirational Fiction, Young Adult
my rating  -  2 out of 5 stars

Patience Reed was "an old cherry-cheeked woman.  She had bright blue eyes and firm, kindly lips...She was wonderfully pretty.  Her little face looked something like a russet apple...Her hair was snow-white, and rather fluffy in texture..."

And Mrs. Reed was at the Out-Patients' Department of the London Hospital that foggy morning.  Her right hand had been hurting "awful - right up to the shoulder."  The doctor's verdict is the equivalent of writer's cramp.  That means no more needlework. How will she support her six orphan grandchildren now?

Alison, the eldest girl, was now seventeen and working in a clothing shop.  Harry, the eldest boy, is somewhat of a scamp and a real concern to his grandmother.  David was fifteen and was doing something for himself.  The youngest three are Polly, Susie, and Kitty, and they are all attending school.

The story revolves around a series of events that brings great concern to the family.  How will they survive without Mrs. Reed's income from her needleworking?

Although I enjoyed the story, there were a few inconsistencies that bothered me.  The author didn't keep straight which boy was older, which girls shared which bedrooms, and how long they lasted on the money they had.  There were quite a few loose ends at the conclusion of the story, and there was a bit too much preaching for my taste. 

About the author  -

L. T. Meade was the pseudonym of Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith (1844–1914), a prolific writer of girls' stories. She was born in Bandon, County Cork, Ireland, daughter of Rev. R. T. Meade, of Nohoval, County Cork.

She later moved to London, where she married Alfred Toulmin Smith in September, 1879.

She began writing at 17 and produced over 300 books in her lifetime. She was primarily known for her books for young people. However, she also wrote "sentimental" and "sensational" stories, religious stories, historical novels, adventure, romances, and mysteries, including several with male co-authors.

Meade was also the editor of a popular girls' magazine, Atalanta from 1887-93. She was a feminist and a member of the Pioneer Club.

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