“I’m drawn to the 1950s for lots of reasons – everything from the fashion to the increasing sense of freedom and modernity that builds throughout the decade.”
I couldn’t agree more with Sara’s quote above.
I was so excited when Maryellen Larkin was announced as the first BeForever exclusive character in the spring of 2015. I loved the cover of this book immediately. Her outfit is on point, and the stories were set in Florida. Sign me up!
I was slightly disappointed when I learned the setting was Daytona Beach (I have significant bias toward Miami, and the Gulf Coast – St. Petersburg, etc.), but nonetheless, I knew I wanted to read the books.
As mentioned in my book reviews about Melody Ellison recently, I’m deeply attracted to the time period of the 20th century between The Great Depression and the end of the 1970s.
Maryellen’s first book immerses you in a world where Maryellen, or Ellie, is trying to find her place in a huge family – One of six children!
That wasn’t unusual in the 1950s, which the author explains brilliantly at the end of the book, with the time of optimism, a stronger economy, and the baby boom.
Although the book carries quite a sunny disposition throughout, there’s always some conflict or issues sprinkled in. This one addresses the ending of World War II, the Cold War, and scenarios around friendship, bullying, and prejudice.
Maryellen’s character had me laughing, as well as shaking my head. Being stuck in the middle between two older sisters and then a younger sister and two younger brothers, it’s natural she would feel a bit underappreciated and vying for her parents’ attention and being in good graces with her siblings. As an only child, this is something that I did not have to deal with growing up!
Despite several missteps and misadventures along the way, Maryellen is bright, determined, and compassionate. There’s a new girl at the start of school, and Maryellen decides to be the bigger person and show compassion toward her, when her other friends tend to be stuck in the past.
The first story wraps up around Christmastime, which had a strange effect on me. It was a good ending, but closing the book made my mind instantly flood with memories.
I thought of my childhood Christmases that were divided between Virginia and Florida.
I thought of the times and memories with my grandparents.
My dad’s dad is still alive, still doing well at 90. I want to go visit him again, very soon.
So many memories.
I’m very excited to start reading volume 2 – The sneak peek promises several surprises!
4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂
Maryellen is one of my favorites. I have done a few photos stories of her https://dollsbetweenus.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/maryellen-dreams-of-a-new-dress/
Overall she’s a little like a pint sized Lucille Ball… She doesn’t always make the best choices but her heart is beautiful!
Thank you so much for reading, and commenting! I love your blog!!
Thank you! I have a lot of fun with it. I enjoyed your book reviews as well… I am an elementary reading aide for GT kids.
Thank you so much! I plan to do some blog posts about my own dolls once they make the journey from my parents’ house to our new house.
Oh, nice – Gifted and Talented! My mom teaches ESL in the elementary school where I went from preschool – fifth grade.
I really appreciate the compliments – I try so hard to not spoil anything!
You should go visit your grandfather. Grandparents are amazing in so many ways… plus, they’re like the part of parents that want to spoil the kids rotten w/out any of that pesky instilling of responsibility & discipline! LOL
I’m going to see my Grammy (last surviving grandparent) later this month for her 94th birthday. She was instrumental in raising me & I love her dearly.
Absolutely! I’m hoping to go see him around Christmas. He’s my last surviving grandparent as well.
It’s a hard position for both the grandkid & the grandparent, I think. But I don’t know much about the grandparent perspective. LOL
So true! I was going through photos on Facebook recently, and I realized the last time I visited him was in January 2015, when my husband met him for the first time. A visit is long overdue.
It’s hard when you live in different states. But, Christmas is only a few months away!!
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oh man you are really making me want to read more! im gona do it! right now im just gona do it! haha! 🙂
Awesome! I’m so glad!
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