'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Young Mrs. Savage by D.E. Stevenson

A sign that Dinah Savage was often tempted to plant in her front yard was four children aren't too many! Four children, an inadequate income and the memories of an unhappy marriage made Dinah a natural for would-be sympathizers, but she refused to be pitied by anyone.

A widow, her only relative (aside from her children) is a twin brother Dan. By taking her back to childhood scenes for a vacation Dan turns her mind from worry and her little brood takes a new lease on life. (from the book flap)

This is my first Stevenson book. I have an old hardback book club edition. The picture on the dust jacket was deceiving. It put in my mind that the story was set in the 1800's or something because of the clothes the women had on. We're told the men were in the navy and a war had just finished but which war was never mentioned. As I read, wishing I knew what time the story was taking place in, I was envisioning people and dress from the 1800's. Then the movie Arsenic and Old Lace was mentioned and I knew it was WWII! I'd spent most of the book in the wrong century! Other than that annoying little problem I did enjoy this sweet little Kailyard.

I know D.E. Stevenson is an immensely popular author, but I think I like O Douglas/Anna Buchan writing better. Sorry all you Stevenson fan! While reading, just as I was thinking I prefer Buchan one of the characters mentioned her!

'Always reading, you were, and that's the result. If you want a book to take to the beach I've that nice Miss Buchan's book all about when they were children. Dear little things they must have been, though maybe a bit of a handful.'  She must of meant Anna and Her Mother!

Other books mentioned were Shock-headed Peter, Kate Greenway and Alice in Wonderland. I love when they mention old books in a story!

Also mentioned was an old game...
'Get out the Ludo, Mark', said Dinah hastily. Ludo was the game of the moment and the little Savages played it with enthrallment on every possible occasion.'

I just recently got an old board game Snakes and Ladders and on the back was a bonus Ludo board! The grans and I played them this summer. It's very similar to Sorry.

The story moves from England to Scotland where Dinah was born and raised. I enjoyed the descriptions of the sea and the countryside and Scot words and phrases scattered throughout...

'A causey doo', said Nannie with feminine scorn. 'There's plenty like that.'

At the bottom of the page was a note: For the benefit of those born south of Tweed it may be explained that a causey doo is one who coos like a dove on the causeway but shows undovelike qualities at home.

Now I have to watch for an opportunity to use that one!

This counts for Read Scotland 2014. That's 21 for me now! 4 more to go.

Peggy Ann


  1. I had a similar problem with one the D.E. Stevensons I read. I liked it a lot *but* it felt like a 1930s book and I hadn't checked... then she mentioned WW2 and I thought, 'Oh!' Turns out it was a 1950s books. LOL. I haven't read the other two authors you mentioned so I can't compare.

    1. Cath, I should have made it more clear, O Douglas is the pen name of Anna Buchan. She is John Buchan's sister. I just assumed everyone knew who I was talking about I guess! Susanna gave us some good tips for DE Stevenson books in a comment below!

  2. I am a DES fan and enjoy the yahoo group that discusses her books. Do try the Mrs. Tim series. They were my favorite of hers and are somewhat autobiographical. Maybe they touched me being an air force brat. Still I think you would really like this series.

    1. Thanks, Candyce. I will be trying more of hers. I have several more and am looking forward to the Miss Buncle books

  3. If YMS is your first DES book, you have plenty more to try. Even if you like O Douglas better, I'm sure you'll find some DESes enthralling. (Check the pub date in each book; DES almost always set her stories in the present, or up to the present, in the case of family stories starting in childhood.)

    For reference, you can check here: http://dalyght.ca/DEStevenson/desbooks.html

    That nice Miss Buchan's book. I think it refers to her memoir of the Buchan family in her girlhood, Unforgettable, Unforgotten (1945).

    1. Thanks, Susanna for the tips! I am going to read more of her. Thanks for the suggestion on the Buchan book too. I have not read that one or come across a copy to buy yet.

  4. Don't buy Unforgattable, Unforgotten, - you can have my copy! I definitely haven't read Young Mrs Savage but I did really enjoy the Mrs Tim books, and Miss Buncle. I had never heard of that phrase causey doo - but I've definitely known a few of them!

  5. I love D.E. Stevenson, just began reading her books this year. THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF was my first and I fell immediately in love with Stevenson's style. I love Scotland, so I really liked that in almost all her books, there seem to be scenes set in Scotland.

    Maybe this wasn't the right Stevenson book for you, Peggy. She wrote so many and of course, no one's perfect. You might try the Mrs. Tim books by Stevenson. Delightful.



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