Friday, October 13, 2017

The Loving Spirit by Daphne DuMaurier

The Loving Spirit by Daphne DuMaurier was her first novel and was published in 1931. Even then, she was a good storyteller.

I struggled with this book and almost didn't finish it, but I ended up enjoying the story that follows Janet Coombe, and three more generations of her family. I didn't care for Janet Coombe's part of the story. She was a strong woman, which I like in a character, but she was messed up. Her section of the book is uncomfortable to read. She is obsessed with her son Joseph, and talks about him as if he is her lover instead of her son. She treats him like he can do no wrong, and he is a spoiled boy who isn't very nice a lot of the time. Janet's obsession with Joseph has a negative impact on one of her other sons who becomes quite jealous of Joseph, and his anger will be a part of the entire story.

I enjoyed Joseph's section of the book more, but still didn't feel compelled to keep turning pages. However, at this point, I was beginning to enjoying seeing how the actions of a previous generation affected the next generation.

He in turn favors one of his children, but luckily, this child has a mother who creates some distance between the two, and Christopher grows up to be a fine man. Because DuMaurier is telling the story, be sure to expect tragedy. She loves to tell a dark story, which may be one reason I like her storytelling so much.

The last section of the story, is about Christopher's daughter, Jennifer, and she is my favorite character of the story. She is strong, brave, and headstrong, although at one point, I wish DuMaurier had allowed her to rescue herself. She believes in revenge, but goes about it in a kind but strong way.

This book made me think a lot about people and how the actions of others change them, and how part of who we become depends on who our ancestors were. This is not DuMaurier's best work, but it is thought provoking, and if you enjoy her work as I do, you will want to add this book to your collection.

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address or you can drop them off at the McKay Dee Hospital NICU Attention: Angie Moore in Ogden, Utah and we will see they get to the right place. 

Here are some recent donations to our NICU book project. Scholastic always has a $1 book each month, and Angie and I purchased thirty of these treasures. This allows us to get brand new books for the NICU at a good price and it allows your child's teacher to get free books for their classroom - win, win. 
 If you haven't checked out Mo Willems before, he is a wonderful author for beginning readers and younger children. He makes kids feel like reading is fun and possible. 

Brandy Peterson, a friend of the NICU, donated a big box of books to the NICU. The top pictures shows books that will go to the NICU babies. The bottom picture is books that are in good condition, but not pristine enough for the fragile babies. The nice part is that as a teacher, I have many teacher friends who are desperate for books to set up classroom libraries, so every book that is donated to our cause, finds the right place to help children on their lifelong reading journey. 

Thank you, Brandy. 

At the current time, our project is in need of Spanish books, especially Spanish board books. Children need to be proficient readers in their home language before they can become proficient in English, so we need Spanish or Spanish/English books for these sweet little ones whose first language is Spanish. We as always can use English storybooks. 

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

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