Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I was never so relieved to hear anything as the words "God has pardoned all my sins, and accepted me as a laborer worthy to enter his vineyard. Is Edna Earl more righteous than the Lord she worships?" (Emphasis added) Definite score! Thank goodness. So relieved. About time. Finally! Anyways, for those of you who don't know what I am referring to; I just finished a novel called St. Elmo written by Augusta Jane Evans; who must have been married by the way because on the copy I read she is called Augusta Evans Wilson; but do not look for it in the news because Mrs. Evans, or shall we say, Mrs. Wilson, has been dead for at least one hundred years; get a copy of St. Elmo because its an interesting read, unlike Macaria - there was something seriously wrong with that one. Alright alright. In complete seriousness St. Elmo was a good book and that I really enjoyed it is evidenced by the fact that I started reading it yesterday around 5:00 PM, and finished it today, around 6:30 PM. Taking into consideration the time I spent sleeping, eating, and doing chores, I read it in less than ten hours. Not exactly a new record for the number of pages; but it definitely attests to the quality of the book. If you don't have a copy, get one! (Imagine Woody from Toy Story saying the last sentence) Thanks Johanna for the excellent recommendation. I must admit, half way through the book I was worried it was going to be exactly like Macaria slash Beulah, but it exceeded my expectations. Now if I can only convince myself that Edna is going to survive the first few weeks of her marriage, (her health was really giving out in the end there - fainting and missing out on her own wedding service and all), I will be happy. Of course, if you think you may die young it makes perfect sense to marry someone twenty or so years older than you; that way you might make it through life together and die at the same time. Otherwise I wouldn't recommend marrying a forty something year old when your twentyish. Rather creepy. I am happy to report that St. Elmo never seemed like he was that old however (Yes, St. Elmo is the name of a guy, or I should say, the guy, in the book) and despite Mrs. Evans /Wilsons infrequent allusions to his age, I felt fairly comfortable with him and Edna's romance, choosing to ignore the unnecessary and bothersome references to his growing age and thinking of him as a remarkably "well preserved" man in his thirties. There was some slight confusion about the final, ehem, proposal scene in the book. Evans had been going on about Edna's failing health for so long that I expected her to die every minute (Like all the guys in Macaria). And for some reason I thought she died in Mr. Murray's arms before answering his question and telling him she loved him. It was rather, well, comical actually. She wasn't answering him for so long I was really worried, and I think he must have been too though he didn't say so. I had to re-read the part three or four times to assure myself that she was alive, and only speechless with joy and surprise. Then I thought for sure she was going to die before the wedding service, and had to re-read that section several times too. (I guess I had to un-train my expectations of Evans dramatically woeful endings based on my former experiences with her work) But that was the only complaint I have about the book. I didn't intend for this little review to carry on so long so I'll end it with the words - "Man-like is it to fall into sin, Fiend-like is it to dwell therein, Christ-like is it for sin to grieve, God-like is it all sin to leave!" And another favorite passage - "His house she enters, there to be a light, Shining withing when all without is night; A guardian angel o'er all his life presiding, Doubling his pleasures and all his cares dividing; Winning him back, when mingling in the throng From a vain world we love, alas! too long, To fireside happiness and hours of ease, Blest with that charm, that certainty to please. How oft her eyes read his! her gentle mind Still subject - ever on the watch to borrow Mirth of his mirth, and sorrow of his sorrow."