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#FurrowedMiddlebrowClub
review
Jess_Read_This
Anna and Her Daughters | D.E. Stevenson
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this one immensely. I needed the soothing rhythm of Stevenson even though the circumstances the daughters are in were hardly soothing. I was disappointed in the loss of Anna as a character once she remarried. The tidy far too convenient way we reached the happy ending. And after rereading the passage, I‘m irked we aren‘t told what exactly was wrong with Helen? And I missed the witty acerbic Augusta Millard. #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub

Ruthiella Helen died of the novelistic disease of being “no better than she ought to be”. 2w
LeahBergen Right?? Helen just faded away like a Regency woman who got her feet wet. 2w
See All 11 Comments
Jess_Read_This @LeahBergen @Ruthiella 😂 I‘m going to need to see the ICD-10 medical billing codes for those conditions. That was really the part of the book that irritated me. I couldn‘t figure out if Stevenson was insinuating something due Helen‘s lifestyle, or was it a congenital condition that she didn‘t keep up on treatments, or was Stevenson at a loss herself how to end it so let‘s blame the French language barrier in Jane and the reader never knowing. 2w
rubyslippersreads Were we supposed to think Helen had TB? 2w
jlhammar Agree about wanting more Anna. She was such a interesting character in the first part of the book. 2w
kwmg40 Good points in your review! I really enjoyed the book too but was also bothered by some of the things you mentioned. 2w
CarolynM I thought consumption too @rubyslippersreads but I prefer @Ruthiella ‘s diagnosis🤣 2w
38 likes11 comments
quote
Jess_Read_This
Anna and Her Daughters | D.E. Stevenson
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A dramatic scene that broke my heart for Rosalie! And left me wondering what exactly the timely “little red pill” was provided by Mother.

I‘m finishing this #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub read at the eleventh hour! Then will backtrack to the discussion! 🥴

Aimeesue Just the generic little red pill 😂 2w
Ruthiella It‘s the‘50s. No doubt tranquilizers were prescribed freely! 😬 2w
Jess_Read_This @Aimeesue 😂 indeed! 2w
See All 9 Comments
Jess_Read_This @Ruthiella Such a different time! I found it so interesting how casually it was mentioned. But like you said, freely prescribed back then. 2w
LeahBergen @Ruthiella Probably big ol‘ over-the-counter horse tranquilizers. 😆 2w
Jess_Read_This @LeahBergen @Ruthiella Well, after Anna‘s talk about horses and blinders, you might not be far off 🤣 (edited) 2w
LeahBergen 😆😆 2w
quietjenn Good old Mother's Little Helpers 😉 2w
batsy Yes! All those "little pills" back in the day. 2w
24 likes9 comments
blurb
rubyslippersreads
Anna and Her Daughters | D.E. Stevenson
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I enjoyed this, but like other Littens, I didn‘t really care for the direction the second half took. I loved Mrs. Millard, Margaret, and Miss Smith and her dolls. Val improved once he met Chairley. I thought it was odd that Anna almost completely disappeared from the story, even though her name is in the title.

But I sure didn‘t think Ronnie was the prize all the sisters thought he was. 😏

#FurrowedMiddlebrowClub

jlhammar Yes, agree completely! Fun to see the different covers. I hadn‘t seen the one on the left yet. 3w
Ruthiella No, Ronnie was no prize! I would have preferred Jane finding a new love. Everything else could have happened. 3w
See All 13 Comments
rubyslippersreads @jlhammar I think that cover kind of gives away the plot. 😏 3w
rubyslippersreads @Ruthiella It was like the author thought her readers would expect a “romantic” ending. 3w
julieclair I agree about the cover giving away the plot. That always annoys me! 3w
CarolynM You‘ve summed it up so well👏 3w
batsy Was wondering about the vanishing of Anna, too 😆 And Ronnie is definitely no prize. Those covers are lovely! 3w
LeahBergen Just how I felt! I was a bit over Ronnie by the end. 😆 3w
Jess_Read_This @batsy @LeahBergen The allure of Ronnie was lost on my by the end too. He couldn‘t make up his mind on Helen. He is in the U.K. And sees Jane but it‘s a short visit and can‘t make the time to see his son, plus the way he treats the African staff was wrong. He is no prize. 2w
Jess_Read_This @Ruthiella Agree!! I just wrote something similar. Too bad things didn‘t work out with Jane‘s American stargazer beau. 2w
Ruthiella @Jess_Read_This So many romantic possibilities…all wasted! 😆 2w
rubyslippersreads @Ruthiella @Jess_Read_This And all because of Ronnie. ☹️ 2w
54 likes13 comments
review
kwmg40
Anna and Her Daughters | D.E. Stevenson
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Pickpick
Ruthiella Mrs. Millard was very intriguing! Such a good character. 3w
julieclair The plot was not predictable to me, either. And I loved Mrs. Millard. I‘d like to read a book devoted to her! 3w
See All 21 Comments
CarolynM Yes, loved Mrs Millard! 3w
Aimeesue Another cheer for Mrs. Millard! I enjoyed her. 3w
Librarybelle I‘m tempted to try one of these Furrowed Middlebrow books one of these days… 3w
LeahBergen Mrs. Millard was great! She was just happy the way she was, wasn‘t she? 3w
LeahBergen @Librarybelle I think you‘d like them! 😊 3w
batsy Adding to the Mrs Millard love! Enjoyed her interactions with Jane. 3w
rubyslippersreads I loved Mrs. Millard, and was glad her pearls were “cured.” 3w
Andrew65 Brilliant 👏👏👏 3w
kwmg40 @Ruthiella @julieclair @CarolynM @Aimeesue @LeahBergen @batsy @rubyslippersreads Nice to see so much love for Mrs. Millard. I feel as if I could have used a Mrs. Millard in my life in my younger days! 2w
kwmg40 @Librarybelle Most of the ones I've read have been light and heartwarming books but with enough substance to make them interesting. I've also been enjoying reading books from the 40's and 50's and learning more about everyday life in those times. 2w
kwmg40 @Andrew65 Thanks for stopping by! 2w
Jess_Read_This @Ruthiella @julieclair @CarolynM @Aimeesue @LeahBergen @batsy @rubyslippersreads Here Here to an Augusta Millard spin off book! Though I have to think she‘d tell the lot of us she never wanted to see us again. And jaunt off to Pompeii in research of her next book. 😂 2w
Ruthiella @Jess_Read_This 😂😂😂 2w
Aimeesue @Jess_Read_This oh, she absolutely would. We could expect nothing less. 2w
julieclair @Jess_Read_This I‘d like to follow her to Pompeii! 🤣 2w
kwmg40 @Jess_Read_This You're exactly right! I'm sure August Millard wouldn't have the patience for a spin-off book no matter how much we wanted her in it! 😂 2w
54 likes1 stack add21 comments
review
julieclair
Anna and Her Daughters | D.E. Stevenson
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Pickpick

A lovely, calm, relaxing read. So civilized and satisfying. Perfect with a cup of tea on a quiet afternoon. Another pleasant #FurrowedMiddleBrowClub pick.

Ruthiella Glad you enjoyed it! Stevenson seems to be quite dependable for light romance. 1mo
LeahBergen “Pleasant” is a perfect descriptor for her novels! 1mo
jlhammar Agree, very pleasant read. 1mo
CarolynM Yes, a very pleasant read 🙂 I love your cover, too. 4w
Jess_Read_This Yes! The perfect afternoon read with a cup of tea! ☕️ 2w
39 likes5 comments
review
batsy
Anna and Her Daughters | D.E. Stevenson
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Mehso-so

I'm sorry to be a bit cranky about this #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub but I enjoyed the first half & loved the bits about Jane finding herself & becoming a writer. I also liked her relationship with Mrs Millard & was hoping for more of it. The 2nd half got a bit too silly at points, & maybe sort of escaped reality altogether (though I understand that's the point of a fluffy feel-good book like this one!) I found it pleasant enough but not quite a pick.

batsy Just a tad twee. Anna got her man with big feet 😳 (okay, mum!) but then sort of vanished from the narrative. Helen was a bit too awful; no one ever set her right, then she just died & we didn't hear about how it affected Anna or Rosalie. The narrative bizarrely shrunk to make the story wholly Jane's. I like Jane & don't mind that, but it just felt oddly developed after the start. Was there supposed to be some backstory with Anna & Mrs Millard? 1mo
Cathythoughts Lovely cover all the same ♥️ 1mo
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batsy @Cathythoughts I wasn't able to purchase this FM title on Kindle, and thought I wouldn't be able to read it. Then found it in my Kindle library with this cover, with no recollection of having bought it 😆 1mo
jlhammar Love your cranky review 😆 I enjoyed it more than you did, but had many of the same thoughts/issues. 1mo
Ruthiella I couldn‘t get the FMB cover/edition for this one on Kindle either. A conspiracy! 😆 I agree with your criticism. The first half was fun enough for me to give it a 👍 overall, but it was odd that Stevenson went in the direction she did when the field was wide open. 1mo
batsy @jlhammar Thank you! It wasn't bad, it's just that we've read some good FMs that set the bar high 🙂 1mo
batsy @Ruthiella Yes! She was pretty prolific so perhaps felt tired writing this one 😆 1mo
elkeOriginal Great point about not even hearing how Helen‘s death affected Anna - especially since no one even travelled to the funeral! She was ONLY her daughter🤦🏼‍♀️ (edited) 1mo
Aimeesue I liked this one more than you did, but I agree that there were quite a few WhatTheHeck? moments! 😂 I think I‘m less critical of these light romances in general because I know what the ending‘s going be anyway, so I like to look at what the author had to do to her characters to get them there. 🤣 1mo
LeahBergen Yes to all your points! The first half was super enjoyable and then it went off the rails a bit. I just wanted Jane to stay a spaniel-breeding author in that nice little cottage. 😆 1mo
quietjenn @batsy Yes, to all this, but especially the point about Anna and Mrs. Millard. Why were they both so keen not to meet each other?!? 1mo
quietjenn @batsy @Ruthiella I am so curious - but I guess not curious enough to have read it yet - about The Empty World, which is apocalyptic science fiction? Talk about wanting to write something different! 1mo
Ruthiella @quietjenn Well you hooked me! I just bought it for $3.99 on Kindle. 1mo
quietjenn @Ruthiella oops! Sorry? That said, I'm pretty sure I've also bought it for the Kindle at some point, so if you want to read together, just let me know. 1mo
batsy @elkeOriginal Exactly! Thought that was a bit of a glaring plot hole towards the end. 1mo
batsy @Aimeesue That's definitely the best way to approach these books! On that level, somewhat amusing about how some characters are dispensed with 😅 1mo
batsy @LeahBergen Yes, me too! That was so engaging. She and Mrs Millard pottering about their research for yet another juicy, scandalous biography and falling down a bizarre rabbit hole... I think I was hoping for a Doris Langley Moore novel 😆 1mo
batsy @quietjenn Right?? I for sure thought their very overt avoidance of each other was leading up to some revelation 😆 The Empty World sounds fascinating. Unfortunately Malaysia doesn't have a regional Amazon so we use the US one and this one (like quite a few number of Kindle editions) isn't available to purchase for me, based on location. Boo 😕 @Ruthiella 1mo
CarolynM Great review. It did go off in an odd direction. I was expecting Helen to die in order to clear the way for Jane & Ronnie (why did we not hear about his feet?) but I wasn‘t expecting her disgrace & apparent excommunication from the family. But Val was sweet so maybe Ronnie was worth it @LeahBergen ? How could I resist buying that book on Kindle too @quietjenn @Ruthiella ? 🤣 1mo
batsy @CarolynM "Why did we not hear about his feet?" Exactly ? I agree, Val seems like a sweet little guy and hopefully redeems "I'm so awestruck by beauty I can't think straight and who knows I might do it again Jane lol just kidding" Ronnie. 1mo
CarolynM All that “he couldn‘t help it” made me sick. And , yes, I thought there was the distinct possibility he‘d do it again. (edited) 1mo
monalyisha It‘s my first time encountering the #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub tag. Can you tell me more about it? 🤓 1mo
elkeOriginal @batsy @CarolynM I agree about Val! SO glad he turned into a sweet guy after having such a shit mother and being so weird on first meeting him. He was a highlight in the end. 1mo
batsy @monalyisha We pick a book from the Furrowed Middlebrow imprint and read one every other month! The members each post a choice of books and everyone votes on it. I'll try to find the post of the list of titles for 2024 and tag you 🙂 1mo
rubyslippersreads @batsy @Cathythoughts @Ruthiella It seems like some DES Kindle books have a different publisher, at least in the US. I‘ve gotten quite a few for free, but not the FM editions. (edited) 3w
rubyslippersreads @elkeOriginal @batsy @CarolynM I credit Chairley with a lot of the change in Val. 😄 3w
batsy @rubyslippersreads He deserves that credit! Every Val needs a Chairley lol 3w
batsy @rubyslippersreads Ah! I have to use Amazon via the main site (US) so it's entirely possible I grabbed this when it was a free offer for my location (free or discounted for locations outside of the US are becoming rare these days, sadly) 3w
rubyslippersreads @batsy It looks like The Empty World is in the US store, although since I apparently got it free a couple of years ago, maybe it‘s just showing it to me for that reason. 😏 3w
rubyslippersreads @quietjenn @Ruthiella @CarolynM @batsy I realized I have The Empty World on Kindle, so if you‘re doing a group read, I‘d be interested. 🪐 3w
Jess_Read_This All cranky musings on this book are entirely accurate in my opinion. The first half was great. I think because I liked that half so well, it made me forgiving in my review 😂 2w
batsy @Jess_Read_This It's cute overall, but it just got a bit structurally loose towards the end! I think I'm partial to the "young writer comes of age" angle and would have loved more of that and less of Ronnie ? 2w
78 likes33 comments
review
elkeOriginal
Anna and Her Daughters | D.E. Stevenson
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Pickpick

This month‘s #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub read was a gentle, comfy DE Stevenson read about Jane and her sisters. It very much was a 2 parter where the 1st half was a nice resettling of the fam to a cottage in Scotland & everyone finding their way. Part 2 was a rushed fairly hot mess. A year abroad covered in a few paragraphs! Anyhoo, loved our MC and just wanted the best for her. Many characters fell quickly into happy endings. Cute but not her best.

elkeOriginal And as @Aimeesue noted a reference in this to Miss Buncle, I laughed at the at least 2 references to DE‘s famous cousin Robert Louis! 1mo
Ruthiella I think it‘s a law that all Scottish writers have to reference RLS in their novels, whether they are related or not! 😂 Beautiful old edition you have there! 😍 1mo
See All 16 Comments
jlhammar You all have me very excited to read more of her work! Lovely edition. 1mo
Leftcoastzen Nice edition! 1mo
elkeOriginal @jlhammar Must reads are Miss Buncle‘s Book along with the Mrs Tim series. SO good! Thankfully she wrote tons and I have many more yet to read 📚 1mo
elkeOriginal @Leftcoastzen One of my lockdown coping methods was ordering vintage DE Stevenson books because she is so cozy in tough times. 1mo
Leftcoastzen That was a good plan! 👏😄 1mo
LeahBergen @elkeOriginal @Aimeesue I also noticed a reference to a hotel that features in Mrs Tim Gets a Job and a reference to Celia‘s House. I liked the frequent RLS references, too! 😆 1mo
LeahBergen @Ruthiella He‘s quoted a lot in O. Douglas books, too. 😆 1mo
LeahBergen I like your edition, too. 😍 1mo
batsy I just started and I'm liking Jane quite a bit. Love that edition 😍 1mo
quietjenn Such fun Easter eggs. I noticed some of them, but not all of them. Love you edition. 1mo
elkeOriginal @LeahBergen I thought that might be the Mrs Tim hotel! But was too lazy to check. That was my fave Mrs Tim book. (edited) 1mo
CarolynM Great review. I thought the 2 line dismissal of year long world trip was really odd🤷🏻‍♀️ 1mo
elkeOriginal @CarolynM SO weird! Especially when the book started on page 1 with a detailed description of 1 dinner 🙁 1mo
39 likes1 stack add16 comments
review
quietjenn
Anna and Her Daughters | D.E. Stevenson
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Pickpick

This was a warm, easy, and engaging read, as practically all D.E. Stevenson books are, but I wouldn't say it was her most satisfying! There were lots of bits that I loved and a lot of bits that I found very frustrating (details in comments). Overall, I'd say pleasant but uneven, I think. #FurrowedMiddleBrowClub
p.s. having tons of trouble tagging today, so will try to add them later

quietjenn Some things I loved: the premise and initial move to Scotland, the cottage, Jane's work, her adventures with Margaret. Some things I didn't: that no one ever called Helen on her behavior, Anna's disengagement once they get to Scotland, a romance that was lukewarm (at best).
1mo
Ruthiella Totally agree with your review. There was so much potential at the start. But still an easy, entertaining read. 1mo
jlhammar Fantastic review! Yes, it was so interesting that we were meant to pity Helen somewhat for being someone who lives “with blinders on.” She was pretty terrible. 1mo
See All 8 Comments
LeahBergen Your likes and dislikes mirror mine exactly with this one. And yet I couldn‘t help but keep turning the pages. 😆 1mo
Aimeesue Yes! Helen, grrrrrrrr! She was fun to hate though! 😄 1mo
CarolynM Uneven! Yes, very much so! Helen really was awful and Ronnie was a very uninspiring hero. 1mo
elkeOriginal Agree this is definitely not top quality DE. The second half was weird and rushed. (edited) 1mo
batsy Now that I've finished I completely agree with your assessment. I also find it weird how Helen was just dispensed with. I get that she was a problematic character but oh dear. 1mo
63 likes8 comments
review
CarolynM
Anna and Her Daughters | D.E. Stevenson
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Pickpick

#FurrowedMiddlebrowClub

I‘m going to retitle this one Jane and Her Family, since Jane is the narrator & the star of the show. I admired her ability to toss off a first novel and makes revisions in the space of a few days (with apparently no further revisions required by her publisher) & also the way she found daily life at home in Scotland more worthy of detailed report than a year long trip around the world. The romances were… interesting? ⬇️

CarolynM ⬆️ I had to laugh about Andrew‘s enormous feet & Sir Edward‘s silly little feet. I wonder how Ronnie‘s feet measured up. 1mo
Ruthiella Your title is superior! 👍 I liked the first plot twist with Ronnie and his flirtation with all three girls, but the end was a bit icky, IMO. 1mo
CarolynM @Ruthiella Yes, I sort of hoped the “some day” would be far away, but soon would be nice for Val. 1mo
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LeahBergen I think that‘s a much better title, too. 😆 And this really did have some “interesting” romances (that depart from her usual ones, anyway). 1mo
LeahBergen And we have the same edition! 👯‍♀️ 1mo
batsy Lovely photo! (will come back to all the reviews when I'm done :) 1mo
Cathythoughts That is a gorgeous photo 🥰 I‘d love to be sitting on that bench x 1mo
quietjenn Ah, you've phrased things very nicely. And your photo is ideal. 🙂 1mo
jlhammar So lovely. I‘d love to read away the afternoon in that spot. And yes to your title! 1mo
batsy Having just finished I totally agree with your title 😆 And yes my favourite bits were about Jane and her work. I would have liked more of Mrs Millard as mentor/prickly elder! 1mo
rubyslippersreads That‘s a much better title. Gorgeous cover! 😍 3w
76 likes11 comments