Friday, June 18, 2010

Aunt Crete's Emancipation

I only have time for a short post today; it's been a busy, yet very good day. I'm reading Lori Wick's book Beyond the Picket Fence, a collection of short stories, and I'm enjoying it very much. I shall write about it once I've finished reading it.

For a short blog post I must select a short subject. I'm not even going to do a whole book, but a short story by Grace Livingston Hill, whose stories were introduced to me by my mom. This particular story is one that I've read, and reread, a number of times, because it is just so sweet, and so charming. The title is Aunt Crete's Emancipation.

Lucretia Ward lives with her sister and niece, Carrie and Luella. Carrie and Luella are selfish, short tempered women, but somehow Lucretia, called Crete, is still a sweet and loving person. They receive a telegram one morning from Crete and Carrie's nephew, Donald Grant who has been out West. Carrie and Luella hurry off to their beach vacation to avoid this young man, who they are sure is a bumbling, coarse backwoodsman, leaving poor Crete, with house-work and canning and sewing, to entertain the young man.

When Donald Grant comes, he is gentle and caring, a delightful nephew to dear Crete who has spent her years in toil. He is tenderly attentive to her. Donald picks up the phone one afternoon while Crete is napping, and Luella is on the other end, calling to Aunt Crete. Luella, unaware of who is on the other end, gives her lengthy diatribe, then gets mad and hangs up when she receives no reply. Donald is moved with righteous anger, and a plan crystallizes in his head.

What follows is an endearing Cinderella-type story. Donald spends some of his great fortune buying presents for his Aunt Crete, and then her takes her to the fine beach resort when Carrie and Luella are staying. By and by Carrie and Luella are furious once they find out that the fine lady who reminds them of Crete at a distance, actually IS Crete. Yet Donald swoops down and protects Crete, and ends up coaxing her to come and keep house for him while he is at university.

I love this story, and go read read it when I want something sweet that makes me smile. It has all the wonderful qualities of a long story wrapped up into one bundle that can be read in a short -but not too short- time.

His blood boiled over the tone which his invisible cousin at the other end of the wire had ordered Aunt Crete about. ...He felt strongly impelled to do something in the matter. A rebuke of some sort should be administered. How could it best be done?


  1. OK, you keep coming up with authors of whom I have heard but not actually read myself. Now I have to go see if I can find some Grace Livingston Hills to read! :)

    ~ K ~

  2. Yes, do! Grace Livingston Hill is very good! I like her much, much better than Emilie Loring.

  3. Hmmm... I'm almost offended by that, since I adore Emilie Loring. :) I guess I'll have to see what you mean. :)

    ~ A.K. ~

  4. I was not saying that Emilie Loring wasn't good; I just like the other author, better. :)