Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril, and Romanceby Marthe Jocelyn
It’s the year 1901, and fourteen-year-old aspiring writer Mable Riley is on her way to fulfilling her dreams, or so she hopes. After moving with her sister to a/b>
"Historical fiction buffs, especially those interested in the women’s suffrage movement, will enjoy sharing the eye-opening experiences of Mable Riley." — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
It’s the year 1901, and fourteen-year-old aspiring writer Mable Riley is on her way to fulfilling her dreams, or so she hopes. After moving with her sister to a faraway town, Mable meets a real writer, one who wears daring fashions, unnerves the townsfolk by sharing her opinions, and has a few shocking secrets as well. Designed as a vintage journal, MABLE RILEY follows a feisty girl as she finds her own voice in a time when women struggled for independence — a charmingly told tale that is as funny as it is inspiring.
"Mable Riley is the best of everyday heroines-imaginative and funny, a thinker and a dreamer. Readers will laugh out loud at her Anne-of-Green-Gables hijinks, and cheer her independent thinking all the way." — Megan McDonald, author of the best-selling Judy Moody series — Megan McDonald, author of the best-selling Judy Moody series
"Three cheers for Mable Riley and a hurrah for author Marthe Jocelyn. . . . Mable is a force, albeit a very humorous one. . . . Readers will delight in and applaud Mable finding her voice ‘singing like rain and hollering like thunder.’" — Ken Setterington, Children and Youth Advocate for Library Services, Toronto Public Library and co-author of A GUIDE TO CANADIAN CHILDREN'S BOOKS — Ken Setterington, Children and Youth Advocate for Library Services, Toronto Public Library and co-author of A GUIDE TO CANADIAN CHILDREN'S BOOKS
"[A] wry, perceptive novel . . . As an aspiring writer, tart, determined Mable Riley rarely wants for words, and her love of the grand gesture — and the truth — mark her as a heroine readers will surely take to heart." — Leonard Marcus, author of MARGARET WISE BROWN: AWAKENED BY THE MOON — Leonard Marcus, author of MARGARET WISE BROWN: AWAKENED BY THE MOON
Read an Excerpt
After the tea but before the supper . . .
Perhaps it takes only a little determination to change the course of one’s life, for here on this very page I declared my yearning for novelty and already have I tripped across it! It came about in this manner: I went to the kitchen earlier, to borrow a needle from Mrs. Goodhand, as mine had jumped into a crack in the ?oor and hidden there. I heard Elizabeth’s cross voice as I entered, and thought at once to leave, but was seen already and could not depart naturally.
"Why must I go?" she complained. "I came only to fetch the soap for my mother. Mrs. Rattle is so peculiar! She speaks recklessly, as if to test me, and she’s never grateful in the least for our donations."
"We are being good neighbours," said Mrs. Goodhand, reproving her niece. "I have baked the loaves and they await delivery."
"Why need it be me?" asked Elizabeth as she noticed me in the doorway. "As long as the bread is delivered, why should Mable not be the do-gooder today?"
I was instantly of two minds. I had no wish to perform a task that Elizabeth found distasteful, but I could hear my mother’s voice imploring me to "be always quick in doing what is right for others."
"Is there an errand you would have done, Mrs. Goodhand?" I asked, ignoring Elizabeth’s smirk of satisfaction. Mrs. Goodhand sighed and wiped her hands upon her apron front.
"There is, Mable, though I do not approve of Elizabeth’s reluctance." She explained there is a widow lady of little means, living a mile off toward the town. Mrs. Goodhand makes to her a gift of corn bread every Sunday, though the other women of the church are not so openhanded.
"Because she’s mad," said Elizabeth. "Perfectly loony. And she does not go to church."
"Not mad, I think," said Mrs. Goodhand. "But nor is she wholesome."
I felt a shiver climb my spine.
"There is nothing to fear." Mrs. Goodhand saw me flinch and patted my arm. "She will not eat you. That is why you are bringing bread." She used one of her few smiles and sent me to fetch my shawl. I took the bundle and went the way I was pointed, wondering at whom I should find. I expected a withered crone crouching behind brambles, waving a hawthorn cane and muttering dreadful maledictions.
Think, then, of my surprise when the door of a cottage called Silver Lining was opened by a woman only a few years older than Viola, perhaps five and twenty. She wore a most extraordinary ensemble — her skirt coming only to her knees, with wide trousers underneath, gathered tight at the ankles. She wore slippers on her feet coloured the deepest red, as though she’d been wading in blood. She looked like the illustration of a Persian genie in a book, and not at all like a widow lady in a farm cottage in Ontario. It was her dark hair, unconfined and hanging loose about her face, that made me recollect the bicycle rider we had passed on our first night in Sellerton. This must be she!
"Did you think you were arriving at an exhibit, my dear?" she asked, raising one eyebrow high. "Or have you some purpose here other than to stare?"
Meet the Author
Marthe Jocelyn is an award-winning author and illustrator who worked for many years as a toy designer before turning her hand to writing. She has written six novels, including the critically acclaimed works of historical fiction, Mable Riley and Earthly Astonishments. Jocelyn has also written a nonfiction account of the Foundling Hospital in London, England, entitled, A Home for Foundlings. She has created eight picture books, one of which, Hannah’s Collections, was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award for Illustration. Jocelyn has also edited two collections of short stories. Marthe Jocelyn divides her time between New York and Stratford, Ontario.
From the Hardcover edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Thnx! I am in a tough spot. He is the only guy who has ever looked at me the way he does. And he is my best friend! Its gonna be a long hard year.
I like this girl and my friend told her that i like her but she was dating someone at the time and hasnt said anything since but they broke up a day after my friend told her she still hasnt said anything or talked to me we were really good friends but now she kind of walks past me like im nothing and also shes kind of like a girl version of a player she gets guys then dumps them but shes also really nice so i dont know if i should ask her out
The thing is, him and l are besties. I have said hi, and l am just not sure if l want to ask him out as this may ruin our... friendsjip.
I loved how detailed Jocelyn wrote the 'diary.' The first few pages were not so good but then I found myself attached to it . I could not put it down !!
A great coming of age story that happens during the begininnig of the women's movement during the early 1900's in Canada. Mable learns many things during this year of her life. Most importantly, she learns to think and act for herself. Very impressive book.
I wished I had Mable for a daughter. Her integrity would make any woman or mother proud.This historical fiction book, written in a diary format, is charming, funny and a wonderful realistic account of a young girl who is coming of age, understanding the difficulties during the sufferget period, and how she processes it for herself.