Sunday, August 27, 2017

Nell Grayson's Ranching Days and Four Little Women of Roxby

In Nell Grayson's Ranching Days, Nell hasn't seen her best friend, Cora, ever since Cora moved out west years ago.  Cora comes to visit Nell in Boston.  Cora has changed and is now a brash, outspoken western girl little fit for the high life in Boston.  Cora is miserable in Boston, and finally, she invites Nell to visit her at the ranch.

The girls do not arrive at the ranch until page 95, which is nearly halfway through the book. The story is odd with almost half of it taking place in Boston, considering that the title is Nell Grayson's Ranching Days.

The half of the book set in Boston is based upon the schtick of the western girl Cora not fitting in because she continually says and does outrageous things.  I was not amused and found the first half of the book to be quite uninteresting.  Cora's western dialect is also obnoxious.

The last part of the story is pretty good, however.  This book is overall good.  It could have been very good or excellent if the Boston part of the story had been dropped and if the portion at the ranch had been expanded.

In Four Little Women of Roxby, Alice, Jean, Corny, and Bab are orphaned and living on their own in the small town of Roxby.  The girls' parents died years before, and they had been cared for by their aunt until a year before when she died.  Now the girls are all alone in the world, struggling to earn a living.

Bab has been stricken by fever and lies in bed, at times close to death.  The other sisters help nurse her as they struggle to earn money.

Elizabeth Duffield Ward wrote at her best when she wrote books like this one.  This book has a strong Blythe Girls vibe and is an excellent story.

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