Monday, March 22, 2021

Reader's Diary #2179 - Sarah Orne Jewett: The Hiltons' Holiday

If you take an uneventful couple of pages from Lucy Maud Montgomery or Laura Ingalls Wilder you pretty much have Sarah Orne Jewett's short story "The Hiltons' Holiday." It involves a father taking a break from the work of farm life in the country to take his daughters to town. That's pretty much it in terms of a plot, unless you consider him forgetting to buy the hoe he'd intended on to be some major twist.

It's not entirely boring, I suppose. From a historical perspective, there's certain charm, even if it's a bit rose-coloured. It probably works best as a character study. The girls are young women and though different in personality, both get taken in by the "excitement" of town. I related to that somewhat as I recall being entranced by visiting St. John's, Newfoundland as a kid, thinking it was the biggest and most exciting city in the world. The dad is also interesting. He's lovable, though a bit sad in his obvious issues with his own parents, and a bit frustrating the way he puts town folk on a pedestal. 

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