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The English Orphans   By: (1825-1907)

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The English Orphans is a captivating novel written by Mary Jane Holmes that takes readers on an emotional journey through the lives of two orphaned sisters, Helen and Grace Howard. Set in England during the mid-19th century, the story explores themes of love, sacrifice, and the pursuit of happiness.

Holmes has masterfully crafted a tale that keeps readers engaged from the very first page. Her vivid descriptions transport us back in time, allowing us to visualize the small English village where the sisters grow up, as well as the opulence of London society.

One of the strengths of this novel is Holmes' ability to create well-rounded and relatable characters. Helen, the elder sister, is strong-willed and fiercely independent, while Grace is more reserved and nurturing. As the story unfolds, we witness their growth and development, experiencing their joys and sorrows.

The author skillfully addresses social issues of the time, such as the limitations placed on women and the stark differences between social classes. Through her characters, she challenges these societal norms and explores the possibilities of a more equitable world.

Moreover, Holmes weaves a complex web of romantic relationships that adds depth and intrigue to the narrative. From forbidden love to unexpected twists, the book is filled with tender moments, heartbreak, and ultimately, redemption.

The pacing of the story is well-balanced, with each chapter concluding on a cliffhanger that makes it difficult to put the book down. Additionally, the author's attention to historical details creates an authentic backdrop, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the time period.

However, there were moments when the plot felt predictable, and some of the narrative threads seemed too neatly resolved. While this could be seen as a reflection of the era's sentimental style, it might leave readers hoping for more complexity and depth in the storytelling.

Overall, The English Orphans is a compelling novel that blends romance, drama, and historical fiction seamlessly. Mary Jane Holmes' eloquent prose and well-crafted characters make for an entertaining read that will appeal to fans of Victorian literature and those who appreciate a touching tale of love, resilience, and the power of family bonds.

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Or, A Home in the New World



Author of Darkness and Daylight , Marian Grey , Meadow Brook , Homestead , Dora Deane , Cousin Maude , Tempest and Sunshine , Lena Rivers , etc.



I. The Emigrants

II. Chicopee

III. Billy Bender

IV. Ella Campbell

V. The Poor House

VI. Sal Furbush

VII. The Lincolns

VIII. At Church

IX. The New Bonnet

X. Winter at the Poor House

XI. Alice

XII. A New Friend

XIII. A New Home in Rice Corner

XIV. Visitors

XV. The Three Young Men

XVI. The Schoolmistress

XVII. Jealousy

XVIII. A New Plan

XIX. Mount Holyoke

XX. The closing of the year

XXI. Vacation

XXII. Education Finished

XXIII. Life in Boston

XXIV. A Change of Opinion

XXV. The Party

XXVI. Making up his Mind

XXVII. The Shadows Deepen

XXVIII. Glenwood

XXIX. A New Discovery

XXX. The Crisis

XXXI. A Question

XXXII. Going Home

XXXIII. Conclusion



"What makes you keep that big blue sun bonnet drawn so closely over your face? are you afraid of having it seen?"

The person addressed was a pale, sickly looking child about nine years of age, who, on the deck of the vessel Windermere, was gazing intently towards the distant shores of old England, which were fast receding from view... Continue reading book >>

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