Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Reviews: An Old Fashioned Girl and The Hiding Place

So I have a goal of reading more this year and forevermore, and the books I have read so far this year have been really great. I think everyone would benefit from them, so I figured I would write about why I love them so much and share my favorite quotes.

1. "An Old Fashioned Girl" by Louisa May Alcott
This is the story of a simple country girl named Polly who goes to visit her friends in Boston and is blown away by their extravagant and unhappy city life. She is able to help the family by her cheery attitude and good example during her first visit and when she returns to Boston to teach piano at the age of 20.

As usual, Alcott's engaging plot is intertwined with moral lessons so gently preached through characters who have become our friends. But it is these morals that made this book a treasure and left me a better person.

My favorite quotes:
"The least of us have some influence in this big world, and perhaps my little girl can do some good by showing others that a contented heart and happy face are better ornaments than any Paris can give her." -Louisa May Alcott, "An Old Fashioned Girl," page 44

"Polly had fully intended to be very miserable and cry herself to sleep, but when she lay down at last her pillow seemed very soft, her little room very lovely...So much to do in the great, busy world, and she had done so little. Where should she be strong, and beautiful and go round making music all the time. Yes, she could do that, and with a very earnest prayer Polly asked for the strength of an upright soul, the beauty of a tender heart, the power to make her life a sweet and stirring song, helpful while it lasted, remembered when it died." -Louisa May Alcott, "An Old Fashioned Girl," p. 169

2. "The Hiding Place" by Corrie ten Boom
Oh. My. Gosh. This book has changed my life forever. It is the true story of a courageous Christian woman who lived in WWII Holland. She loved people so much that she ended up as the head of the underground resistance for most of the country. This is her life story, from her childhood to her underground work to her imprisonment in the concentration camps. But mostly it is the story of how Christ's love can triumph over evil in the darkest of times. Corrie and the ten Boom family taught by example that "there is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still."

Favorite Quotes:

"There are no 'ifs' in God's world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety - Oh Corrie, let us pray that we may always know it!" -Corrie ten Boom, "The Hiding Place," pg. 84

"We would hear the life-giving words passed back along the aisles in French, Polish, Russian, Czech, back into Dutch. they were little previews of heaven, these evenings beneath the lightbulb....and I would know again that in darkness God's truth shines most clear." -Corrie ten Boom, "The Hiding Place," pg. 213

"The real sin lay in thinking that any power to help and transform came from me. Of course it was not my wholenesss, but Christ's that made the difference." -Corrie ten Boom, "The Hiding Place," pg. 225


  1. That's my goal too--to read more books :)

    I'll definitely have to read that first book you talked about. It sounds really interesting. The Hiding Place is definitely one of my favorites though. have you ever read the Children of the Promise series? I think you'd like them :)

  2. I have! I love those books! And I love the Christmas Jars, which I saw you are reading as well. So many good books in the world!

  3. OOO! Isn't The Hiding Place packed with great quotes? Now that you've read it, you'll notice them popping up in conference talks all the time.

    All the ones you listed made my list of favorites too. I think my favorite is "Oh, this was the great ploy of Satan in that kingdom of his; to display such blatant evil that one could almost believe one’s own secret sins didn’t matter."