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The Young Clementina Paperback – July 2, 2013
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"A good, old fashioned romance, nicely plotted and smartly executed." - Fleur In her World
"The Young Clementina was surprisingly engaging and wonderful." - Christy's Books
About the Author
D.E. Stevenson (1892-1973) had an enormously successful writing career; between 1923 and 1970, four million copies of her books were sold in Britain and three million in the United States.
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For those of you that are Mrs. Tim or Miss Buncle fans, please be warned that this is one of her more serious novels.
Mr. Dean (parson of Hinkleton Church) had two daughters: Char (Charlotte) and Kitty (Clementina). Char, the older, was taught at home by her father and spent her leisure hours reading and playing adventure games with her best friend Garth Wisdon (only child and heir of Mr. Wisdon of the luxurious Hinkleton Manor). Kitty, four years younger, doesn't care for boyish games or reading and was sent away to a boarding school to be "finished." Before Garth goes off to fight in WWI he and Char realize their friendship has grown into love. Char promises to wait for him.
When Garth returns he is not the same--he treats Char cruelly and within two weeks he is engaged to marry Kitty. Char is emotionally crushed and after the wedding and the death of her father she leaves the country to work in London. Meanwhile Kitty and Garth have a daughter who they name Clementina.
Just as Lassie always saved the day near the end of her half hour TV program, we know that somehow, despite many bitter moments, Stevenson will find happiness for Char by the end of the novel.
It's not the very best Stevenson novel I have read but I loved it anyway and darn it I'm giving it 5 stars because I want more of her out of print titles to be e published.
Added afterwards: I notice the publisher is Sourcebooks. This is the same publisher who put all of Georgette Heyer back in print so I have high hopes that we shall have more D.E. Stevenson to delight old fans soon.
The story was somewhat different from her other books, and it concerns love that lasts through a lifetime, not off with the old and on with the new. The first World War is plays a major role in the life of the 2 main characters, but it is in the background of the story. The idyllic countryside and the simple life we attribute to past times is not so idyllic. In some ways life is simpler, but in others, in the unfolding of a life, the characters had their tragedies, joys, and cross purposes, as we humans do. A fine book, if you like good writing, an English setting, and a fine story.