Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum Peril and Romance

by Marthe Jocelyn.

It's 1901, and Mable accompanies her sister to Sellerton, where Viola will be the new school mistress. There, she discovers the power of gossip and reputation at the same time that she discovers Ms. Rattle, a bloomer-clad suffragette who leads the local cheese factory girls in the town's first strike. Mable is often in trouble and Viola's position in a precarious situation because of her, but in the end, she sorts out everything to such a satisfactory end as to have her missteps excused.

Interspersed with her journal entries are the chapters of a silly serial adventures story she writes to entertain her friends back home.

This book and its heroine owe a massive debt to Anne of Green Gables and Josephine March, the daydreaming victorian spitfires that came before her. And because of that, I can see fans of those books loving this one, which doesn't stray too far from their fine example.

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