Monday, January 6, 2014

Over Paradise Ridge  A Romance  -  1915
Maria Thompson Daviess
102 pages
genre  -  Romance
my rating  -  4 out of 5 stars

I had to read the opening lines of this book several times.  It just didn't make sense.

"Nobody knows what starts the sap along the twigs of a very young, tender, and green woman's nature.  In my case it was Samuel Foster Crittenden..."

I'm extremely grateful I persevered.  It's a wonderful book, written in an unusual style.  Somehow poetic, with plenty of wisdom. 

Young Betty Hayes has two very good friends who desperately need her help - Sam and Peter.  Betty has known Sam her whole life and now he is trying to start a farm from scratch with hardly any money.  Betty has known Peter for three years now and he is trying to write the next great American play.  She is constantly being torn between the two young men.

There are some fascinating supporting characters:  Sam's younger brother referred to as the Byrd, Peter's anxious father, Betty's crocheting mother just to name a few. 

One of my favorite lines in the book is the description of New York City.  "New York in the daytime is like a huge football game in which a million or two players all fall on the ball of life at the same time and kick and squirm and fight over it; but a night it is a dragon with billions of flaming eyes that only blink out when it is time to crawl away from the rising sun and get in a hole until the dark comes again."

I will certainly look for other works by this author. 

About the author  -

Maria Thompson Daviess was born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky on Nov. 25, 1872. After her father died when she was eight, her family relocated to Nashville, Tennessee. She studied one year at Wellesley College, and then went to Paris to study art.

Returning to Nashville, she continued to paint and also took up writing. Her first novel, Miss Selina Lue and the Soap-box Babies was published in 1909. The Melting of Molly, published in 1912, was one of the top best-selling books for the year.

In 1921, she moved to New York City, where she died on September 3, 1924. She did not marry and had no children.

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