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( Read E-pub ) í Phebe Fairchild: Her Book ⛈ Depicts family life in New England around Phebe Fairchild Her Book isn t officially part of Lois Lenski s classic American Regional series, but might as well be A product of painstaking research and Ms Lenski s gift for writing in a diversity of dialects, the novel was awarded a 1937 Newbery Honor as runner up to Ruth Sawyer s inimitable Roller Skates Ten year old Phebe loves the sea just like her father, but can t accompany her parents on their latest voyage Phebe will require a good home for the months her parents are away, so sh Phebe Fairchild Her Book isn t officially part of Lois Lenski s classic American Regional series, but might as well be A product of painstaking research and Ms Lenski s gift for writing in a diversity of dialects, the novel was awarded a 1937 Newbery Honor as runner up to Ruth Sawyer s inimitable Roller Skates Ten year old Phebe loves the sea just like her father, but can t accompany her parents on their latest voyage Phebe will require a good home for the months her parents are away, so she is sent from where she lives in New Haven, Connecticut to the small town of Winton in the northwestern part of the state to stay with her father s family There s Aunt Betsy and Uncle Jothan their kids, Tim, Samuel, Philip, Susan, and Belinda and Aunt Hannah and Grandmother Winton of the late 1820s is a lot different from New Haven, as Phebe discovers when she tries to show Aunt Betsy her fancy clothes and is reprimanded for vanity, but the farm is her home for now Phebe will have to make the most of it Life in Winton moves slowly, but what memorable times Phebe has Fifteen year old Tim covertly amuses her with comedic faces at the supper table, almost causing Phebe to laugh during prayers At her father s recommendation, Phebe keeps her beloved copy of Mother Goose s Quarto out of Aunt Hannah s sight her elderly aunt regards items of whimsy as detrimental to one s Christian faith Can one serve the Lord while distracted by elaborate art and opulent items intended for enjoyment in this world Certainly not, Aunt Hannah says Phebe meets her uncle Benjamin, a friendly bachelor flummoxed by his courtship with Lucy Rogers, who seems to enjoy his company but enjoys evenpretending to rebuff his advances Will they ever see eye to eye and get married Phebe meets Jeremiah Coffin the clockmaker, who always has a minute to share his wit and wisdom with her, and one fateful day she brings home to the farmhouse a young artist named Christopher Ross, who is ill to the point of his life being in danger As he convalesces at the Fairchild farm over the course of several months, regaining the strength to work on art projects, Phebe is happy with his temporary addition to the family Not all of Phebe s stay at the farm is pleasant She feels suffocated by so much land with no sea in sight, as her father did when he was young The Fairchilds mourned when he ran away at age twelve to be a sailor, and they didn t see him for years Love of the sea runs in the blood of some Fairchilds, Grandmother tells Phebe, and she may be one of them Heartbroken as Grandmother felt after Phebe s father left, her grief was compounded by the death of her daughter, Remembrance Remembrance wasted away once her brother ran off, her health steadily declining until the day the Lord gathered her in his arms and took her home Grandmother never fully recovered from the loss The joys of a close family, though priceless, are interwoven with sorrow Phebe has some tense exchanges with Aunt Hannah, who insists she follow a lifestyle of Christian simplicity and self denial, but Phebe won t run away after learning what her father s departure did to the Fairchilds Phebe finds an unexpected ally in Great aunt Eliza Pettifer, who seems stern at first but is charmed by Phebe s flights of imagination, including the Mother Goose verses she recites from memory Aunt Pettifer loves beautiful clothing and jewelry as Phebe does, and is her foremost defender when Aunt Hannah upbraids the ten year old for vanity Phebe will be elated when it comes time to return to New Haven, but will never forget her family in Wintoneven Aunt Hannah, who hastender feelings for Phebe than she lets on Does a God fearing life require we renounce all earthly pleasure Can humans resist the temptations of materialism when presented with fine clothing, jewels, and other indulgences Aunt Hannah worries we cannot, but surely one can enjoy man made things without it diluting one s desire for heaven Does not God impart to us our capacity to create beauty, and the passion to do so Is it not virtuous to partake in that creativity while holding oneself accountable to enjoy it appropriately When Aunt Pettifer gifts Phebe a braided gold brooch of intricate design, Phebe can hardly believe she is meant to keep it, but Aunt Pettifer delights in offering her the gift, because you are such a dear little girl and I love you Sharing objects of beauty and meaning is one of life s joys, a tribute to the creator of all good things Phebe will find a balance eventually between the philosophies of Aunt Hannah and Aunt Pettifer, and be better for having both of them in her life Their lessons will be a blessing for all her days I m on the fence as to my rating for this book Its themes are strong but subtle, and the sadness of Remembrance s story softly tinges every page Aunt Hannah can be severe with Phebe, but by the end it s clear she loves the child and will miss her when she leaves for New Haven On the other hand, the narrative moves slowly, goes off on side ventures that don t strengthen the story, and Aunt Hannah s ultimate lack of conviction about her unadorned lifestyle doesn t feel right Her philosophy may not have been perfectly thought out, but I wish her adherence to it were firmer I m rating Phebe Fairchild Her Book two and a half stars, and could just as easily round up as down The story reinvigorates my interest in Lois Lenski s library of works I love Lois Lenski s historical novels I wish someone would reprint them. This one s a fascinating historical novel set in 1830 Connecticut Lenski has written a story of a very independent girl It s the story of 10 11 year old Phebe, daughter of a ship s captain in New Haven, who is sent to live with relatives while her parents make a trading voyage to England Europe Phebe is a modern city girl and causes endless consternation to her rural conservative relatives She s Church Episcopalian and they re Meeting Puritan probably the difference between High and Lo This one s a fascinating historical novel set in 1830 Connecticut Lenski has written a story of a very independent girl It s the story of 10 11 year old Phebe, daughter of a ship s captain in New Haven, who is sent to live with relatives while her parents make a trading voyage to England Europe Phebe is a modern city girl and causes endless consternation to her rural conservative relatives She s Church Episcopalian and they re Meeting Puritan probably the difference between High and Low Church today She arrives alone via stagecoach near winter s end with a trunk of pretty things dresses, sashes, ribbons which are immediately put away except for the plainest of dresses She also has a book Mother Goose which she hides away with her jewelry since she was told by her father to keep it safe he knows how his family will perceive them Phebe settles in, but makes mistake after unknowing mistake, but her spirit is never quashed There is a lot of historical detail, but it s injected casually into the story not by massive info dump Another interesting feature is the use of dialect the relatives speak a very different English from Phebe I really enjoyed the bits with Mother Goose Phebe s book contains verses that have been dropped fromrecent editions which makes sense if you think about it and it s interesting that Mother Goose could ever have been perceived as heretical I am very pleased that I read this book and it s a real pity that it s no longer in print for my 2017 Reading Challenge and for my Newbery Challenge Honor 1937