Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Sunday Salon: Reading Pollyanna Grows Up (1915)

Pollyanna Grows Up. Eleanor H. Porter. 1915. 304 pages.

In January, I read Pollyanna and loved it. I definitely wanted to read the sequel. The novel begins with a nurse (Della Wetherby) visiting her cranky (grieving) sister (Mrs. Carew). The nurse is wishing that her sister could meet Pollyanna. She's bold enough to write to Pollyanna's guardians (aunt and uncle) to ask them to send Pollyanna to visit Mrs. Carew in Boston. As the couple is about to go to Germany, they agree that Pollyanna can remain behind and go and stay with Mrs. Carew for a year. The first half of this sequel is about her year in Boston: the friends she makes, the experiences she has, etc. The second half of the novel is about Pollyanna when she is grown up (20+).

Mrs. Carew is a wealthy, cranky widow. Her "good excuse" for being cranky and shutting the world out is that she is mourning the loss of her nephew, Jamie. After Jamie's parents died, she lost all contact with the young child. She was never able to find out what happened to him, where he went, who took him in, etc. He 'vanished' from her life and she desperately wanted to adopt him and raise him herself. She's searched and searched but to no avail.

Will Pollyanna change Mrs. Carew? Perhaps the better question is HOW MUCH will she change Mrs. Carew's life?

Pollyanna Grows Up offered few surprises. I was able to predict almost everything that happened in this one. That didn't make it less compelling. I was guessing something specific and I had to wait and wait and wait and wait for it. So it ended up keeping me reading all the same. I didn't love everything about this one. There are a couple of awkward scenes between Pollyanna and Jimmy Bean. I liked seeing Pollyanna in Boston, and I enjoyed seeing her perspective on the world change throughout the novel. How her eyes were opened to the misfortunes of others and the very real dangers that others faced on a day-to-day basis. Readers meet Jamie, a boy who can't walk, and Sadie, an (honest) working girl who is afraid of being noticed too much by all the wrong people.
I long ago discovered that you can't TELL about Pollyanna. The minute you try to, she sounds priggish and preachy, and--impossible. Yet you and I know she is anything but that. (10)
"Aunt Polly is all stirred up over it. You see, she wants Uncle Tom to have what he wants, only she wants him to want what she wants him to want. See?" Mrs. Carew laughed suddenly. (22)
Have you read Pollyanna Grows Up? Did you enjoy it as much as Pollyanna? Would you recommend it? What did you think of Pollyanna and Jimmy Bean and the conclusions they make about each other?

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP