Tuesday, March 1, 2016

"The Baker's Daughter" by D.E. Stevenson

Although I know I read several novels by D.E. Stevenson from the local library when I was a teenager, "The Baker's Daughter" is the one that sticks with me -- perhaps because I managed to snag a paperback copy at a used bookstore when I was in university, and so was able to re-read it more than once. The last time I read it was more than 30 years ago, though -- so I was happy to find that I enjoyed it just as much (and remembered so much of the story) even after all this time.

Sue Pringle is the baker's daughter of the title, forced to leave school to keep house for her father after her beloved mother passes away. Then he remarries, leaving Sue at loose ends and at odds with her new stepmother -- until she surprises everyone by taking a job keeping house for John Darnay, an eccentric artist, and his glamorous wife who have taken up residence at an old converted mill out in the Scottish countryside. No sooner does Sue arrive than bored Mrs. Darnay leaves for the bright lights of London. Sue opts to stay and finds a new purpose and happiness in her life. Of course, she winds up falling in love with the absent-minded painter -- but there are several twists and turns in the plot before -- spoiler alert!! lol -- the requisite happy ending.

The things I enjoyed about this novel 30+ years ago are still the things I enjoy today -- the well developed characters, Sue's innocence, the strong sense of morality and old-fashioned propriety expressed by the main characters, Sue's strong relationship with her loving but anxious grandparents. A descriptive scene where Sue's grandfather and his friends teach Darnay to curl on an outdoor pond is still a delight to read.

Another great "comfort food" novel from D.E. Stevenson.

This was book #4 (and the second Stevenson book...!) that I've read to date in 2016.

1 comment:

  1. When you find an author you like, it's not surprising you've read multiple books by the author, or reread them with the pleasure of seeing an old friend. I still haven't read any of these books - but they're on my list!