Once in awhile I read a really good book that I just need to tell everyone about-especially if it's a lesser known book that needs to be known! This is the case with my latest read, published in 1961, called Catrin in Wales by Mabel Esther Allan.
I picked up this book at a church rummage sale. Actually, it was my mom who found it for me, and I'm SO glad she did! I was immediately attracted to the cover. It's light green and cream and the girl on the front wore a pretty pink jacket with matching lipstick. (So, in the book her jacket is scarlet, but I don't mind. I like the pink better. It goes so well with the green. :))
The book is even more beautiful on the inside. Written from first person, Catrin, deciding to set out on her own, tells of her decision to visit her Welsh aunt, the sister of her deceased mother. Catrin is a town girl through and through, and when an accident forces her to stay in the country and care for the historical priory that her aunt is the keeper of, she longs to get back to London, away from boring rural life.
Of course, Catrin soon finds that the countryside is not boring in the slightest-as she comes to love the people, the beautiful scenery, and even the priory. When the opportunities to leave finally start to arise, she finds herself hesitating about whether she truly wants to leave or not!
In the story, there is a romance that-well, you see it coming right from the get-go, but it nevertheless retains its suspense and sweetness. *Spoilers ahead* Catrin and Ifor were so perfect together. At first, she thinks him a rude, ignorant farmer-once she finds out how terribly wrong she was in her assumption (and that he is the brother of her her new friend!), she is sure he would never want to speak to her again after the rude way she treated him in their two chance encounters. They soon become friends though, and I love how their romance starts out as just that-friendship. And oh my, the proposal at the end was sooo sweet. :) They are definitely one of my favorite fictional couples now! *End of spoilers*
I love how you get everything directly from Catrin's perspective-her fright at staying in the priory overnight, her determination to get home to London, the slowly growing love she has for the village-and the love she has for one of its handsome and surprising inhabitants.
I loved all the characters in the book-they were all so interesting and fresh. And they have beautiful names I've never heard of-names like Gwenfron, Ifor, Olwen...
The descriptions of the town and scenery and-well, everything was just beautiful. I can't really explain how perfect I found this book-it just clicked with me in such a way that I know I'll never forget it! Please read it, because my review doesn't do justice to how absolutely lovely it is!