the true confessions of charlotte doyle | review

I’m not sure how many times I have listened to this audiobook in the past ten years but it is one of my favorite stories from eighth grade.  I just listened to it again this week and it’s about time I reviewed it!!


I first encountered this book when I was in eighth grade.  I liked it so much, I did one of my book report projects on it.  For some reason, tales about the high seas intrigued me and I went through this lady pirate phase.  Don’t ask.  This book doesn’t even contain pirates.  I just wanted to read about girls on ships and those books were out there – but the girls in the books I got my hands on were pirates!

I have since gotten over the whole pirate thing but I’ve still kept this piece of junior fiction on my list of favorite stories.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Rating: 5.0 – 5.0

My Thoughts:

Charlotte Doyle is a sweet thirteen-year-old girl traveling from Liverpool, England to her family in America.  It’s quite a simple arrangement really.  Two other families are supposed to travel on the same voyage, thus keeping her protected and occupied.  However, when she boards the ship, the other passengers are nowhere to be seen and she realizes she must make the trip as the only passenger besides captain and crew.

Something’s not right.

Word has it that the captain is not what he seems.  But Charlotte finds him the very sole of propriety, class, and dignity – everything she has been brought up to expect and respect in a gentleman.  He’s the one man who understands her, can protect her, and provide her with the kind of respectable companionship on this long, lonely voyage.  But some of the crew have made it clear that they do not trust or like him.

So what is she supposed to do when everything is turned upside down and she’s caught in the middle of the power struggle?

And what is supposed to do when she’s accused of murder, tried and found guilty?

I have a thing for mysteries, I must say.  And for ship stories.  Ten years later and it still does the job.

This book counts towards the following challenges:




forevermore | book review

I love this book! Figured I’d just get that out of the way :)


Forevermore by Cathy Marie Hake

Rating: 4.0 – 4.0

Hope Ladley doesn’t stay in one place for very long.  Guided by her Heavenly Father, she goes from place to place, helping families that need an extra pair of hardworking hands.  When she and her mule arrive at Jakob Stauffer’s farm in Gooding Texas, she quickly discovers that his family needs some extra TLC.  Taking Jakob’s sister Annie and his little daughter Emmy Lou under her wing, Hope gently lends healing and joy to hearts once held by fear. Making a pact with her boss to take care of Annie and Emmy Lou, Hope is determined to do whatever it takes to make sure she keeps her promise. Her unconventional ways, zany sayings, pure honesty and willingness to get the job done transforms Jakob’s house into a well-ordered home.  Little does she know, her own heart is transforming to. What exactly did God have in mind when He sent her to Jakob Stauffer’s home?

This is one of my favorite audiobooks.  The story is sweet and inspiring and fun and Stina Nielsen’s performance is a pleasure to listen to!  Hope is a lovable character and her honesty and straightforward ways are commendable.  She’s the kind of person you want to sit down and have a cup of tea with or work along next to while sewing or doing laundry. She’s the kind of woman I want to be–hopeful, cheerful, hard-working and trusting in God’s ways and wisdom.

I totally recommend this if you’re looking for something fun and inspirational.  Hake does a fantastic job telling this sweet story :).

Happy reading y’all!

P.S. There are a couple of other books in her series, Only in Gooding!. I read them out of order and have started reviewing them out of order! Sorry about that!  

The books go in this order:

  1. Fancy Pants 
  2. Forevermore
  3. Whirlwind
  4. That Certain Spark
  5. Serendipity

The Count of Monte Cristo Check In #1

Hello Readers!

Time to check in and see how everyone’s doing so far in the book!

Just an FYI, I will be making some references to the movie during the read-along, but I’ll try not to give away anything important so I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it!!


Confession: I’m probably behind all of you :P. But that is a-okay. Y’all keep plugging along. And any spoilers in comments will not bother me so chat away, if you’d like.  However, a pace of 2.5 chapters per day brings us to chapter 42 so, please no comments about anything beyond that. Thanks :)

Let me just say that it took me a minute to shift gears and get used to how different it is from the movie!! Book shock, much?  I don’t know, maybe that’s just me.  But I am really enjoying it despite the longwinded bits (again, maybe that’s just me!).

I like the fact that you get the political, historical backdrop in the book, although, I must confess, I sort of yawned my way through it.  I also loved reading the father-son relationship between Abbe Faria & Dantes. That was really touching.

But probably the one thing that THREW ME OFF was Fernand!  If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I mean.  Oh my goodness, I was not expecting him to hate Edmond from the beginning.  Well then, this story is going in a completely different direction than I anticipated!  I’m excited to see what happens!

Can’t wait to see how ya’ll are doing so far!



I’ve decided to do a giveaway for this read along like I did for The Pilgrim’s Progress. It’s real simple: each comment you make counts as an entry.  The person with the most comments at the end of the event can choose a book from either my CLASSICS CLUB LIST or my READING LISTSo comment away!!

Happy, happy reading :)

whirlwind | book review

3216278Whirlwind by Cathy Marie Hake

Rating: 4.0 – 4.0

My Thoughts:

Cathy Marie Hake is one of my favorite Christian historical fiction novelists. I was going to say something like Whirlwind is my favorite in her series about Gooding Texas, but that simply wouldn’t be true.  I also loved Fancy Pants & Forevermore just as much.

I listened to the audiobook by Recorded Books Inspirational.  It’s read by one of my favorite narrators, Barbara Caruso.  I love her voice and overall presentation of stories.  Her performances include Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, the Anne of Green Gables books, Fancy Pants, and many, many others.

This 3rd book in the series tells the story of Millicent Fairweather who is traveling to America with her sister and brother-in-law to begin a new life after losing her position as nanny in England.  En route to New York, she accepts a temporary position as nanny to Daniel Clark’s son, Arthur.  However, Millicent’s life is turned upside down when tragedy strikes and she has no choice but to marry Mr. Clark and travel to Gooding Texas as the wife of the new owner of the town’s general store.

Daniel and Millie now must build a household, a business, and a marriage all at the same time.  The problem is, they barely know each other and have completely different approaches to life.  If not for one common thread – their dependance on God and His loving care and purpose for their lives – they would come apart at the seams.

As is to be expected in stories about newly married couples, there is much misunderstanding, many mishaps, and plenty to learn.  The ending was sweet and I was pleasantly surprised :).

I recommend this book if you’re looking for sweet and inspirational!

Happy reading y’all :)