Today’s post is a reading journal for the next installment in the Elsie Dinsmore series which I started re-reading last year. This is the last post, because I re-read books 3 and 4 at a rapid pace I didn’t get much time to write down thoughts while reading them. Let’s just say that after book 4 I had had my fill and couldn’t stand to read any more. Check out my review of book 1, Elsie Dinsmore before continuing with this post. I also want to note that some of the thoughts and beliefs I mention in this post are not ones that I still hold to.
*Sorry for the blurry cover picture, every version of this cover is tiny and when I enlarge it it comes out very pixelated.*
January 24th, 2022
I don’t like this book. It seems to be, if I remember correctly the worst book in the series. Once again, we have Elsie being too legalistic, but also her father being to harsh on her for sticking to her obedience to God…although again there is the whole issue that she is being disobedient to her father. But her father is definitely a tyrant and it’s almost as if he baits her in some ways. He needs to realize that he is to blame for how strictly she holds to her beliefs because he was out of her life for 8 years.
I do feel it unjust that her family blames her for his illness getting worse, I’m even shocked at Aunt Adelaide being one of them. I don’t know it’s just horrible. I get it’s supposed to be moralistic fiction but the cruelty Elsie experiences is awful. Also her crying, yes, I get that she is sensitive, I consider myself to be too, but she definitely cries too much to the point that I don’t know if some of it is manipulative (if I can say that) to the readers on how they need to be “better Christians” because they aren’t “grieved over their sins” like she is…I have a lot of thoughts on that that I won’t get into here, except that sometimes there is too much of a focus on sin that people miss that they have been saved by the blood of Christ and can also experience joy.
Some of Horace’s words about getting Elsie to submit sound as if he was talking about breaking a horse or some other type of animal. It’s honestly shocking language to use. Again, I know this is set during a different time, but it is still appalling, I know that the author is doing this intentionally, but at the same time it is horrifying. His blatant neglect of his daughter because she wouldn’t read him a particular story is so absurd. And her reads all of her correspondence. It’s so controlling.
Oh my gosh, this is abuse!!! Telling her that no one will love her anymore because of her “willful temper,” sure I don’t agree with her for not obeying her father, but she is doing everything that she can to make amends without doing what she thinks would be sinful. Horace Dinsmore is an abusive oaf! Sure, Elsie isn’t my favorite, but the way he talks to her and controls her you’d think she is out of control, when she isn’t. Good gravy!! Again, I know that the author is using this as a device for something that happens to his character later on, but still it is awful. I want to cry on her behalf because of how badly she is being treated.
The audacity that her grandfather judged her when she hasn’t really done anything wrong, meanwhile his own children are little devils. Good grief, the levels of abuse that this girl has to endure is astounding.
Whelp, I finished it. There was so much I disliked about the book, particularly how Elsie is treated and how it takes her almost dying for people to start treating her right. Also, what is up with the author finishing the book on a cliffhanger of sorts? It’s kind of annoying that the first two books ended like this, I’m curious to see if the same thing happens in the next book. I don’t know why I keep reading these. Onward and upward…sort of. Onto the next one.
Janelle L. C.