Perhaps a more appropriate title would have been “Elsie’s Everalsting Trials and How She Wept Through Them”.
In announcing the LibriVox release of the first Elsie book, I mentioned how wearisome the crying was, and yet despite it, the book had some merit. Not so the second offering!
The book continues precisely where the first book left off, which is the only explanation I can concieve for the title of this second book in the series. There is certainly nothing to do with holidays in this volume. What then does it encompass? Well!! There is the usual mushy-mushy father daughter stuff, followed by the crisis.
The crisis is Elsie’s father asking her to read from a moralistic novel on the Sabbath. Now, I have no desire to debate the validity of following the Sabbath, or making our own rules about what that entails (Oh, confound it – I confess I do, but this is not the post for it, lol!) but this is the turning point in the book. From that request on, Elsie’s father becomes an absolute monster of humanity; Elsie weeps through every second paragraph (I tell you, that wears very thin!); the father is then on the point of death; Elsie is then on the point of death; Elsie is then on the brink of insanity; and then the resolution – her father shares her faith after Elsie is pronounced dead. Phew. What an emotional roller coaster: or at least it would be if one could bring themselves to care for some of the most pious, self righteous, unrealistic characters to ever grace the pages of a book.
I have no problems with “unrealistic” as a characteristic of the story: I loved Little Lord Fauntelroy, and he and his mother were both saintly, but the syrup, and the histronics, and the affectations and the hysteria of the book are combined with some very trite theological attempts. All together it is a literary emotional soup that is too, too trying!
My advice on this one (should you have maybe missed it 😉 ) is to give this book a wide berth.