Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book Review: With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin

Lt. Mellie Blake is looking forward to beginning her training as a flight nurse. She is not looking forward to writing a letter to a man she's never met- even if it is anonymous and part of a morale-building program. Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer stationed in North Africa, welcomes the idea of an anonymous correspondence-he's been trying to escape his infamous name for years.  As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other's true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face-to-face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage by their pasts?
The reason I picked this book up in the first place was because Mellie was a flight nurse. Nursing is one of my favorite things to read about and my favorite Cherry Ames was the one in which she is a flight nurse. That being the case, I was elated to find a “deeper” book in the same setting. Nursing is still my favorite part of the story, yet as I read I grew to like it for more reasons than that. First, I loved the Christian element Mrs. Sundin put in, but still without being preachy as it flows so naturally in the letters between the pen-pals. Mellie has trouble with being shy and reserved, which I can relate to. Her shyness puts me in mind of another heroine who is shy, but who does not deal with it in such a satisfactory way (Valancy, I'm looking at you ;)). For one thing, Valancy runs away and Mellie deals with it right where she is. Another thing I enjoyed was the way Mrs. Sundin crafted the story with so many parallels between Tom and Mellie's story, etc. The romance was also well balanced with deeper themes. This book also made me “think” more than many books I have read. I picked up this book with high expectations and I am happy to say it did not disappoint!

Around the World in 365 Days: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Italy.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Movie Spotlight: Yankee Buccaneer (1952)

Thanks to Hamlette for hosting this blog-a-thon and so inspiring me to write this review in the first place! Let us give her three cheers!

For most of my life Pirates did not attract me in the least. I would have liked to have liked them as I love the ocean, and the exotic places which were their legendary lurking places have always fascinated me, but I have never been attracted to the swashbuckling, mustache-swirling type—and be it true or be it false that is what I thought they all were. I did not seek them out and the only place we ever crossed paths was most often when I happened to see something in stores connected to “Pirates of the Caribbean”. And there for a time the matter rested.

However, the tide makes many changes and when in my surfing of the blogging world I ran across a review of "Double of Crossbones" I was caught. A classic with Donald O'Conner as the main character?  Pirate or no, this I must see and so we did and we (especially Arwen and I) loved it...(but that is truly its own story). Suffice to say, Arwen got a DVD collection including “Double Crossbones” and with it came an obscure film called “Yankee Buccaneer”. I read that the costumes were not good and the story was only fine...and I decided without any other thought that it was not worth watching. Lesson One: Do not believe everything you read on the internet. For had not time overcome my scruples, I shudder to think what I would have missed. One thing I have found, is that I tend to like the Bloodthirsty Dave order of pirates, or at least the ones who are not particularly swashbuckling and the Captain especially (in Yankee Buccaneer) is not exactly that.

Still, the statements were in part true: the sailors outfits could have been more realistic and the plot a little more tightly woven. Yet what I read missed one thing—the characters: Farragut, the Countess, even *cough* that irritating Link, but above all...The Captain! But I shall maintain calm and not get ahead of my story.

One of the most comical bits about this story is how the ship's crew is masquerading as pirates, hence they are supposed to be picture perfect specimens and the sight of the no-nonsense captain in such a costume is highly diverting. Also, the sight of Farragut striding about in his purple magenta pants is unforgettable. As for the red and blue Spanish uniforms, however, they are equally unforgettable—but in quite a different way.

Farragut: I have not quite been able to decide whether he or the Captain is the main character. Farragut goes though a great deal of maturing in the film as we see him go from new recruit (making some rather foolish mistakes) to—well—the man he is at the end of the film. I didn't like him at all the first time I watched it, mainly for a reason I will not mention (and no, it is not because of his purple pants), however, I have forgiven him his offense and on this third (or fourth?) viewing I decided I quite like him.

The Countess Margarita La Raguna is brave and clever and lovely. She has a wardrobe to match and I am still trying to see how I could pull off her taffeta skirt, tapestry sash, and blouse look.

And now...Captain Porter.

When thinking of someone to compare him with, Jean Valjean always comes to mind. But he is so much more as he is very much the commander and man of action. Strict with his men, he demands nothing of them that he would not do himself. Besides which, he is also the king of cutting-edge lines. I will not spill any secrets here, but I must say that the ending is incredible and chair-gripping terrific—with certain people galloping around the jungle and fencing. And (though it might seem silly) the first time we watched it I was nearly in tears because “the Captain was just like Jean Valjean and I knew they were going to kill him!” But now I love it and to see Arwen and I watching it is quite the sight as we sit in our chairs—bouncing and shrieking periodically throughout the entire last fifteen minutes of the film. Writing of the Captain, a line of my brother's comes to mind that he once said about Will Kane in “High Noon” and—interestingly enough—could also I think describe this (one of my other favorite heroes): “He is a tough guy that doesn’t need to prove it to anyone.”

I freely admit that the reason I love this film is because of Captain Porter—but there are other lovely and exciting bits, too—so altogether I like it very, very much indeed!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Book Review: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

 Nathaniel Bowditch grew up in a sailor’s world—Salem in the early days, when tall-masted ships from foreign ports crowded the wharves. But Nat didn’t promise to have the makings of a sailor; he was too physically small. Nat may have been slight of build, but no one guessed that he had the persistence and determination to master sea navigation in the days when men sailed only by “log, lead, and lookout.” Nat’s long hours of study and observation, collected in his famous work, The American Practical Navigator (also known as the “Sailors’ Bible”), stunned the sailing community and made him a New England hero.

You know those books from young childhood. The ones where you remember the feel of the cover and the pages between your fingers and most of all the vividness of the story upon your young mind. And you love the memory of it yet you sometimes wonder, “Is it really as good as I thought it was?” Then perhaps you find it again and pick it up, wondering all the time and also a little worried that it might not be as good as you thought. You read half of the book in one sitting. You take notes because the book has just so much information! The seed the story left in your imagination and heart through all those years grows even deeper and you find even more. So it was with this story of a young man who 'sailing by the ash breeze' refused to be daunted by any setback, and who learned and studied everywhere he went. A man who after the age of twelve never received any official tutoring and who ended up receiving an honorary degree from Harvard. A man who saw his dreams smashed and pluckily rose up to greater ones. The story and writing are easy to read and simple to grasp as I found it a decade ago, but it is now also inspiring and convicting...and still as memorable. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Book Review: Lost Horizon by James Hilton

“In sight of Karakal misgivings faded, and qualms about his three companions were lost in an uncanny acceptance of the new world that lay so far beyond their guesses. There came a time, he realized, when the strangeness of everything made it increasingly difficult to realize the strangeness of anything; when one took things for granted merely because astonishment would have been as tedious for oneself as for others.”                       
                                                                                                                                                                    -  from Lost Horizon  

   First introduced to the stories of James Hilton through the classic film “Random Harvest” with Greer Garson and Ronald Coleman (there is genius right there!) and having read a fair amount about “Lost Horizon” itself, I was prepared for the book...or so I thought. However, what I was not expecting was the crystalline sharpness of the prose as it echoed the frigid and withdrawn beauty of the Himalayas. Indeed the entire skill of the author in keeping every point of the story remote and on a higher–nigh fantastic plain was incredible. He even practically ignores the verdant valley of Shangri-La rather focusing on the higher clarity of the mountains above. Really, the quotation above describes the entire storyline of “Lost Horizon” itself as it follows the stories of four travelers and languidly hints at the life of the monks and people of the mountain valley as they pursue their lives, free from the horror of war and the wild rush of civilization.

Hence, (perhaps not very surprisingly) I found myself linking it in my mind to quite another story - “Brigadoon”. Both show the innocence and beauty the world was fast forgetting in the new enlightenment of technology. Both show general disillusionment. And both tell of villages (or in the case of “LH”, a monastery) set apart from time and the rest of the world. Brigadoon has its Dominie; Shangri-la its High Lama. So in some ways the stories do address the same problems the world faces. Yet several of the key points are quite different. Brigadoon's “Blissen” is directly from God. Shangri-La's is a remote state based on the eating of a special herb and the unique air of the valley resulting in a high state of mental clarification. Shangri-La's peace and contentment is from its training of the mind and body into a state of perfect moderation. Brigadoon's is quite the opposite as the entire story is a vibrant romance with dance and laughter and love as it swirls with the pulse of village life. One of my favorite differences is that while Shrangi-La has to replenish its inhabitants through any means they can–even kidnapping–and once there they must stay, whether they will or no. Brigadoon is surprised–a very emotion of which the High Lama would not have approved–at the sight of strangers and the only way to stay there is if–as the Dominie tells Tommy Albright–they love not Brigadoon itself, but someone there. It is at this point that the order of Shangri-La would have died as one man–from horror at such extravagance of feeling; that is if shock itself was not too fiery an emotion.

In the end, they are both unique stories, each having strong points; both could trigger different reactions in different personalities. One of the good points “Lost Horizon” raises is the hearty futility and foolishness of war, however the whole basis of Shangri-La turns on the idea of moderation. Or in other words, a state of being lukewarm–and that I cannot approve. According to the apostle Paul, it is one of the worst states to be in! We are to love laughter and light, and the more I ponder the idea of a perfectly moderated existence, the less it appeals to me. I like adventures and spirited horses and cats that behave like excitable kittens. At the same time, however, we are to strive for perfection in all our doings and those cool, remote, crystalline drinks of creation caught in mountains and meadows and libraries and in all the quiet pathways of God's world do fill our hearts with another part of life. So keep “Lost Horizon” for those times–and enjoy the sip. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #1: God's Will

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Two stubborn hearts with no common ground must work together when the Great Depression ravages the nation. Kathy Andrews is good at goodbyes. Her mother is sent to a sanatorium, her sister, left behind in Chicago, and her father, forced to roam looking for work. So she holds close the only person she has left, her brother, Danny. When the two go to live with the Marshalls in the sleepy town of Brighton, she doesn't let anyone past hello. Elliot Russell frowns at his aunt and uncle's generosity--even though he and his sister are on the receiving end. He frowns, too, at the uppity city girl with a chip on her shoulder whom he can't get out of his head.
When a tragedy rips apart when tenuous existence they manage to forge, will they find the sweetest place to be is in God's will--or will they turn their backs on faith that fails to protect against pain?

Why I am looking forward to it...
Megan (from Just As I Am) recently announced that this (her debut novel) is shortly going to be published and I can hardly wait to read  it! The story synopsis is so interesting and the cover has a neat vintage-y feel.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book Review: Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

'”Elinor, starting back with a look of horror at the sight of him, obeyed the first impulse of her heart in turning instantly to quit the room, and her hand was already on the lock, when its action was suspended by his hastily advancing, and saying, in a voice rather of command than supplication:
  'Miss Dashwood, for half an hour–for ten minutes–I entreat you to stay... My business is with you, and only with you.'
  'With me!'–in the utmost amazement–'well, sir–be quick–and if you can–less violent.'
   'Sit down, and I will be both.'
   She hesitated, she knew not what to do... After a moment's recollection... concluding that prudence required dispatch, and that her acquiescence would best promote it, she walked silently toward the table and sat down.”
                                                                                                                                                            -from Sense & Sensibility

Sense & Sensibility is surely the classic romance encapsulated: contrasting pairs of sisters, mysterious suitors, dastardly suitors, secrets, and (though it is only spoken of) even a duel between a hero and villain. Perfection indeed. Yet, though it has so much of what could be excitement and even scandal in that which takes place, it is all written in an elegance of style and tone–with a delicate handling of dialogue and description that tells so little and says so much. Clever writing, indeed, as such a tactic keeps you happily coming back for more! That and the characters are so straightforward and everyday-like and yet have an aura of romance around them, too.

I feel as though I grew up on the story, yet on each concentrated rereading I experience something new. For instance, I have always had a hearty dislike for Willoughby–nothing extremely personal, but he divides Colonel Brandon from Marianne and for that I could not forgive him. On this reading, however, I found myself catapulting along with Elinor’s thoughts upon the subject. (Note: I said Elinor not Marianne. M goes a little to far with her feelings.) I almost wish W and M could have been united...but not quite. Willoughby's character and actions are at all times utterly selfish while on the other hand Colonel Brandon truly deserves and loves her. I regret nothing. Another thing noted was that Marianne did not become ill with love for Willoughby, but from shock at his true character, actions, and what his designs upon her might have been. Very slight difference, but adds a great deal to her character.

At the end of this reading I came away with my feelings once more cemented. Though I love the rest of Miss Austen's stories as well, Sense & Sensibility is and always will be my favorite.

Note: This is my third review for the Jane Austen Review Challenge.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book Review: "The Lady of the Lake" by Sir Walter Scott

“Harp of the North! that mouldering long hast hung
On the witch-elm that shades Saint Fillan's spring,”

Thus begins one of the loveliest poems composed by man. I have never been a great reader of poetry as I find it tends to make me too introspective and musing and generally overly romantic, yet poetry can live and breathe in such magical ways and I have always dreamed of finding that poetry which would swirl, the way people describe its behavior in books. No doubt you wonder why I give these details? Because all of the above describes “The Lady of the Lake”. It is whimsical and romantic yet it pounds with adventure and battle tension, the poetry going from sylvan to warlike with startling swiftness. One moment you are enjoying mountain vistas and then with a sudden whirl about you are in the midst of scenes of war, dashing you in hopeless delight and heart-stopping power along with it. The poetry mingles things borrowed from history with the things of legend so that the one does not leave before the other begins. Scott based the poem in places he knew well and his love shines through the words. Perhaps he did make the place a little more romantic than it truly was, but he did it so perfectly that in his story and writing he created a flawless world of his own. I was not expecting to be swept away by this poem, but I found myself caught into this work that weaves the richness of countries discovered with that of fairytales.

“The wild rose, eglantine, and broom
Wasted around their rich perfume;
The birch-trees wept in fragrant balm;
The aspens slept beneath the calm;
The silver light, with quivering glance,
Played on the water's still expanse -
Wild were the heart whose passion's sway
Could rage beneath the sober ray! “

- Canto I: XXXV

Monday, March 10, 2014

Movie Spotlight: Emma (1996)

For my second review, as part of the Jane Austen Review Challenge, I am featuring the delightful and sparkling version of “Emma” starring Gwyneth Paltrow.

Accuracy to book: The story is slightly condensed, but nevertheless it very much keeps the rhythm and atmosphere of the book and point by point stays very close to the original work. Frank Churchill is not quite as unkind and rude to A Certain Person and is not quite as completely deceitful as shown in the book. Not quite as much of John and Isabella is seen in the film, as in the book. However I am not a serious, sign waving, accurate-to-the book-or-die kind of personage. I simply wish the adaptation to be true to the tone of the book, in which point I think the filmmakers and actors made a very pleasing achievement.

Costumes: Of all the period drama wardrobes I have had the pleasure of viewing, Emma's is among my favorites. Each gown is fresh and lovely and becomes her so particularly well, that they are perfectly delightful to view. My personal favorites are the pale lime green gown that she wears when Mr. and Mrs. Elton come to tea, and the Box Hill picnic gown with the ivory colored overdress with the sage green vine pattern upon it. The other characters outfits are also well done. -. the most memorable being Mrs. Elton’s fashionable ensembles, her church one in particular being so...extraordinary, especially in contrast to Emma's simple elegance.

Scenery/Sets: Lovely, lovely, lovely! The scenery is exactly like a fairyland–or nigh on a fairy-land–for it is the English countryside, and what a lovely flower bedecked and sunny spot it is.

Music: The music interlaces perfectly with the rest of the film–rippling with a lighthearted and satisfactory tone.

The People -

Emma – Emma is the type of character who it seems would be difficult to play as she must at once be meddlesome and have a certain charm which makes her somewhat likeable. I confess that Emma has never been one of my favorite Austen heroines, but this Emma very nearly makes me reconsider. Showing both her flaws and foibles, her true sweetness and ultimate ability to be shown where she was mistaken, she not only executes her character to perfection, but has a naturally fine beauty and elegance. She also complements Mr. Knightley most excellently.

Mr. Knightley – Ah, Mr. Knightley. What a heavy duty he carries as the second most popular Austen hero. Does he bear it well? Yes, indeed. He is not afraid in the least of saying the plain and exact truth–even if it might make him unpopular with a Certain Young Person. As for this portrayal,  he simply evinces the true gentleman. when he smiles and laughs and says “EmMA,” in his peculiar Mr. Knightley manner,  he is just so –likeable and charming.

Harriet – is wonderful. She is not exactly clever, but very sweet and pleasing. I very much liked how, though she does in a way fall in love with two other men, underneath–despite both Emma and herself–she still likes Robert Martin the best. This is shown by how fluttered she becomes when she meets him whereas with Mr. Elton she was just more awkward and disquieted.

The Others –  Mrs. Elton happens to be played by one of my all-time favorite actresses, Juliet Stevenson. Fashionable and nettlesome, I not only say so myself, but my friends tell me that she is hilarious, irritating perfection itself. (For the movie trivia persons: you can also see her as quirky and kind Miss Heliotrope in “The Secret of Moonacre”.) Mr. and Mrs. Weston are both excellently done–as is Mr. Woodhouse.

Favorite Moments and Final Thoughts: Some of my favorite moments: the proposal – “Oh dear..dear? Oh! The deer we need for the um–venison stew!”  and “I do not wish to call you 'friend', because I wish to call you something much dearer.” Ah, yes–that whole sequence is a favorite of mine. As is Emma's first tea with Mrs. Elton. From my father to my littlest sister my whole family enjoys this film. There is not one indecent scene and it is romantic without being overly sentimental and lighthearted without being shallow. The entire aura of the story and characters–every little bit of the film, in fact, is so perfectly lovely that it leaves one feeling incredibly satisfied and cheerful. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Book Review: Shirley by Charlotte Brontë

“Shirley” takes place in rural Yorkshire during the regency period. Caroline is the pretty and quiet niece of the parish rector, stern Mr. Helstone. She spends much of her time with her distant cousins, Robert and Hortense Moore. Caroline is in love with Robert, but he is more worried about how bad the business affairs revolving around his mill are going. Enter Shirley: the young and charming mistress of Fieldhead, a local manor house. Shirley and Caroline become fast friends, their dissimilar natures complementing each other beautifully. But things are far from idyllic. Robert's cotton mill (which Shirley has shares in) is about to fail and Robert seems to be attracted to Shirley. The working class is getting more and more discontented, growing violent from lack of work (or simply a wish to stir up trouble) and some of the leaders will stop at nothing to get revenge.

 To begin with, I really entered into the feelings of the characters. At one point for instance, Shirley and Caroline are spending a summer night together at the rectory and they are waiting for something to happen. I found myself getting all tight and tense as if I was sitting right beside them. The descriptions of the countryside and weather are beautiful.

As for the characters, they are very well crafted. Caroline is so sweet and just the sort of girl one would wish for a friend. She finds herself in a situation where she could easily become bitter toward two people, but instead she buries her feeling as far as she is able, and not allowing them to interfere with her friendships, she unselfishly devotes herself to working for others. Shirley is a harder person to define. At times I loved her and at others she made me furious! But then that is the way she affects people in the story. She even drives her best friends crazy at times with her odd freaks of temper (one of the only people she does not confuse is a certain man, but I won't tell you his name!). One thing I do admire about her is that she is not a flirt. At one point, when she finds out that she had unknowingly led someone astray concerning her feelings, she is shocked and takes all the responsibility (terribly embarrassed that she might lead someone to think she was trying to catch a husband).  Mr. Moore reminded me of Mr. Thornton–actually it should be the other way round, since Shirley was written five years before N&S (Gaskell must have read “Shirley”)–anyway, they seemed similar in many points, not the least of which being that they are both stern men on the outside, but can be very gentle and tender with their womenfolk and both have difficulty connecting to their workers.

“Shirley” is high on my list of favorite classics.  Miss Brontë's writing style and choice of words are refreshing to read. This is a classic that definitely deserves to be more well known!

Stars: 5/5

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Movie Spotlight: Persuasion (2007)

This is my first post for the Jane Austen Review Challenge hosted by Miss Bennet at Classic Ramblings.

For the most part my favorite Jane Austen film tends be the one I last viewed (except, of course, in the case of it being an Unforgivably Repulsive Version). However, this Persuasion is certainly in my top three favorites. Possibly even the very first, excepting the S&S '95/'08 (I always count those as one film :) ). So now that we have that important disclaimer written concerning my view on this film, we will proceed forth to the logistics.

Though this Persuasion does take a few liberties with the story I think it stays very faithful to the tone of Miss Austen's work. And as for the little bits that the filmmakers add, I think they transcribe some of those feelings that are only told of in the novel–as well as being the type of “story moments” that make you grip the sides of your chair with excitement at either the sweetness or the tension of the scene. And that brings me to another reason why I love this film–it is simply so poignant. While all the costumes and scenery are very well done, they never detract from the story and it is the characters faces and personalities for which you remember the movie, though, to be sure, it is of great assistance that the characters are excellent.

The Characters: IMHO Sally Hawkins is the perfect Anne. She is not a stunning beauty, but I think the filmmakers made her less “pretty” on purpose. One begins to notice her expressions and eyes so much more than one might. Anne's looks are not meant to be her strong point, instead it is her character, her gentle ways, and the actions she performs that set her apart. And besides, my sister Heidi and I think that her beauty really does become more apparent on each viewing.

Rupert Penry-Jones is flawless as Captain Wentworth, in that his flaws are the flaws of Captain Wentworth and not that of his own performance. He shows how Captain Wentworth is hurt and angry, but how he can still not help but care for Anne. I love how he tends to gravitate toward Anne–not as if he is the Ghost of Resentful Suitor Past–but simply because, though quite unconscious of it himself, he feels pleasure in being near her.  Witness the scene where he picks her up after she falls off the log...*happy sigh*...I love that scene. He is also of the right age and appearance for Captain Wentworth.

All of the sub-characters are well done, however my favorite is Captain Harville. In the book he is–for the most part–a very minor character, but in this film you see more glimpses of his and Captain Wentworth's friendship–which is really neat–and as he is “there” for multiple characters, you get to see what an amazing man he is.  :)

Altogether this is a simply beautiful movie and I very highly recommend it!

Stars: 5 + / 5

Monday, January 13, 2014

Book Review: Shattered Summer by Madeleine Polland

In the summer of 1685, Monmouth landed on the Dorset, declaring himself the legitimate son of Charles II and claiming the throne. Duke's man or King's man? Loyalties are divided as Monmouth rides through the West Country at the head of his random – farmers armed with only scythes and pitchforks. And the young girl Frances, who is thrown from her sheltered life into the heart of the uprising, finds herself doubting the one man she had trusted, and uncertain even of where her love belongs.
THE book. You know the book I am speaking of. The one that when you are finished reading, you feel as if you could start reading it over at once. And you do. And then you do it again; and again. Everyone has that book, I think. “Shattered Summer” is mine. I read it for the first time last spring and I cannot say how many times I read it before it had to go back to the library. But now I have it for my very own and I am one happy girl. :) 
So what is it about this story that keeps it from being just another romance? First, there is serious and understanding William Powell who keeps both Frances (and the story) sane. Second, there is Lady Sarah, Frances' mother, who is fluttery and flustered when little things go wrong and discerning and capable when great matters are at stake. Finally there is gentle, quick, and confused Frances herself. Frances who makes, with William, one of my very favorite literary couples.
And why else do I love this story? Did I mention that there are lovely descriptions of houses and the English countryside–and drama? But not really drama of the directly romantic kind, but of the soldier-and-battle-wound variety, and that is one of my favorite kinds. It is a simple story, but it breathes of the warm, rich, haze of summer and other lovely things like that. It one of those tales that keeps coming to mind, refusing to be put away in the attic and forgotten.

Stars: 5 + of 5 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas Spotlights

Today I would like to share mini- reviews of three Christmas films that I greatly enjoy:

“Little Women” (1933) -  I have seen three adaptions of Little Women (including the 1994 film) and this is definitely my favorite. Katharine Hepburn is the Jo of the book come alive. And all of the rest of the cast play their parts excellently as well. The sets are very good and all the dresses are fun and pretty. Though it is a fairly short film it has all the gaiety, cozy spirit and freshness of the novel. It is one of my all time favorite movies and I highly recommend it!

“Love Comes Softly” -  Yet another top favorite, “Love Comes Softly” is one of those stories that at the end of which you feel blissful and contented. I am not going to describe the story here, I will simply say that it is very sweet.  The scenery is stunning with many views of breathtaking western vistas. And though small, the cast is excellent. Clark and Marty also happen to be one of my favorite film couples. So, watch this film for the characters, the story, or the scenery, any way it is wonderful!

“The Gift of Love” -  This film takes place in early 1900's New York City. The story revolves around a beautiful young heiress, Beth, and Rudi, a Swiss immigrant. The bird watching naturalist Beth is supposed to marry is hilarious and there are several very fun ice skating scenes. It is a fairly straightforward story and if you are in the mood for some simple romance with pleasant characters it makes for an enjoyable viewing experience. As my father said it is altogether: “A fun little movie.” 

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