Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Austentatious (2015)

I wish we were talking about that awesome ’80s song, you know me…

But alas, no. We are instead discussing-Austentatious (2015)

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Yes, I really, really do not like this show or how they portray the characters. But I started it, so I’ve got to finish it.

Ugh!

So Austentatious is the story of Elinor, Marianne, Emma, Elizabeth, and Mr. Knightley being friends in modern times. In the last episode Collins (Mr. Collins from P&P) was trying to get with Elizabeth:

Elizabeth is trying to find a home for the insufferable Mr. Darcy-like they right him really bad.

Uh oh

Emma hired Marianne temporarily and she is back to looking for a new job. But not doing well in that at all…mostly because they make her a dunderhead.

And Elinor got a promotion, had to deal with a mess at the office (she’s an accountant), and meet the handsome and fun Edward Ferras-IRS agent.

So in this episode Elinor, Emma, and Lizzie are hanging out at the coffee ship and Elizabeth lets Elinor have some of her smoothie-all I can think is no!! Never!!!

I never share drinks after I did with someone and they gave me a cold sore.

Lizzie is picking out colors for a family photo. Now is this really a thing? They always show people doing this in movies and TV, but my family only did it twice when I was a baby and the when I was sixteen. Otherwise our photos were just at weddings and events, etc. Did anyone have a family where they took family photos every year?

Elinor’s hair looks darker than the other episodes in the series, I wonder if she dyed it or if she wears a wig.

Hmm…

Marianne is applying but no one will hire her because of her lack of experience. Elinor acts like Marianne must be making this up to get out of working, but I remember it being like that. It’s hard out there.

But wait, Marianne does have some experience working for Emma and Darcy’s office. Why doesn’t she try a temp agency?

Hmm…?

Elinor finds out that the cafe is hiring and grabs an app for her sister.

Lizzie mentions that they took a “jean on jean” picture years ago…first of all-yuck that has bad idea written all over it. And secondly, no flashback? Really? I know this didn’t have a humongous budget, bit still-now that you have said it I want to see it. Since we don’t have that I’ll gift you with this.

And why is Lizzie looking at paint samples? Is that how you really choose a background?

So every one in the Bennet family wants a different color and its up to Elizabeth to find a compromise. I have to say that one thing this show does right is name drop her sisters, we hear Jane, Kitty, and Lydia. A lot of retellings cut them out-making Elizabeth an only child, or just have one sibling. It just doesn’t work in my opinion, as anyone with a sister knows-you guys influence each other and make each other’s personalities.

Elinor is thrilled that she scored Marianne an interview at the coffee shop. Marianne is still asleep, the call waking her up.

Marianne is less than thrilled and asks about free milkshakes. Elinor is not amused, but I think it is a valid question and I would have asked the same thing. You know me and free…

Marianne thinks food service is a bit lame, but agrees to come. Okay so Marianne finally has  cute outfit, yes, they were putting her in some weird stuff. Blue lace dress, small rope belt at the waist, and knee high boots-I’d wear that in a millisecond.

I love my shoes!

She plans to wear that to work and Lizzie isn’t sure it will work, but doesn’t say anything. I think she definitely should wear more comfortable shoes, but every coffee shop and cafe that I’d ever gone to, if they don’t have uniforms, their staff have worn all kinds of things. So it isn’t too crazy or anything.

The two are amazed at books that help you choose and coordinate colors and that people have “seasons”. I’m shocked they have never heard of this, I mean Marianne is supposed to be a fashionista girl. But I mean the terms “my color”, “having my colors done”, “what’s your season”, or “I’m a ___” are things people were saying before 2015. Although you know what I think:

And how could they have missed these with all the different shows on HGTV or WE or Lifetime?

Marianne is late for her first day and is all no big deal-really? Why do they always make Marianne so dumb.

And Elizabeth is over at Elinor’s at 3:30? Doesn’t she have a job and work to do? And why would she think 9 to 5 Elinor would be home at 3:30?

Elinor is trying to help Lizze choose colors and patterns, but why? Didn’t we establish in the other episode that she has zero fashion taste? Why isn’t Lizzie asking Emma?

Maybe because she is the only one doing her job.

Lizzie is freaking out what color to pick and I’m just like go with Navy Blue. Navy blue is the best color that looks goos on everyone. I have never met a person that cannot pull of navy blue.

So we hear a bit about Lizzie;s sisters. Mary is conservative (gray turtlenecks), Jane classic and sweet (pastels), Lydia wild (neon, ’80s, and animal print), and Kitty slightly less wild that Lydia (a tamer version). I have to say good job writer’s, it appears someone read the book or saw a movie as this is spot on. I can imagine their modern-day equivalents wearing these.

Marianne bursts in, a mess and shares her day. She was told off by her boss, Eric, for being late, has to wear an apron, and messes up a lot. Well-jeez I don’t blame her. The guy didn’t even train her. Now I have never worked as a barista, but I think I would have a new employee come in early to show them how things are done and how to work the equipment. Do they just throw you into it? Can anyone chime in on this?

Eric rushes her again and again, which is odd as she just started. You think he would cut the new girl, on her first day, with no barista experience, a break. Seriously, I mean you saw her resume-what were you expecting?

Elinor is super controlling again and determined to make sure Marianne keeps her job and wants her friends to help. You can’t control the world Elinor. Bedsides, her boss Eric seems a bit of a jerk to me, he might just fire her.

Elinor

Is Elinor sitting on the Smoothie Shop’s couch with bare feet. Ew-that’s not your couch. That’s a public one. And why ARE YOUR SHOES off in a CAFE??

Anyways, Elinor convinces Emma and Lizzie to come by everyday and, make Marianne look good so that she can keep her job.

So here we are and I’m thinking this has like zero to do with Jane Austen. Like why even make a show based o the characters of Jane Austen when it has like nothing to do with it at all. It’s amazing when you compare this to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and see how well done that was in a modern adaptation that kept to the source material. Even Fall For You went on some other paths, but they kept the heart of the novels in there. What does any of this have to do with anything.

And why do they make Marianne so dumb and lazy. Marianne was a young rich girl, who suddenly lost everything one day, She never had to do anything as they had servants and she does’t adapt as quickly as Elinor. She also was a avid reader and a talented musician and had brains in her head.

So back to the show, not only has Elinor got the girls into it she calls up George, uh no they changed the name to something else-Garrett? I think? Anyways Knightley comes too. How long has Elionr been sitting there? Doesn’t she have a job? I mean I know she was promoted but I thought that meant more responsibilities-like dealing with the IRS, not more time to sit shoeless in a coffee shop. Still not over that.

So in the next scene Elinor is finally at work-finally. She complains about Marianne all the time not working, but hey you’ve been living in a coffee shop. She wears a t-shirt to work. I would expect a newly promoted accountant to wear something more professional, or at least not jeans-but whatever.

Lizzie interrupts her with bunches of clothes-and I ask, doesn’t she have a job she’s supposed to be working at?

Elinor listens to Lizzie as she complains no one is listening to her and actually gives good advice to her friend. They picked Lizzie to be in charge so she gets to make the decision and all have to live with it.

Knightley discusses Elinor’s “great plan” with Emma and Emma wants nothing to do with it from moment one thinks its a bad idea but wants to support her friend, that’s sweet.

Knightley talks to Emma–and hey, why isn’t he at work either, he has a job doesn’t he? I’m sorry I know I keep repeating myself, but its because of Elinor. She is always harping about Marianne not working, and in the other episodes we saw them all at their jobs-that them not doing that is a hundred times more obvious and in your face.

Kinghtley asks Emma why someone who loves love so much would be working in divorce. That’s what I’ve been asking to! Out of all the thousand professions in the world they could have given her-why the heck a divorce lawyer.

She says she is good at it even though it thoroughly depresses her. So Emma admits that is one of the reason she likes matching people up. Well if you hate it, why’d you pick that area of law.

What the heck!

Knightly complains about all disastrous dates he’s been on and all I have to say is why do we get this flashback, but no jean on jean? I really want to see that now.

I’ll just to google it.

I have to say Knightley’s reasons for why he doesn’t like the women were pretty shallow-what a jerk. One’s hair is too big, one talked too much too fast, and one mixed up her authors-okay not going to lie that last one I couldn’t deal with. If I had to talk to someone about Darles Chicken, Clom, Tancy, and Sparkiles Nicks, I would go a bit cuckoo.

Emma and Knightley argue over why Emma is looking for Knightley’s match…blah, blah, blah and all I can think is that on Emma’s computer are a bunch of videos as if she is on Youtube. Well call me Elinor because I’m going to say it again Is anybody working?

And before you say well they are just meeting up at work or whatever, these scenes don’t have to be shot at the office. These all would have worked way better at a home, or a coffee shop, or park, etc.

I can’t tell what type of video they are watching but one looks like a dog on a skateboard (but it looks more like an ad), another is something in a baseball field, and the third two people on a couch.

Huhhhhhhh

Next scene is Lizzie in the park, so see-they could have done this in the park! BOOM!

Lizzie starts looking at the color book and says you are more important than my job, rent, or food-just kidding. She keeps looking at it and then just gives up.

Back at the cafe, Elizabeth and Knightley are hanging out at the cafe. And Elizabeth asks Knightley fashion advice. Now I find it odd that out of all the people in this show she hasn’t asked Emma, Emma who loves to give advice and loves fashion. Weird choice writers, weird.

Knightley thinks Mrs. Bennet’s choices are weird. He then listens to Lizzie and actually asks questions about it trying to help. Liz asks Knightly about his day and he tells her he has been doing nothing but what Emma says. Lizzie ask him why he doesn’t say no and he says its because it makes Emma feel good.

She then asks him if he ever thought about asking Emma out- and I’m like writer’s 10 points for you. It was done in a great way. Good job. Its like boom, so obvious to everyone you like each other-but Lizzie is tactful in suggesting it. It’s funny, but it actually reminds me of that scene in Emma (1996) AKA the Gywenth Paltrow version when Emma is all after all we aren’t brother and sister and Knightley is all, yes we are not brother and sister. In this Knightley is all we are friends, and Lizzie is all well friends make the best romantic relationships. It’s not the same but still a cute nod, whether intentional or not.

And then Knightley admits that he is interested in Emma. Cute.

Marianne makes a smoothie for a customer and does a really great job, but then accidentally spills it on him. Eric is all mad at her-but the customer seemed cool and it was an accident.  And it is only her second day. I don’t know-he seems extra harsh, but then again I have never worked food service so I can’t really say.

There is a cute moment where we have a horrified Marianne who feels so stupid at her mistakes and Elinor actually comforts her and shares a time about when she messed up on the job as a janitor and caused a girl to break her arm as she forgot to put up the wet floor signs. How awful! And I can’t believe she didn’t get sued for that!

Marianne tries to get her job back, but her boss is not buying it. Grant Kinghtley comes in and tries to convince the boss that Marianne is the best and should stay. Emma bosses Knightley around about how to “sell it” and they are so like in a relationship already. He really does “sell it” giving her $100 tip.

Lizzie shares how she picked the colors from the spilled smoothie on the guys sweater, and while she’s talking I noticed she looks really cute too-a blue and black gauzy shirt and her hair in a bun with front pieces curling. Finally! They had someone stepping it up on set with these outfits. You are on TV not radio, where what you wear matters.

Marianne comes bursting in excited that it worked and she has her job!

Grant tries to get his money back, but no dice.

He should just have Emma pay him back.

The cute guy Marianne spilled the drink on comes back as he thinks she is cute, and asks her out to dinner. Aw. But he’s not Colonel Brandon, so is he Willoughby?

If he is, then this show might get interesting-we have been missing a villian(s).

Hmmm

I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned…

For more Austentatious, go to I’ll Be Watching You: Austentatious (2015)

For more Jane Austen film retellings, go to Mrs. Darcy Wants to Know the Truth!: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Three (2013)

For more Sense & Sensibility, go to The Smart One and the Pretty One

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to I Met Mr Darcy

For more Emma, go to Austen Avengers Assemble!

Kissing the Blarney Stone: 7 More Irish Heroes

So every year, in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I do a post on 17 awesome Irish heroes and heroines.

So this year, I tried to get 17 more Irish heroes and heroines from books, film, and TV (like I did for years 2013-17), but I wasn’t able to get that many. So instead if 17, I only have 7.

Aw, man.

Maybe next year I’ll be able to reach 17 again! But as for today:

7) Jimmy O’Brien from Fashion Model (1945)

Jimmy O’Brien is just your normal stock boy in a huge department store. He is dating one of the models and they are talking about getting married. Another model flirts with him, and a fight breaks out. Later, he finds her dead, along with another model, and the store owner. Being around so many dead bodies-the police are after him as they think he is a deranged killer. It up to him and his fiancé, Peggy, to prove his innocence and solve the crime.

Why Jimmy is Awesome: 

Jimmy is just a sweet, bumbling, goof-but an all around nice guy that is just adorable. He wouldn’t hurt a fly, flirt with another girl, or do anything wrong. He’s incredibly sweet, unfortunately-just has rotten timing. Above all-he is hilarious.

For more on Jimmy and Fashion Model, go to Wrong Place at the Wrong Time: Fashion Model (1945)

6) Marvin “Mouth” MacFadden from One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill is a small town in North Carolina where basketball is everything. The town is divided into the wealthy and poorer sections, in one lives Nathan Scott-captain of the basketball team, wealthy, dating the hot/punkish cheerleader; and Lucas Scott-plays the river court, raised by a single mom, spends his time reading classics, and being nonexistent in school. These two are half brothers, their father’s choice of one over the other impacting their lives and choices.

Why Mouth is Awesome: 

Mouth is a nerdy guy, from the river court and one of Lucas’ best friends. Mouth stays friends with him through thick and thin, big egos and shattered dreams. He always there to lend a hand, give advice, and hangout.

For more on One Tree Hill, go to We Will Fandom You

5) Bridget from An American Tail

A family of mice, the Mousekewitzes, are immigrating to America. On the ship ride over, a storm occurs and Fieval is washed ashore, believed dead. The family continues, grief stricken over their loss, while unbeknownst to them, Fieval floats to New York City. Fieval tries to find his family and gets caught up in all kinds of adventures along the way.

Why Bridget is Awesome: 

Bridget is an amazingly kind and caring mouse. She is a suffragette, political activist (speaking out against the attacks of cats against mice), and takes Fieval in until he can find his family. When Fieval comes up with a plan to fight the cats, she not only supports him, but rallies all her friends to join in.

4) Flynn O’Malley from Veil of Secrets, Choices Video Game

Veil of Secrets is a choose your own adventure type of video game. You play the main character and decide what to do next in the story. In Veil of Secrets you are visiting your best friend and roommate from college, Kate O’Malley, as she is marrying the wealthy son and heir to the Sterling empire. However, she doesn’t show up to the wedding, and you team up with her brother Flynn, deputy Naomi, and criminal defense lawyer, Grant; to discover what happened. Will you find out the truth? Or be the next victim?

Why Flynn is Awesome: 

Once a con, (although he really should have gotten off with a lighter sentence-the judge being a friend of the Sterlings gave him a much harsher one than he deserved) now all he cares about is helping to find his missing sister. He will go through anything and do anything for his baby sis, even a car accident doesn’t slow him down as he will gladly roll through the pain to find her. If you decide he will be your partner in solving the case, he will protect you through everything and everyone to the best of his ability (although you are the main character so you will be doing the actual taking down). Also if you choose he can be your boyfriend and you can inspire him to continue down the straight and narrow path

3) Caitlin O’Koren from Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

It is Caitlin O’Koren’s 16th birthday, but instead of waking up to cake and presents, she instead wakes up to police and panicked parents as her older sister has run away. This was supposed to be Caitlin’s year of being out of her perfect sister’s shadow, instead she finds herself stuck in it even more. She and her best friend join cheerleading, but through a series of events she ends up dating drug dealer bad boy, Rogerson Biscoe. This takes her in an incredibly different direction than her sister, as she has always wanted, but into another world and an incredibly different romantic relationship.

Why Caitlin is Awesome: 

Caitlin is a 16 year old girl trying to navigate her way, especially in the midst of all these transitions and changes. She is a good friend, there for anyone who needs her, and a powerful character, as she encounters serious abuse and is able to do the steps to heal and come through it. An amazing story and character-that I STRONGLY recommend.

For more on Caitlin and Dreamland, go to Plot Twist

2) Katie Callahan DeMaio from The Cradle Will Fall by Mary Higgins Clark

Katie Callahan DeMaio is a widowed county prosecutor. Katie has a rare condition which causes her to lose too much blood on her period, causing lightheadedness, blackouts, etc. One day she is driving home from work and this causes her to crash-she becoming a patient of the Dr. Edgar Highly. She is given medication, but doesn’t take all of it and awakes in the middle of the night-seeing a man move a dead body?

Meanwhile, celebrated physician and miracle birth, Edgar Highly, is facing a very large problem. One of his patients is unhappy with his care and going to go to her former physician. He has to take care of her quick, or else all will be uncovered. He prepares to take her dead body to her house, did someone spot him in the window?

Katie hears of the suicide and starts investigating, will she uncover the truth or be the next victim?

Why Katie is Awesome: 

Katie is a wonderful person who cares about her family, friends, and coworkers. She has encountered a lot of tragedy, but remains a powerful person who looks ahead at the future. She is smart, fun, and cares about bringing justice to all. She will not let an innocent person go to jail, but continues to bulldog it and search out the truth.

For more on Mary Higgins Clark, go to That Face-I’ve Seen Her Before…: Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1997)

1) Michael “Crocodile” Dundee from Crocodile Dundee (1986), Crocodile Dundee II (1988), and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001)

Michael “Crocodile” Dundee is living his life in Australia, his reputation being built up by a friend, and making his living by taking tourists out on tours. He is strong, tough, battles any beast, and is friends with an aborigine clan-who actually raised him. When a beautiful New York reporter, Sue Charlton, writes a series of articles on him, he becomes so popular, that he joins her in New York. He’s a regular fish out of water, but his sweet nature wows Sue. The two return to Australia in the sequel, taking down drug dealers/smugglers and saving a friend of Sue. In the third film, the two and their son head off to Hollywood-also getting into crazy shenanigans and solving crime.

Why Crocodile Dundee is Awesome: 

He is such an amazing man. He is kind, caring, protective, supportive, and always there for Sue. When she wants to stay in New York, he stays too even though there isn’t much for him to do. When she has the amazing opportunity to go to L.A., even though he’ll be separated from Australia and the land he loves, he wants her to take every opportunity that comes her way-along with wanting their son to see both cultures so that he can decide what he ultimately wants to do with his life (when he is older). He a great guy, and I can watch all three films a thousand times and never get tired of them.

So that ends my list for this year. You all know what I’ll be doing with the rest of my day. Eating some soda bread made by my sister blog, MysteriousEats.wordpress.com. And my yearly tradition, watching the Disney Channel Original Movie: The Luck of the Irish.

The_Luck_of_the_Irish

4_leaf_clover_banner

For the 2013 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes 

For the 2014 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2016 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to The Wearing of the Green: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2017 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2018 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Top O’ the Morning: 7 More Irish Heroes

Dancing Queen

I love ABBA. And when I saw this pic I loved it and had to include it in my post.

I love all their songs, but the first one that got me into the band was Dancing Queen.

The song was released in 1976 and took the world by storm, number one in many places-Europop and Disco at its finest. In fact Anni-Frid Lyngstad said the first time it made her cry-she felt its connection and knew that others would have the same draw to it.

It was performed for Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and his bride-to-be, Silvia Sommerlath on the night before their wedding. Then on Queen Silva’s 50th birthday, Anni-Frid Lyngstad performed Dancing Queen for her again.

This song has been covered by lots of bands and singers, and been in many movies and TV shows. Of course the most famous being Mama Mia!

I think we love this song because it does connect to all of us, no matter the age.

So enjoy!

Ooh
You can dance
You can jive
Having the time of your life
Ooh, see that girl
Watch that scene
Dig in the dancing queen
Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for a place to go
Where they play the right music
Getting in the swing
You come to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music’s high
With a bit of rock music
Everything is fine
You’re in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance
You are the dancing queen
Young and sweet
Only seventeen
Dancing queen
Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah
You can dance
You can jive
Having the time of your life
Ooh, see that girl
Watch that scene
Dig in the dancing queen
You’re a teaser, you turn ’em on
Leave ’em burning and then you’re gone
Looking out for another
Anyone will do
You’re in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance
You are the dancing queen
Young and sweet
Only seventeen
Dancing queen
Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah
You can dance
You can jive
Having the time of your life
Ooh, see that girl
Watch that scene
Dig in the dancing queen
Dig in the dancing queen

For more of my favorite songs, go to Darcy’s ’80’s Power Song

For more ABBA, go to A Study in Fandoms

For more disco, go to I Will Survive

For more Sarah Dessen, go to Plot Twist

Plot Twist

I am getting a divorce.

Yes my husband turned out to be abusive. He abused me physically only a few times-mostly financial, verbal, and so on. We were only together a little over a month when I left.

I never realized how many facets there were to abuse of what it really meant until my counselor showed me this wheel. I had always say it just as someone hitting you, or like what they show in the media.

People always ask why do women stay with people like that and going through it there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Most of the time I was in shock like I couldn’t believe it was really happening to me, that it was my life.

Help me! I’m confused!

The way that keeps you off guard is how they change so quickly. They can be one way and then a couple hours later, completely different. Making you question yourself as to what is going on. And of course they never doing that in front of other people. also kind of makes it almost unbelievable that it is real.

I think Sarah Dessen described it best in her book Dreamland. Like I can’t believe I stayed with him as long as I did. I can’t believe I even married someone who treated me so wrongly. I see things now that should have been flags, but I never ever imagined that he would abuse me. And being apart from him I feel as if I woke from a dream. And just like Caitlin, I had to put the pieces of my life back together again.

And a lot of women can’t leave, they don’t have the money or support. I was blessed that I had support and he tried to use up all my money, in fact have a bunch of his debt as he took my credit card and just charged it up. But I am free (or will be when the divorce finalizes).

And it is so much better being away from him. I still have times of grief over how he treated me and what he did to me but now there is hope.

Just moving on and moving forward.

And I want to share this wheel to help others:

People Have to Snatch at Happiness When They Can in This World. It is Always Easier to Lose Than to Find: O Pioneers!

Day 21): U is for Unhappy: Choose a book with an Unhappy ending

51uv30jvl

O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy #1) by Willa Cather

I was first introduced to the work of Willa Cather when one summer I was trying to read through a list of classics provided by Barnes and Noble. (The same list that lead me to read Uncle Tom’s Cabin.) Of course I never finished it:

6notenoughtimetoreadeverythingIwant

However, two of the book I read during that time were My Antonia and O Pioneers!. I read O Pioneers! second, not knowing it was the first book and while I enjoyed My Antonia I loved O Pioneers! more.

ReadBookCarryWithYou

And it makes me really upset that no one knows about this book.

Say What

I KNOW! It is a fantastic book but no one knows about it. It is hard to even purchase as I wanted to buy a copy for my friend, but amazon didn’t have it or Barnes & Nobles. Crazy! So why is this book fantastic? Let’s take a look.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

So the book is just under 200 pages and divided into three parts.

PART I: THE WILD LAND

The story takes place in Nebraska, the Bergsons are a Swedish family of six who immigrated to America for a better life, but found the prairie not as promised. The father, John, went into serious debt, but was finally able to pay it off. He owns six hundred and forty acres of the original homestead, and three hundred and twenty acres given to him by his brother when he pulled out. Just as it seemed he might be able to tame the land, he becomes ill and at age 46, is going to die.

Why?

Why?

For weeks he has been thinking what to do next, when he decides that everything must be left to his daughter Alexandra to control.

Whattheheck

This book was published in 1913, but takes place in 1883. And even though he has two sons who come before Alexandra he recognizes in her his own spirit. While his sons Lou and Oscar are hardworking they just don’t have the business acumen.

“It was Alexandra who read the papers and followed the markets, and who learned by the mistakes of their neighbors. It was Alexandra who could always tell about what it cost to fatten each steer, and who could guess the weight of a hog before it went on the scales closer than John Bergson himself. Lou and Oscar were industrious, but he could never teach them to use their heads about their work.” pg. 15

On his deathbed, John calls all the kids together and makes them promise to keep the land and listen to Alexandra, there will be no quarreling. When each wishes to marry they can divide the land, but until then they must follow Alexandra.

Wecandoit

Even though the boys do not like being put under their sister, they agree to their father’s wishes.

Mehsleepyhollownotimportant

Six months later, the Bergsons invite their friend and neighbor Carl Linstrum to visit “Crazy” Ivar. Lou and Oscar make fun of him,

I'm crazy

He’s crazy

But Alexandra values his advice and knowledge of animals.

Topthorn War HOrse

Ivar suffers from some kind of mental affliction, one not stated as most likely at that time they had no name for it. Sometimes he spouts wisdom, other days nonsense. He likes to live as far away from people as he can. While he suffers from these eccentricities his knowledge of animals is without competition. He has a pond where all kinds of birds come to visit, as they know he will not shoot them, as he has an aversion to guns.

Now one of the reasons this book is so good is the character of Alexandra. While others see the craziness of Ivan and brush him off, she listens to his advice and follows it, it turning out very well. What a person looks like, or acts like doesn’t matter to her; she values their hard work, their wisdom, and their heart. And she doesn’t care what others think of her.

value:Worth

After their father’s death, the Bergsons clan did well.

Double double yay

But then the drought came, an with it three years of nothing but failure.

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

It is at this time we see a divided family as to what to do next. Many people have left the “promises” of the prairie to follow the “promises” of St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco, Alaska, etc.

Good-bye

Good-bye

Carl Limstrom comes to tell Alexandra that his family is leaving to St. Louis. This is heartbreaking, as Alexandra and him have fallen in love. Alexandra doesn’t want him to go, but Carl won’t have him and his family be a drag on their finances, after all, Carl is no farmer. But Carl promises that he won’t forget her but will work hard for her.

“I’ll write as long as I live…And I’ll be working for you as much as for myself, Alexandra. I want to do something you’ll like and be proud of. I’m a fool here, but I know I can do something!” pg. 34

you deserve better

This is the first part of what makes this book so sad. Alexandra doesn’t care about that Carl, she just wants you! But Alexandra understands how you feel and how you don’t want to enter a marriage being a drain on your wife, you want to be equal.

And even though you really want Carl to stay with Alexandra, you respect him for not wanting to use her inheritance and enter the relationship having her take care of him. He knows Alexandra is the greatest thing in the world and wants to show her he is worthy of her love.

Fredrick Wentworth

But poor Alexandra

[To Carl’s retreating form] Since you have been here, ten years now, I have never really been lonely.” pg 35

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

The boys are worried about what will happen next with the sweet potatoes seeming to be the only thing really living on. They want to sell out and move to the cities, where opportunity really is. Or trade their land for the river as that land is much better than the kind they have.

We need to get out of here

We need to get out of here

Alexandra of course doesn’t go on feelings, whispers, or what others tell her to do. She thinks on it long and hard, researching into what would be the best decision.

Thinking Hmm

She and her younger brother Emil travel to the river to examine the land. After reviewing everything and thinking on it; she decides that the thing to do is to mortgage their land with the bank and buy up as much land as they can. The boys of course are skeptical of this plan. Six more years of working off a loan? And what if the land prices don’t soar, what if the drought continues on, what if, what if?

smalmindslashoutnotunderstand

But Alexandra sees the way to go:

“The men in town who are buying up other people’s land don’t try to farm it. They are the men to watch, in a new country. Let’s try to do it like the shrewd ones and not like the stupid fellows.” pg. 43

The boys know this will be going against all the others and they don’t want to be viewed by others as crazy.

But Alexandra is certain, and they follow her. Alexandra is pleased as she watches the land knowing that the future is stirring.

sleepyhollowadventuresofIchabodumbrellasmellflowerkatrina

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

PART II: NEIGHBORING FIELDS

It has been sixteen years since the death of John Bergson, now being 1899. In the years that have passed, his wife has passed on as well. The land is producing much, telephone wires zig zag the prairie, and the area is thickly populated as more have arrived to stake their home there too.

Emil has achieved Alexandra’s dream and gone on to attending the university and doing well in sports. He is tall, handsome, charming and all the girls in the area wish for a moment with him, as brief as it could be.

swoon dreamy

But he isn’t interested in any of them.

uh-no-gifuhno

Their old friend Marie Tovesky, now Mrs. Shabata, a Bohemian, has moved back to the prairie she used to visit as a young girl now a neighbor to the Bergsons.

And how are the Bergson’s doing? Any one could tell you that they have the richest farm on the Divide, and that was all due to the woman farmer, Alexandra.

Alexandra

Alexandra, that is.

One of the things I like about Alexandra is that Cather created a character that is intelligent, strategical, yet still feminine. With today’s modern works it always feels like an either/or situation. Either they are pretty or smart. They are intelligent and masculine or an airhead and feminine. Alexandra has extreme intelligence but also enjoys doing housework, baking, and as beautiful as she is brainy.

Psmartorprettyeitherorsarahdessenmorethanthat

The older brothers are married and have their own sections of land as they began families, but Alexandra has the most of land and wealth. Emil comes back and forth between Alexandra’s home and school; and there is one more addition.

Carl and her married!!!

Carl and her married!!!

No not Carl.

Oh darn!

Oh darn!

He is still out trying to make his fortune. No, when Ivar lost his land, Alexandra opened her home to him. Such a compassionate person, not caring what others think of him or her for having him live in the home; all that matters that there is a soul in need.

bekindBeright

Ivar comes to Alexandra one day, afraid that people will send him to the asylum for being different, but Alexandra doesn’t care. She knows what it is like to be talked about because you do things differently.

“Don’t come to me again telling me what people say. Let people go on talking as they like, and we will go on living as we think best. ” pg. 60

A lot has changed in the sixteen years with modernity. A lot of the old ways of living and being are no longer accepted. In the family, Oscar’s wife will not allow any Swedish to be spoken in the house, so when they visit the relatives only English can be spoken.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Alexandra has not married, her heart still pining after the only one who ever truly understood her, but enjoys being an aunt and looking after her brother’s children. But as she is the wealthiest of the whole clan, she often becomes caught in a game between her scheming brothers and sister-in-laws, as they all desire different things.

One day she is with her nieces in the flower garden when a tall, handsome stranger comes on the prairie. It is Carl!

Carl and her married!!!

Carl is on his way to Seattle and then to Alaska to go gold prospecting. He stopped by to say hi and Alexandra is thrilled as she has missed him so much. The brothers aren’t as they are worried that instead of a gold prospector he might be a gold digger and after Alexandra’s wealth.

money money money

Carl admits that he had hoped to present himself as better, worthy of Alexandra, but he has nothing.

“You see…measured by your standards I’m a failure. I couldn’t buy even one of your cornfields. I’ve enjoyed a great many things, but I’ve nothing to show for it all.” pg. 77

That doesn’t matter to Alexandra of course, but Carl must prove himself.

I think Carl and Alexandra are just the cutest couple. Carl is so sweet to her and pretty much understands her (except for the having to prove himself thing because she does not care) and doesn’t find any measure of her odd or not right.

“I wonder whether I should ever be able to tell you all that I was thinking up there. It’s a strange thing, Alexandra; I find it easy to be frank with you about everything under the sun-except yourself!’

‘You are afraid of hurting my feelings, perhaps.’ Alexandra looked at him thoughtfully.

‘No, I’m afraid it would give you a shock. You’ve seen yourself for so long in the dull minds of the people around you, that if I were to tell you how you seem to me, it would startle you. But you must see that you astonish me.” pg. 83

How sweet!

How sweet!

Carl and Alexandra are just perfect:

WeClickPerfectPerson

I want them to get together!!!!!

Twocharacterstogettogether

Carl and Alexandra go to Marie’s and spend time with her being interrupted by her husband. No two people could be more horribly matched.  Marie is light and fun, while her husband Frank is jealous, depressing, and unfriendly.

uh-no-gifuhno

They meet when Marie was at school and she thought Frank was handsome, brooding, and romantic. Her father did not want them to marry, and nothing makes two people “fall in love” faster than when they are forbidden to.

Not good

Not good

She was sent to a convent, but as soon as she turned 18 left it and married Frank. Her father bought them the farm and they’ve been unhappy ever since. Marie realized that the Frank she thought she loved was one that was not real, but created in her mind.

rebeccaitwasallalie

Emil and Marie spend lots of time together, as he often helps out with the farm, taking care of things that Frank is too lazy to. But that friendship must end. Emil can’t pretend anymore. He is in love with Marie and wants to be with her, but of course she is married.

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

Carl and Emil head off to a Catholic fair, where Emil runs into his newly married friend, Amédéé. While they are gone the brothers come to talk to Alexandra about Carl. They wanted Alexandra’s land to be willed to their children when she dies, but Alexandra will not be bullied and will do what she wants with her land.

I don't think so

You have to read what they try and use to talk her out of it. They tell her things like she’s just a woman, she didn’t really do the work “even though she had the ideas”, the property always belongs too the men, she is too old at 40 to think of marrying, Carl is four years younger than her too young.

Those guys

Those guys

But Alexandra holds her ground. She tells them that she owns her land and, she was the driving force that created their wealth, and they can stuff it or go to their lawyers but nothing will come of it.

MysteryMenDon'tMessWithMe

Alexandra tries to talk to Emil about it, but he is too heartsick he begs her to send home far away, to Mexico.

gossipgirlcan'tstandhappycouplesy

She agrees and is sad that no one really understands her. She has no one, Marie and Carl being her only friends.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

Meanwhile Lou and Oscar go to talk to Carl and convince him he is worthless.

“What a hopeless position you are in, Alexandra!’ [Carl] exclaimed feverishly. ‘It is your fate to be always surrounded by little men. And I am no better than the rest. I am too little to face the criticism of even such men as Lou and Oscar. Yes, I am going away; to-morrow. I cannot even ask you to give me a promise until I have something to offer you. I thought, perhaps, I could do that; but I find I can’t.’

‘What good comes of offering people things they don’t need?’ Alexandra asked sadly. ‘I don’t need money. But I have needed you for a great many years. I wonder why I have been permitted to prosper, if only to take my friends away from me.

‘I don’t deceive myself,’ Carl said frankly. ‘I know that I am going away on my own account. I must make the usual effort. I must have something to show for myself. To take what you would give me, I should have to be a very large man or a very small one, and I am only in the middle class.’

Alexandra sighed. ‘I have a feeling that if you go away, you will not come back. Something will happen to one of us, or to both. People have to snatch at happiness when they can in this world. It is always easier to lose than to find.” pg. 114-115

In one day she loses all the men she cares about.

right in the feels broken heart

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

PART III: WINTER MEMORIES

Winter never feels as cold as when you no longer have those you care about. No longer will Alexandra see Oscar or Lou because of how they treated Carl. She gets letters from Emil and Carl, but it is not the same as having them near.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

Mrs. Lee, Lou’s mother-in-law and one of the old timers, loves to visit Alexandra where she can follow in the old ways of living and not be judged. Even though the brothers are no longer welcome, Alexandra still opens her home to the rest of the relatives.

Alexandra brings Emil’s letter for Marie to read, never knowing what interest lies in Marie’s light and happy heart. Marie also gifts Alexandra with a scarf she made for Emil. Little does Alexandra know how Marie really feels on the inside.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

Marie’s life has grown exceedingly unhappy. She realizes that she and Frank are not suited for each other at all. She becomes more and more unhappy and folds into herself.

weather-winter-snow-alone-girl-hold-umbrella-image

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

PART IV: THE WHITE MULBERRY TREE

Emil has returned from Mexico at last, and just in time for a big carnival at the Catholic church. Emil runs into his old friend Amédéé, now a father. All the girls flutter around Emil, and when he gives one of his turquoise stones to auctioned it starts an even greater flummox.

minemineminepocahontas

Marie is just as crazy about Emil, but he smartly keeps his distance from her.

spockstartrekidon'tknowokayiguesmovingongo

Frank is angry as he is jealous and wants someone to blame for Marie not caring for him any longer. But the only one who drove the wedge was him and his cruel nature.

yellangrybeastbeautyandthebeast

When the lights go out, every girl is kissed by their sweetheart and Emil does the one thing he has wished for so long, kisses Marie.

OMG gasp

Emil is heartsick  and finally asks Marie what has been on his mind for so long, why would you marry Frank? Marie tells him she loved him. Frank was the same now as then, but as a young girl she saw him differently. And now she pays for her heedlessness, stubbornness, and naivety.  She begs Emil to leave as she doesn’t want them to sin and she can’t go.

TimingWrong

Emil is preparing to leave for Omaha to train as a lawyer, then going on to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Before he departs, he stops by to see his friend Amédéé. Amédéé. is in awful pain, completely sick with appendicitis. The doctor tries to take care of him, but it is to late, Amédéé is gone.

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

Emil stays on for the service and is to set off, but goes back to Marie’s to get one thing of hers to hold on to. When he gets there he discovers her lying in the grass.

Frank comes home and sees Emil’s horse in the barn. He then goes into the field and hears something. As he comes closer he sees two figures in the field and shoots. And then streaks off.

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

Ivar finds Emil’s mare the next morning all worn out and not taken care of. He knows Emil would never do anything like that unless he was hurt or injured. He goes next door to get help and finds the bodies.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

PART V: ALEXANDRA

Alexandra has become so sick with grief she cannot do anything without being instructed. Her boy, her best friend…gone.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

She feels horrible for always throwing them together, never thinking what would happen. She feels so cold and alone.

what-not-to-say-to-broken-hearted-girl-3what went wrong holiday

Alexandra goes to see Frank Shabata, but feels no anger at him. Only pity.

Strange Sad Have My Pity Toy Story

But one bright spot arrives, as soon as Carl gets Alexandra’s note on the death he hurries over.

He isn’t as important as he would have wished, but he does have a good buisness starting in the West. The two plan to marry, going West but eventually returning home to the prairie. At last, Alexandra will no longer be alone. A bittersweet ending

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

I love this book but it is sooo sad. Just full of feelings:

CantWork_emotions

But I love it anyway and read it over and over.

bookhumor

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on Sarah Dessen, go to I’d Spent Some Time As a Kid Wishing My Name Were Ashley or Katherine, if Only Because It Would Have Made Life Simpler, But My Mom Liked to Tell Me That My Name Was a Litmus Test: Along for the Ride

For more on An Affair to Remember, go to Anything Can Happen: An Affair to Remember (1957)

christmas-flowers-banner

For the Christmas Carol I choose Silent Night otherwise known in Bohemian as Tichá noc. This song was written in 1816 by Father Joseph Mohr when he was visiting Mariapfarr, Austria.

Two years later, Father Mohr approaches Franz Xaver Gruber, a schoolmaster and organist, and asked him to set it to music. Together they performed it during Christmas Eve’s mass.

In 1859, Pastor John Freeman Young translated the song from German to English. Since then the song has been translated into over 140 different languages.

I chose the version by Celtic Woman as I really enjoy that group.

christmas-flowers-banner

For more on Celtic Woman, go to I Finally Read Moby-Dick

For more Christmas Carols, go to Each Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

I’d Spent Some Time As a Kid Wishing My Name Were Ashley or Katherine, if Only Because It Would Have Made Life Simpler, But My Mom Liked to Tell Me That My Name Was a Litmus Test: Along for the Ride

Day 14) N is for Name: Choose a book with a character that shares your first or last Name

AlongForRide_FINAL.indd

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

So I know I discussed this book back when I talked about being a fan of Sarah Dessen, but I am bringing it back as it contains one of my names. Yes, one of these characters has my first, middle, or last name. Which one? I’m not saying.

princess-leia-i-dont-know-what-youre-talking-about

Another reason why I picked this book was because the main character, Auden, took a long time to like her name. She is named after the poet W. H. Auden, and not only do most not know who she is named after, it isn’t really a girl’s name. I know what it is like to not like your name, but at least she was named after a poet; my namesake created lots of teasing growing up. And her name means “old friend”, mine is not pretty.

I don't like it 11

I started reading Sarah Dessen back in middle school. This was the last book I read while in my teendom, and I think it is one of her best books and the last truly great one. I didn’t really care for Whatever Happened to Good-bye or The Moon and More, and didn’t even bother to read the next one she came out with. I don’t know if I am too old or if her work isn’t as good as it used to be.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

So Auden West never had a real childhood. Her parents are professors, and her brother Hollis (meaning holly tree) had colic as a baby.

Not good

After him, they expected Auden to be a mini adult, no longer wanting to be “parents”. Hollis had fun and charmed his way through life, going abroad and mooching off his family as he continues to play.

Favorite Lydia Bennet

Auden had to be the serious child: no fun, no play, nothing but academics. This caused her to grow to be a little anti-social as she just couldn’t relate to others.

sociallyawkward

She also moved around a lot as no school was seen as right for her parents. This caused her to also make no real connections, as how can you become friends when you are only there for a second.

no friendsneverleavehouse

 Auden also has insomnia.

the-ring-she-never-sleeps

After Hollis left, things got ugly in the house. Her mom came and won awards, great articles, a chair, etc; while her husband went down. They never liked fighting around Auden, so they would wait until she went to sleep. Auden stopped going to sleep, hoping that would keep them from fighting.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

This worked for a while, but eventually they just started fighting again.

idon'tgotthis

They divorced, her father remarried, and immediately got his new wife pregnant. Auden feels replaced in one life and nothing in her mother’s who spends all her time working or with her graduate students.

HowI MetYOurMotherAloneRobin

Mostly Auden spends all her free time at an all night diner and reads, drinking coffee.

SofaBkCoffee

Or booth in this case.

She will be heading off to a top college in the summer and has been studying the classes her mother picked out for her.

HarryPotterLibraryBookSlamonTable

Her stepmother, Heidi (meaning noble and kind), recently had their baby, Thisbe (meaning lover of Pyramus) Caroline West, and invites Auden to come out to the beach where they live and spend time there this summer. Heidi always invites Auden and Auden always makes an excuse…

uh-no-gifuhno

but this time things change. She just can’t stand another summer of not living.

beingalone

Auden decides to take up Heidi’s offer and heads out to the beach in hopes to spend time with her dad and not sure what will happen.

I-am-going-to-try-this-Well-Rested-Makeup-Tutorial-it-works-amazing-1024x1024maybe

What she finds is nothing she would have expected. The perfectly coiffed Heidi is a mess, the baby always cries from colic, and while she loves her dad, his selfishness makes her not like him most of the time as all he can do is focus on is his book.

Men?

Men

Auden is asked out by a local boy and heads down to a beach party, a huge mistake as he was a total jerk.

jerk

Auden still has issues sleeping, so she spends her time driving, at a horrible diner, or reading at home. But Thisbe won’t stop crying, so one night she ends up taking her to the boardwalk, walking her up and down.

walking-down-the-street

There she sees a boy on his bike, doing all kinds of jumps and such, hypnotized by his movements. He spots her watching and approaches her, looking at the baby. Auden explains that it has been a long night, and he agrees with aren’t they all.

irongiantreallyhmmokayyeahright

Auden ends up helping Heidi out when there isn’t enough money to cover the UPS delivery at her shop, Clementine’s. The main girl is Maggie (meaning pearl) who turns out to be the girlfriend of the guy she hooked up with the night before.

big mistake

Maggie and her friends are upset when they realize that Auden is the girl, but they do come to the conclusion that Auden didn’t know anything, and that Maggie is better off without her loser boyfriend who is cheating on her.

HeartHurtsDon'tKnowCanDoAgainHeartbroken

Things are not very happy in the new West family. Auden’s father and Heidi are fighting constantly, just trade a few words out and it is like living back with mom and dad.

spockstartrekidon'tknowokayiguesmovingongo

They are supposed to be having a family dinner, but that is a wash. Thisbe starts crying and Auden takes her out of there. As she is trying to get her to stop she is approached by the same boy from the other night, and he is able to calm the baby.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

Heidi knows him, and introduces him to Auden. He is Eli (most common meaning, my God is Yahweh), who has a younger brother, Jake (supplanter). That Jake was the same guy that was dating Maggie and messing with Auden. Of all the people to mess with.

Just My Luck!

Just My Luck!

Later that night Auden overhears Heidi and her father arguing. Heidi wants him to help her out more around the house, while her father thinks that Auden should just do free babysitting.

jerk_alert32

Hurt that Heidi defends her while her father wants to use her, Auden needs something to do and spots Heidi’s accounts she was trying to balance. Auden stays up all night using her anger to work out the issue.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

Heidi is amazed at Auden’s work and instantly offers her a job working the books. Her father tries a power play chastising Heidi for using Auden, but as Auden heard their conversation the night before, she becomes angry and takes the employment, even though it means working with the girl who’s boyfriend she was with.

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

Auden grows to really like working at the store. She doesn’t spend a lot of time with Maggie or her friends (the other workers), so that that isn’t as awkward as she thought it would be. One night she becomes bored and heads over to the skate park where everyone hangs out.

Say What

There she runs into Eli, who asks her about riding a bike. Auden is concrete that she knows how to ride a bike, but does she really? She didn’t really have a childhood.

Thinking Hmm

One day her mother visits and just rips on everything; Heidi, her dad, the clothes Auden is wearing, the store, the beach, the restaurants, etc. When Auden defends Heidi as not being a ditz but a pretty astute businesswoman, her mother is rather cruel to Auden, putting her in her dumb category because she no longer is in one hundred percent agreement with her.

ouch Hermione

After work, Auden still hurt, goes off to get a coffee from the nearby shop. Maggie goes after her as she knows what it is like having a difficult mother. She sits with Auden and just helps by being there.

Friendjustbethere

She ends up going out with the girls, not really expecting anything but just wanting some company.

Girls night!

Girls night!

They head to the Gas/Gro where they pick up some snacks, just in case. After all you never know what the night will hold.

Chocolate makes everything better

Afterwards they head to a party at Belissa’s (lovely one) house, the daughter of the local bakers. They send Auden to get beers, but as she has never partied before she cannot get the keg to work.

I don't know what to do

Eli comes up behind her and tries to help her out. They joke around having fun, but Maggie quickly comes in and tries to get her Auden of there.

Run Away

Before they can get free they run into Belissa and almost get their butts kicked as she is Eli’s ex, yet still thinks they are together. Auden has never dealt with angry exes so she doesn’t have the sane reaction.

Them's fighting words!

Them’s fighting words!

The girls interrogate her about Eli, when they started hanging out, and Auden shares that they talked ever since she saw him on his bike.

OMG gasp

The girls are shocked and reveal Eli’s sad backstory.

Eli and Abel (breath) were the very best of friends, doing everything together. They did competitive biking and were extremely good, so good they had sponsors and everything. Eli was given a scholarship for it to the University and deferred to keep riding. Then one day they were coming back from a competition and the two were in an accident. A drunk driver went through a four way stop and Abel was killed.

After that Eli gave up everything and doesn’t do much as he is grieving.

aw cry

Maggie takes Auden back to the shop, and Auden grabs a coffee before she decides to head out. But then she changes her mind as she sees a light on in the bike shop and takes a chance.

I-am-going-to-try-this-Well-Rested-Makeup-Tutorial-it-works-amazing-1024x1024maybe

Eli is there and realizes they told her everything. He tells her he used to like hanging out with her because she never felt sorry for him or gave him a pity look.

Stop stop it now!

Auden bypasses that and says she is angry because he left her alone to fight his ex. As Eli doesn’t like to sleep either, they end up spending the night together as they visit the laundromat/coffee shop, the Park Mart warehouse store, etc.

JourneyDSB

Eli discover that therre are a lot of of things she missed out on her childhood and decides they need to go on a quest to help her. Food fights, “high school” parties, delivering newspapers, going to a club, kickball, etc.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

Auden finds herself finally allowing her to open up to another person, something she hasn’t been able to do since the dissolution of her parents’ marriage.

believehappyending

But will this work out or just be a summer romance? Will Auden finally let someone into her heart, or become too afraid she lets it go?

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

I loved this book so much!

Iloveit love

First of all Maggie is such an amazing character. She shows how you don’t have to label yourself but be whatever you want. Sporty? Pretty? Intelligent? You can be it all.

Psmartorprettyeitherorsarahdessenmorethanthat

She’s fun, sweet, and the best friend you could ever have.

bookfriends

And Eli. Eli has gone through so much and is such a strong character. He teaches Auden it is okay to grow up and still have childish parts to her, no matter how old you are.

He makes her Rice Krispie treats when she is sad and crying.

How sweet!

How sweet!

When she freaks out and tries to break it off, he just takes it and when she overcomes her commitment-phobia, he is there waiting.

swoon dreamy

He is smart, talented, compassionate, sweet, adorable- and I wish he was real as he is just perfect.

ISawHimFirstFictional

December 2014

The only flaw I would say this book has is that Eli never really deals with his grief, but buries it in another relationship which is not the right way to do. After working with grieving people, Dessen didn’t quite handle that issue correctly.

uh-no-gifuhno

But the rest of the book was fantastic and it is something I read over and over again.

wanttoreadbooksignoreproblem

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Now each Sarah Dessen novel connects to all the others, and I’ve listed said connections with Along for the Ride, AFTR.

That Summer:
Haven’s family spends a whole summer at a beach just like Auden does.

Someone Like You:
In Someone Like You, Scarlett and Haley went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while in AFTR.

Keeping the Moon
Auden goes to visit her Dad and Stepmom in Colby. In Keeping the Moon, Colby is where Colie visited for the entire summer.
Auden eats at Last Chance where Colie worked at in Keeping the Moon.
The cashier that takes Auden’s order at Last Chance is a dark haired girl with a lip ring. Colie is dark-haired girl with a lip ring.
Heidi, Auden’s stepmom, two best friends are Morgan and Isabelle. Morgan and Isabelle are Colie’s next door neighbors in Keeping the Moon.
Auden passes a women with long hair in an orange jumpsuit on a bicycle. This is Mira, Colie’s aunt.

Dreamland:
Caitlin went to Jackson High. Auden goes to Jackson High for a bit in AFTR.
Rogerson Biscoe goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit as well.
In Dreamland, Caitlan’s Dad,Boo, and Stewart teach at U. That is the same university where Auden mom teaches as well.
Cass starts reading about Buddhism. In AFTR, Auden is reading about it too.

This Lullaby:
Auden’s mom teaches at the U, the same university where Lissa is going to college.

The Truth About Forever:
Macy went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while in AFTR.
Macy’s ex-boyfriend Jason Talbot was supposed to be Auden’s date for the prom, but he cancels last minute. He is also her date in the prom boardwalk party Heidi throws, but cancels last minute once again.
Macy and Wes are always going to World of Waffles. In AFTR, that is where Maggie, Leah, and Esther go when Esther’s car breaks down.
Jason’s parents are professors just like Auden’s parents.

Just Listen:
Annabelle went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while inAFTR.
Will Cash, Sophie’s boyfriend, the guy who rapes Annabelle goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit in AFTR.
A girl named Esther emcees the poetry and other readings at the coffee shop, Jump Java. Whitney goes her to read her memoir. In Along for the Ride, Auden’s friend Esther, loves to go to coffee shops to hear readings.

Lock and Key:
Ruby dates Nate Cross. Auden talks about awkwardly flirting with him in AFTR
Ruby’s brother-in-law created the website Ume.com. In AFTR Auden goes on it.
Ruby went to Jackson High for a while. Auden went there for a while in AFTR
Ruby goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit in AFTR.
Ruby wears a necklace with a key on it. Harriet makes a ton of these to sell at her kiosk in the mall. In AFTR, Heidi sells the necklaces at her shop Clementine’s.
Ruby, Gervais, and Nate attend U. Cora and Jamie used to go to U. Auden’s mom is a professor at U.
Ruby applies for Defriese but doesn’t get in. Auden and Maggie attend Defriese.

Whatever Happened to Goodbye:
McLean is named after a Defriese University coach; she used to live in Tyler, the town Defriese University is located; and her stepdad is the Defriese University basketball coach. Auden and Maggie go to Defriese University.
Auden and Eli shop at Park Mart. So does Mclean
Guy next door to McLean goes to U; McLean herself attends U. Auden’s mother is a professor at U.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Auden did before she transferred.
Peter bought McLean’s mom a house in Colby. Colby is where Auden spends the summer with her dad and stepmom.
Jason is the chef at Luna Blue. Jason is Jason Talbot, the guy who stood Auden up twice.
Heidi is friends with McLean’s mom. She comes by with Thisbe and a bathing suit from Clementine’s.

The Moon and More:
Auden’s friend Esther film’s Clyde, Ivy, & Emmaline’s party.
Emmaline goes to parties at the Tip. The Tip was were Auden had her embarrassing “hook up”.
Clyde hangs out with Emmaline. Clyde met Auden when she was on her “quest”. He made pie for her too in his laundromat.
Both stories take place in Colby.
Emmaline knows Wallace, who is friends with Auden.
Emmaline is a Gas/Gro fiend, just like Auden & friends.
Emmaline goes to Abe’s Bike, named for Eli’s friend and owned by Clyde.
They talk about Weymor college, where Auden’s dad teaches at.
Emmaline gets an ad for Tallyho, Luke cheats on her there, and they have the art show after party there. Tallyho was the club where Maggie, Esther, and Leah would go.
Emmaline knows Maggie and Auden.
Emmaline’s friend Daisy works for Heidi, Auden’s stepmother, at her shop, Clemetine’s.
Auden goes to visit her Dad and Stepmom in Colby. Emmaline lives in Colby.
Auden eats at Last Chance so does Emmaline.
Auden mom teaches at U. Emmaline will be attending in the fall.
Daisy & Emmaline win best dressed at the Beach Bash. Heidi throws the Beach Bash every year.
Heidi is friends with Emmaline’s mom, Emily.
Auden and Eli shop at Park Mart. So does Emmaline.
Adam and Wallace live down in the beach shacks. Wallace used to live in GULL’S CRY which is where Theo lives after he gets kicked out.

Liveinbooks

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Maybe Christmas, He Thought, Doesn’t Come from a Store. Maybe Christmas…Perhaps…Means a Little Bit More: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on Along for the Ride, go to The Strange Case of a Fangirl and Her Fandoms

For more on Sarah Dessen, go to I’m the Happiest Girl on Prince Edward Island: Anne of Green Gables

For more on Anthony Trollope, go to Words to Live By

christmas-flowers-banner

So as this takes place on the beach I though none other than the perfect beach, Christmas Carol…the perfect California beach Christmas Carol. Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys.

Yes growing up a Californian, The Beach Boys are a group that whatever part you are from, you just grow up loving.

It was written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love. Wilson said the idea came to him while on a date, he broke it off early, and rushed home to finish working on it. The song released in 1963.

christmas-flowers-banner

For more Christmas Carols, go to I Finally Read Moby-Dick

I’m the Happiest Girl on Prince Edward Island: Anne of Green Gables

Day 9) I is for Island: Choose a book that takes place on an Island

anneofgreengables

Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1)  by L. M. Montgomery

I’m not quite sure when I first read this book. I just recall that one day my mom gave me her copy and told me she thought I should read it as she was pretty sure I would like it.

I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I decided to try it out. I started to read it and just couldn’t stop.

can'tsleeoreading

I just loved the character of Anne as it was like looking into a soul gazing mirror. We might not look a lot alike on the outside: she has red hair, I have brown; she is tall, I’m short; she has grey eyes, I have green; she’s from Edwardian Canada, and I’m an American girl of the 21st century. But the soul of  our characters are exactly the same.

AnneofGreenGablesKindredSpiritGetsMe

Anne has an overactive imagination, gets into all kinds of “scrapes” from not thinking it through, gets lost in imagining, has a fiery temper, wants to excel in school, has rivalry with another student, has to work hard for a scholarship to school, comes from an agricultural community; but through this all grows up to be a level-headed, still dreamy, young woman.

StoryOfMyLifeSomeLikeItHotMarilynMonroe

Seriously

I’ve read this book so many times, and went on to read the whole series. I liked the first three the best, but I just couldn’t enough of the story.

waitingforbookinseriesNosleepNeedanswers

I also loved the character Gilbert Blythe.

wouldhavehisbabieslovehim

I wish he was real because I would marry him in a heartbeat.

gilbert-Blythe-AnneofGreenGables

You all know how much I love the Austen men; Mr. Darcy, Mr. Tilney, Captain Wentworth, Mr. Knightley, Colonel Brandon, and such; but all of them, besides Captain Wentworth, come from money. My family is more like Gilbert’s; grew up in agricultural community, they couldn’t send me to college so I had to work and pay for it myself, just like Gilbert had to do. There is a better understanding and similarity in how we were raised that would form a better connection with him over any of the others.

Gilbert also knows how to work with Anne. When to give into her daydreams and imaginings,

spongebob-imagination-o

and also when to help her come back into reality. Us imaginationaholics need that or else we will spend too much time in our heads.

InMyHead

One of my relationship goals is to find a boyfriend or husband who will be willing to dress up as Anne and Gilbert. I don’t know if that will ever be possible and if I do manage to find such a guy, I’m not sure anyone will even know who we are.

fictionalcharacterhalloweennooneknows

So I knew of course that my true literary self was Anne, but when I was a teenager one of my friends said to me one day.

“Hey Moreland, you remind me a lot of this character in a book I love. Have you ever read Anne of Green Gables? Because you are just like her.”

Boom! Proof that we are one and the same.

anneofgreengablesplainsensiblecrazyownselfmyselfme

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

So the story is that two siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cutbert, past their prime, have decided that in order to continue running their farm, Green Gables, they need extra help. They decide to adopt an orphan boy, sending the message through the daughter of a friend. When Matthew goes to the station to pick him up, it turns out there was a serious miscommunication and they have a girl waiting.

Not good

Not good

Matthew takes her home, where Marilla is upset and determined to send her back. When she meets the woman who will take Anne instead, and sees how horrible she is, Marilla decides she will do her best to raise her.

NO ONE

Anne has had a hard life, her parents dying at a young age in poverty, then being shipped from family to family; mostly being used as a free baby-sitter than treated as a member of the family. She has spent a lot of her time alone or with children much younger than her, and has created habits that some, at that time, find strange. She has an extensive imagination, creates imaginary playmates, and when gets with people just talks and talks and talks.

JurassicParkAloneTalkingtoSelfIanMalcolm

I remember when I was in Wyoming, I was alone for a whole month, so then when I started hanging wit people that happiness of being with people made me run at the mouth.

clueless mybad oops

Marilla has no idea how to raise children, let alone girls, let alone this girl; so at first she tries to stop this behavior, but eventually it grows on her. Anne gets into all kinds of troubles, making mistakes as she transition from unwanted, uneducated, accident prone girl; to a confident, loved, intelligent, and wonderful woman.

boyfriendAnneofGreenGables

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

So I’m going to do this review a little different. I’m going to list through everything I liked, enjoyed, or stood out to me in the novel; instead of a page by page review.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

A) Her Imagination

imaginations

Her imagination is amzing. Not only does she dream of average things like games but creates all these back stories and tales for things she sees, people she meets, etc. And that it is so something I have done and still do. That’s the problem with having an overactive imagination, you can never turn it off. But the best thing of it is that the world is never boring.

normalboring

I love the stories and descriptions she gives.

“It was pretty interesting to imagine things about them- to imagine that perhaps the girl who sat next to you was really the daughter of a belted earl, who had been stolen away from her parents in her infancy by a cruel nurse who died before she could confess.”

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

B) Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Anne was born with red hair and people have told her it was a pity, said it ugly, etc. Because she feels so ugly she believes that she is worthless and that she will never find someone to love her.

anthony-michael-hall-brian-insecure-quotes-the breakfast club see myself don't like what i see insecure body image

How funny when this book has had 50 million copies printed and been translated into 20 languages.

I think we love her.

I think a LOT of us love her.

But her insecurities based on her past history and what she sees in the mirror blind her to the amazing soul she has, like Dashti in The Book of a Thousand Days. If only she could see how wonderful she really is.

If only you knew how important.jpg

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

C) Naming and Renaming

Anne loves to name things. She names everything from plants, to trees, to objects, etc.

“What is the name of that geranium on the windowsill, please?’

‘That’s the apple-scented geranium.’

‘Oh, I don’t mean that sort of a name. I mean just a name you gave it yourself?…Oh, I like things to have handles even if they are only geraniums. It makes them seem more like people.”

I do that too. I’ve named all my electronics, for instance my printer is Eramus; to everyday objects I use a lot-like my kettle which is Geoffrey. It is fun and better than saying it.

MeanGirls I know right!

And if Anne doesn’t like something, she changes the name.

“When I don’t like the name of a place or a person I always imagine a new one and always think of them so.”

I do that all the time. Remember Metropolis? Freder Frederson was a dumb name to me, so he became Alan instead.

Yes!

Yes!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

D) Matthew Has Never Stood Up to Marilla Before, This Being the Only Exception

Matthew is nice, so nice he never asserts himself, argues, or tries to get his way over another. Marilla wants to send Anne back to the orphanage, but Matthew speaks up. For the first time in his life, he has been contrary to Marilla.

“[Marilla] What good would she be to us?’

‘We might be some good to her.’ said Matthew suddenly and unexpectedly.”

Even though seeing the cruel woman who was going to take her made Marilla change her mind about getting rid of Anne; I believe that Matthew’s insistence helped give her a push in that direction as well.

Mmhm great gatsby

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

E) Anne’s Optimism

anne

Anne has been through so much in life. With people not wanting her, others using her; unhappiness and cynicism is something you would expect her to have, to be a prime part of her life. But does she? NO. She is completely optimistic, hopeful, and consistently sunny even in the grayest of situations. We should all try to strive to be a lot more like her. She makes the best of every situation and enjoys life.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

F) I Speak Fluently in Book Quotes

Anne loves to read, although she hasn’t been able to do it as much as she would have liked. But she is constantly quoting from whatever she has read, having such things pop up randomly in conversations.

Well that is another hope gone. My life is a perfect graveyard of buired hopes. That’s a sentence I read in a book once, and I say itover to comfort myself whenever I’m disappointed in anything.”

Now you might recall I’ve mentioned before that I like to speak in movie quotes, I do the same things with books I’ve read. Most people don’t know what I’m talking about, but it is still fun.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

G) Compares Herself to Books/Book Heroines

What can I say? I do this constantly. I think I’ve done it a thousand times in the past, and am currently doing it right now.

I just can’t help it!

It's how I feel.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

H) Bosom Friends

Finding a best friend is hard. But being without one is worse.

Friends-Best-Friends

We all wish we can have a bosom friend, but not all are luckily enough to find one. And if we do find opne, it is hard to keep them.

1friendstrytomakeplansasanadult

But as Anne says, they are the most important and we need to honor them and try to keep those bonds strong!

And what a good friend Anne is, I hope I’m half as good a friend as she  is.

“And I can give Diana half of them, can’t I? The other half will taste twice as sweet to me  if I give some to her. It’s delightful to think I have something to give her.”

aw cry

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

I) Gilbert Blythe

I have always had a thing for guys who were

talldarkawesome

And I realize, as I read this long before Pride & Prejudice, Gilbert Blythe is probably the reason why.

“[Gilbert Blythe] was a tall boy, with curly brown hair, roguish hazel eyes, and a mouth that twisted into a teasing smile.”

swoon dreamy

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

J) Anne Shirley’s Temper

How many of you have a temper? I know I do. When I was younger I didn’t control it very well and would blow up. Especially if it was something that really hurt me.

HurtMeHurtYouBack

So Anne is the same way. Gilbert wants her attention, but Anne isn’t here, but in her imagination. So Gilbert does the only thing he can think of: he gets her attention by calling her carrots.

Anne of green gables carrots

Anne becomes so enraged she smacks her slate over his head.

anneofgreengableshitslateangry

This was the scene in the book that made my friend think of me. She said that she could see me doing this…and this is the truth. I have done this more times than I care to admit to guys who acted like jerks to me when I was younger. Happily I use my words now, but this was definitely me.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

K) Holding a Grudge

mr-darcytemperopinion

I used to hold grudges all the time and I still do a bit, but try not to. After Gilbert hurt her Anne resolves never to forgive him and starts up a rivalry in that she must beat him in everything.

neverforgive

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

L) Making Mistakes

Anne makes a ton of mistakes, but with every one she always turns them into a positive. And I try to do that all the time. I mean it is inevitable, we are going to mess up as we aren’t perfect. But there is always one thing to hold on to:

AnneofGreenGablesmistaketomorrow

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

M) Matthew Goes Shopping, the Dad Mistake

One of the best parts of the book is when Matthew goes shopping for Anne’s dress. He gets so flustered that he ends up buying a rake and twenty pounds of sugar.

clueless mybad oops

Eventually he gets the neighbor to make her the right dress. Such a dad thing to do; try to get his daughter a dress and fails.

One time when I was at school, my dress’ zipper broke so they called my parents, and my dad came right over. Except he didn’t bring one dress; he didn’t know what to do so he brought every dress in the closet.

Not good

Not good

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

N) Let’s Act Out a Story

Anne and her friends act out the story of the poem The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lloyd Tennyson. They get a boat and put Anne in it, sending her down the river. She loses the oars and the boat springs a leak. Eventually she is stuck in the river.

Not good

Not good

And about to drown, but who should save her?

suspicious Hmm

Gilbert.

Not good

I love this part. First, how sweet that he saves her life.

How sweet!

How sweet!

And secondly, I have never had this happen but I have tried to act stories out and had them fail.

Reality Sucks

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

O) Gilbert and Anne

After Gilbert saves Anne he tries to talk to her and get her forgiveness, and it is just the sweetest scene ever.

“I’m awfully sorry I made fun of your hair that time. I didn’t mean to vex you and I only meant it for a joke…I think your hair is awfully pretty now-honest I do. Let’s be friends.”

gilbertwantedtomeetyou

So sweet!

How sweet!

How sweet!

He’s crazy about her. If only she could see…

Anne&Gilbert

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

P) I Will Never Forgive You

Gilbert cutely asks for Anne’s forgiveness, bur Anne says no. She is holding onto the grudge and continues to do it for a long time. I have to admit that I was the same way. Me and Anne we have Mr. Darcy temperaments.

mr-darcytemperopinion

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Q) Romance Sucks

So Anne decides that romance is over. After almost drowning, she’s done.

romance

But Matthew warns her that not all romance isn’t bad.

“Don’t give up all your romance, Anne,’ he whispered, shyly, ‘a little of it is a good thing-not too much of course-but keep a little of it, Anne, keep a little of it.”

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

R) Anne starts softening

Anne starts softening about Gilbert,even though she doesn’t realize it.

“Gilbert looks awfully determined. I suppose he’s making up his mind, here and now, to win the medal. What a splendid chin he has!

You're so cute

She looks at him, watching him a lot. She see’s him out with Ruby Gillis, and doesn’t like it.

hate her

She has tons of girlfriends, but thinks it would be nice to have a guy as a friend. And Gilbert is so smart, they could spend a lot of time together talking about all kinds of stuff. Watch her Gilbert, soon you will have your in. Just wait a bit longer.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

S) Gilbert Gives Up His School for Anne

After Matthew dies, Anne decides to stall her scholarship to help Marilla with Green Gables as Matthew is gone and Marilla’s eyesight is horrible. Gilbert gets the Avonlea school, while Anne will have to travel out to White Sands. However, Gilbert goes to the board and has them switch schools so that Anne can stay there with Marilla.

OMG gasp

The whole point of him not going to continue his education was because he needed to earn money to pay for it. So now he switches schools and will have to pay board, eating into the funds he has been trying to save.

How romantic!

How romantic!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

And even though nothing turns out quite like she hopes, she’s lost those she cared for, built new friendships, teaching instead of being schooled; Anne can still find joy in life.

“God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world…”

Wow

Wow

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Just love it. If you haven’t read it, read it. If you have read it, read it again!

imagination

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to At Midnight, Your Coach Will Become a Pumpkin Again, and the Animals Will Regain Their Original Shape Until Your Next Ball: Ella Enchanted

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on Anne of Green Gables, go to Imagination

For more on L.M. Montgomery, go to Fashionably Postworthy

For more on Gilbert Blythe, go to Fanning All Over the Place

For more on Fred Rogers, go to I Found this Blank Book of Stitched Together Pages…I’ll Record the Details of Our Confinement: Book of a Thousand Days

For more Sarah Dessen quotes, go to Austenland

christmas-flowers-banner

Today’s Christmas Carol is Good King Wenceslas. Good King Wenceslas is based on the historical Saint Wenceslaus I. The carol is telling the story about Wenceslaus and his page going out in the cold to deliver alms for the poor.

The song was written in 1853, with the lyrics by John Mason Neale and the music borrowed from the 13th century carol Tempus adest floridum.

I chose the version by Bing Crosby, as you all know how much I love him!

christmas-flowers-banner

For more Bing Crosby, go to The Unknown Princess Nevermore

For more Christmas carols, go to You Will Be Haunted By Three Spirits: A Christmas Carol