Cordelia Underwood, Moosepath League Series

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cordelia Underwood, or the Marvelous Beginnings of the Moosepath League, by Van Reid

I stumbled across this book from someone's Amazon list--the author of which liked PD Wodehouse, so I figured I could trust his recommendations. I read this in December, and it was a nice break from the cough lozenges, tissues, and stress of my Christmas this year.

It's a modern book written in the style of a Dickensian serial novel. The many characters speak in English appropriate for the times, and I found myself using a larger vocabulary while reading it. (See? There I go again.) It is set in coastal Maine around in 1896, and the author has a great sense of the time and place. Like Dickens, he keeps throwing new characters at you in the beginning of the book, but the story gradually focuses on a well-to-do young lady named Cordelia Underwood, who surprisingly inherits a mysterious chest from her deceased sea-dog uncle. The story meanders a bit so even more quirky characters can be introduced, but eventually becomes an adventure with pirates, kidnappings, bumbling fools, quick wits, and even a little romance hinted at--for the next installment, I'm sure.

It took me a while to get used the pacing but once I did, it was an entertaining read. The author's family has lived in Maine for generations, and he obviously has a great love for his home. I might pick up the next book in the series next time I have a gap in my reading list, but I definitely want to visit Maine now.


Nathan Garrett said...

I love Woodhouse. I burned out on reading a bunch of his stuff last summer, but will probably be ready to pick up Wooster's latest antics by July. There's something very calming about reading of a totally different age, with completely different stresses on people in it.

Lissa said...

I read a paen to Wodehouse by,I think, Doug Wilson a while back (in college). I had trouble getting into it. What should I start with to try again?

And Rachel, I think while you've got a very new baby you should try to find the "Miss Read" novels. They are pleasant, peaceful, and most of all NOT page turners. Good for a bit of a chapter before you drop off to sleep for an hour.
Praying for you!