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Elsie's Girlhood

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As Elsie Dinsmore grows up and becomes a young woman, her family also experiences major changes when her father remarries.


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As Elsie Dinsmore grows up and becomes a young woman, her family also experiences major changes when her father remarries.

30 review for Elsie's Girlhood

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I actually picked up this book without knowing anything about it (my copy was printed 1872). It's definitely very Christian, which is fine but it's very dated Christian. I mean to say, according to the values put forth by the author theatre and dancing are both activities good Christians don't partake in. Some of the moral lessons caused a lot of eyebrow raising. I found the relationship between Elsie and her father very odd. I got the feeling that the author was very unhappy with her filial rela I actually picked up this book without knowing anything about it (my copy was printed 1872). It's definitely very Christian, which is fine but it's very dated Christian. I mean to say, according to the values put forth by the author theatre and dancing are both activities good Christians don't partake in. Some of the moral lessons caused a lot of eyebrow raising. I found the relationship between Elsie and her father very odd. I got the feeling that the author was very unhappy with her filial relationship and so concocted some fantasy relationship with all the ideals of a relationship inserted. Which made it not very believeable, actually. There were no morals I object to in the book, but they are very old fashioned and taken too far in my opinion. It was an OK book, and an amusing look into life at that time and what was discussed and what wasn't. For instance, they never mention Rose being pregnant, or getting pregnant, or looking pregnant, but two children magically appear in the family. I got a good laugh out of that!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emma Grace

    Love this book! I have no clue how many times I have read it. I get teary eyed in exactly three scene EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. (I am sure I cried way more the first time reading the book! ;P)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bkwyrm

    I CAN'T STOP READING THESE, PLEASE SEND HELP. Racist, sexist, saccharine-sweet, no real plot except "Elsie is persecuted but loves God and submits to her father!" It's like a car crash. I'm determined to read them all, just to say I did it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Therese

    Just a note, most of my comments contain spoilers. The beginning of the book picks up like the second book never ended, just like with the first book. So it might be a little bit confusing to those who haven't read the previous books. Mr. Dinsmore states all this (view spoiler)[in his proposal to Rose, but that's about 40 pages in to the book (hide spoiler)] . Speaking of which, I want to say what I thought of the match. I liked it. I kind of predicted it in the second book, and I'm glad that the Just a note, most of my comments contain spoilers. The beginning of the book picks up like the second book never ended, just like with the first book. So it might be a little bit confusing to those who haven't read the previous books. Mr. Dinsmore states all this (view spoiler)[in his proposal to Rose, but that's about 40 pages in to the book (hide spoiler)] . Speaking of which, I want to say what I thought of the match. I liked it. I kind of predicted it in the second book, and I'm glad that they did get married. Oh, and Miss Stevens was just plain annoying, FYI. Then Ms. Finley skips ahead a few years, to when Elsie is around 15 years old. Plenty of little adventures, and Arthur keeps harassing Elsie for money because he's become addicted to gambling. (I KNEW that Arthur would turn out bad - never liked him...). And THEN Elsie goes on a vacation without her father for the Summer when she is about 18. This was surprising to me because I had no idea that Elsie had even aged at all, I thought it was all in the same year until they mentioned her age. Elsie meets a boy there. The second proposal in the book in made - what Elsie doesn't know is that (view spoiler)[ he is actually a fortune hunter, and he learned about Elsie from Arthur who is in a lot of debt to this man. Fortunately she doesn't actually marry him because her father finds out in time. (hide spoiler)] Okay, here are my final comments. I love who Elsie gets engaged to at the end. I was VERY surprised that they actually got/were getting married, but I approve of the match. ;P I thought that Elsie's little brother, little Horace, was adorable! I wish we saw more of Rosebud, but I suppose that we will in the next book. :) Overall I give this book 4 1/2 stars. Can't wait to read the next book!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Esther Filbrun

    I finished Elsie’s Holidays at Roselands quite a while ago now, and had this one on my Kindle waiting to be read, but for some reason I never started it until the end of last week. I had figured this was going to be one of the more boring books—after she gets married it’s more interesting for a book or so—but I had forgotten about the plot twist half-way through this book! So Tuesday, while waiting for internet pages to load, I read bits and snatches—and then couldn’t wait any longer, so I finis I finished Elsie’s Holidays at Roselands quite a while ago now, and had this one on my Kindle waiting to be read, but for some reason I never started it until the end of last week. I had figured this was going to be one of the more boring books—after she gets married it’s more interesting for a book or so—but I had forgotten about the plot twist half-way through this book! So Tuesday, while waiting for internet pages to load, I read bits and snatches—and then couldn’t wait any longer, so I finished the remaining three chapters that night. Elsie’s Girlhood is basically the story of her late teenage years, when everyone wanted to marry her. It also contains the story of Mr. Dinsmore marrying one of Elsie’s best friends. I loved the ending of the story—it was very sweet.

  6. 4 out of 5

    aMandalin

    Excellent! Action, love, and great examples of how Christian girls SHOULD act.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Katja

    5 stars & 5/10 hearts. I really enjoyed this book. Elsie is such an inspiring character—a convicting & encouraging example. She’s also just such a sweet, lovely girl! :) There was actually a lot of humour in this book with Aunt Wealthy. And I really appreciated how the whole subject of listening to your parents when choosing a spouse was discussed. It’s so seldom upheld—this was refreshing to read.  A Favourite Quote: “The gentle murmur of old ocean came pleasantly to her ear, and sweetly in her 5 stars & 5/10 hearts. I really enjoyed this book. Elsie is such an inspiring character—a convicting & encouraging example. She’s also just such a sweet, lovely girl! :) There was actually a lot of humour in this book with Aunt Wealthy. And I really appreciated how the whole subject of listening to your parents when choosing a spouse was discussed. It’s so seldom upheld—this was refreshing to read.  A Favourite Quote: “The gentle murmur of old ocean came pleasantly to her ear, and sweetly in her mind arose the thought of Him whom even the winds and the sea obey; of His never failing love to her, and of the many great and precious promises of His word.” A Favourite Beautiful Quote: “...a pleasant, breezy apartment, opening on a veranda, and looking out upon the sea, whose dark waves, here and there tipped with foam, could be dimly seen rolling and tossing beneath the light of the stars and of a young moon that hung like a golden crescent just above the horizon.” A Favourite Humorous Quote: “‘There, Aunt Chloe, just stand on the dish, and hand down that chair from this top shelf. Or, if you would, Horace, you're taller, and can reach better. I'm always like the sycamore tree that was little of stature, and couldn't see Zaccheus till he climbed into it.’ “‘Rather a new and improved version of the Bible narrative, aunt, isn't it?’ asked Mr. Dinsmore, with an amused look, as he came toward her. ‘And I fear I'm rather heavy to stand on a dish; but will use the chair instead, if you like.’”

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    "As Elsie Dinsmore grows up and becomes a young woman, her family undergoes major changes. Her father, Horace Dinsmore, falls in love with sweet Rose Allison, whom Elsie has loved since childhood. Soon two new members - Horace Jr. and Rosebud - join the happy family. Elsie spends a summer with her eccentric Aunt Wealthy and experiences the joy of first love and the deep pain of betrayal. In an attempt to cure her broken heart, Elsie's family takes her on a tour of Europe. Upon her return - where "As Elsie Dinsmore grows up and becomes a young woman, her family undergoes major changes. Her father, Horace Dinsmore, falls in love with sweet Rose Allison, whom Elsie has loved since childhood. Soon two new members - Horace Jr. and Rosebud - join the happy family. Elsie spends a summer with her eccentric Aunt Wealthy and experiences the joy of first love and the deep pain of betrayal. In an attempt to cure her broken heart, Elsie's family takes her on a tour of Europe. Upon her return - where and when she least expects it - Elsie discovers the delightful wonder of a true and enduring love." (From the back of the book)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christie

    These books were written in a different time, and much has changed since then. I don't find them offensive in any way. I think they're sweet, innocent stories, but I'm certain not all would enjoy, as is evident in other reviews. I might not agree with all that is written within their pages, but that's the case with many a book I've read. I should say that this one has been my favorite in the series thus far.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ailee

    This book was very charming! Elsie has a fervent obedience to her father, which to me seems a bit extreme at times, but it really was a beautiful picture of how our relationship should be with God. It made me want to be a more submissive and obedient daughter. I learned a lot from this book, and I should like my future daughters to read it, if I should have any.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Faith Burnside

    This books. My word, what can I even say.... More racism, more absurdly controlling parents, more destroying the spirits of a perfect child, and well, lets just say it, more grooming of the creepy paedophilic uncle figure she eventually marries. Please do not let your daughters read this.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD is #3 in the ongoing saga of sugar-sweet Elsie and her devoted Papa. Here, little Elsie grows up to be the fairytale princess we always suspected her to be. As a young woman she's so beautiful that people gasp with admiration at the very sight of her. She "sings like a nightingale," she has beautiful glossy ringlets, and the young men clamor for her attention. Of course Elsie is known to be fabulously wealthy too, so she must be especially wary of fortune-hunters. Papa, as might ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD is #3 in the ongoing saga of sugar-sweet Elsie and her devoted Papa. Here, little Elsie grows up to be the fairytale princess we always suspected her to be. As a young woman she's so beautiful that people gasp with admiration at the very sight of her. She "sings like a nightingale," she has beautiful glossy ringlets, and the young men clamor for her attention. Of course Elsie is known to be fabulously wealthy too, so she must be especially wary of fortune-hunters. Papa, as might be expected, guards her jealously all the time. This book spans over a decade, moving our heroine well into the 1850's. She's still "Papa's little girl" yet after Papa's happy second marriage, she seems a bit less tied to him. She has an early romance that Papa botches, and the rejected suitor subsequently dies of a broken heart! (He really does. I kid you not.) Later, Elsie falls in love with a ne'er-do-well who's only after her money...but can Papa convince her of that? Every scene is played out in melodramatic style, with much purple prose. Elsie still weeps copious tears, though she's less soppy than she used to be in her younger days. And despite Martha Finley's high-minded moralizing the storyline is pure soap opera all the way. It's interesting to see which suitor ultimately wins Elsie's heart---though, in the final chapter, not all readers will be entirely happy with her choice...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Darlene Franklin

    I reread this book for research for a book idea. . .seeing if I could update the beloved story. Elsie Dinsmore is a too-perfect heroine, portraying an altogether too-strict view of Christian behavior and a child who never ever disobwys. But as a child I adored her as did my mother, who introduced me to her. One of my gifts to her in her later years was the complete sets of Elsie's books and paper dolls of Elsie and her beautiful clothes. And in spite of her too-perfect behavior, Elsie deals with h I reread this book for research for a book idea. . .seeing if I could update the beloved story. Elsie Dinsmore is a too-perfect heroine, portraying an altogether too-strict view of Christian behavior and a child who never ever disobwys. But as a child I adored her as did my mother, who introduced me to her. One of my gifts to her in her later years was the complete sets of Elsie's books and paper dolls of Elsie and her beautiful clothes. And in spite of her too-perfect behavior, Elsie deals with heart-ache--death, betrayal, separation--with tears and faith and strong feelings. I felt the same sense of revulsion towards the bad suitor and sigh of satisfaction when she found her true love. Although as a romance writer, I would like to have seen that expanded in the same way Ms.Finley expanded her experience with the bad apple. There is also an overly-sugar coated relationship of slaves with slave owners, the way we/I hope might exist in some households. Today it would be considered racist. At the time, she might have been foreward thinking in including them as fleshed-out characters from whom Elsie also learned. I can't in honesty recommend this highly, but it was a wonderful nostalgic read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Elsie is a young teenager when this book begins, established as a wealthy young lady, now living with her much-loved father. This book follows her friendships and her maturing, as she falls in love for the first time. There are some poignant moments as well as some that made me roll my eyes somewhat. I did feel that the story was a little more realistic than the first, and that Elsie felt a bit more believable, although the chasm between the 'good' and the 'bad' people is a little too big to be Elsie is a young teenager when this book begins, established as a wealthy young lady, now living with her much-loved father. This book follows her friendships and her maturing, as she falls in love for the first time. There are some poignant moments as well as some that made me roll my eyes somewhat. I did feel that the story was a little more realistic than the first, and that Elsie felt a bit more believable, although the chasm between the 'good' and the 'bad' people is a little too big to be true. A strong Christian theme underlies the story, but it wasn't quite as overt as in the first book, and Elsie wasn't so irritating as she was as a young child; she no longer keeps dissolving into tears, and while she's hardly a typical teenager, she does seem rather more likeable. Three and a half stars, really.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bec

    Elsie books are not for everyone. They are dated in culture and Christian values and morals. They were written as children books but I wouldn't have been able to understand these books as a child to be perfectly honest. Elsie's world is so long ago and so different from my own world. Elsie's Girlhood has been my favourite out of the first four books with the first book coming in a close second. Elsie is sweet and innocent and very naive about the world. She's been sheltered by her father who giv Elsie books are not for everyone. They are dated in culture and Christian values and morals. They were written as children books but I wouldn't have been able to understand these books as a child to be perfectly honest. Elsie's world is so long ago and so different from my own world. Elsie's Girlhood has been my favourite out of the first four books with the first book coming in a close second. Elsie is sweet and innocent and very naive about the world. She's been sheltered by her father who gives her everything she needs as long as he approves of course. In Elsie's Girlhood we followe Elsie as she grows up to becoming a woman, we experience her first love and heartbreak.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    This was heaps better than the first book, I can't vouch for it being better or worse than the second one since the library didn't have it when I got this one. My only real gripes about this story was that it kind of jumped around making the story hard to follow at times. Elsie also was still a bit too weapy and over-obsessed with "whats-his name" even though you as the reader already knew he was trouble. I loved the ending, but I always find it wierd when *Spoiler Alert* * * * * * * * The main characte This was heaps better than the first book, I can't vouch for it being better or worse than the second one since the library didn't have it when I got this one. My only real gripes about this story was that it kind of jumped around making the story hard to follow at times. Elsie also was still a bit too weapy and over-obsessed with "whats-his name" even though you as the reader already knew he was trouble. I loved the ending, but I always find it wierd when *Spoiler Alert* * * * * * * * The main character falls for an older man. (Like in Emma even though I really like that book.)Overall a great improvement to the first book and an even more charming book to boot.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Plenty of proofing errors in the reprinting that we bought. But the story is still marvelous. Difficult to follow the writer as time as she skips through stories but suddently introduces a new character that has been around for some time but not mentioned. A unique writing style. This book is more than amazing in showing the internal struggle of Elsie with obedience though all (by an unbelievable series of encounters) is made good in the end.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicole G.

    This wasn't as bad as the previous one, but it's basically the same plot over and over again. Elsie is a good little Christian and obeys her father's every whim. And to my 2011 reading of this, they are so close as to seem almost incestuous. Can't stop reading them, though. They make my eyes roll far back into my head, but here I go onto number 4!!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Meadow Frisbie

    When Elsie finds her first love and heartbreak follows. She is sent with her family to Europe to lift her heavy heart. Only when she returns will she find the love of her life, that was waiting for her her whole life. Although. The bond between her father and her is a little cheesy

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emily Bell

    This book was my favorite out of the Elsie Dinsmore series when I was growing up. Perhaps because Elsie has her own little streak of rebellion, turning her into a somewhat flawed individual instead of the perfect image of what a little girl to be, like she is in the first two stories.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Therese May

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really didn't find the book believable. How can you love someone "like a father" and then almost in an instant love them in the way a wife should love her husband? I don't think that someone could change their love in that manner.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    I loved and enjoyed this book just as much, if not more than the first two. Although I took much longer to finish this one, and so forgetting the exact happenings in the process. But its was another wonderful, well written and engaging story!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Partridge Public

    Finley, Martha

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I liked the beginning, and middle, but NOT the end.

  25. 4 out of 5

    April

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Odd controlling father, but a satisfying ending.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Really didn't like the way this book ended. I DID NOT want her to marry Mr. Travilla. I wanted her to marry someone HER OWN AGE!!!!!!!! OH, GR!!!!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Very enjoyable.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This series is a bit Calvinistic in its theology, and it's also a bit uber-Christian; i.e., the Christians are really, really good and the non-Christians are really, really bad.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Priscilla Bittner

  30. 4 out of 5

    Deena

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