NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Sunday, January 18, 2009


by Lloyd Jones

"I will be honest with you. I have no wisdom, none at all. The truest thing I can tell you is that whatever we have between us is all we've got. Oh, and of course Mr. Dickens." -- Mr. Watts in Mister Pip, pg. 18.

A single, eccentric white man, Mr. Watts, chooses to stay behind on a war-torn island and teach the children. He begins by reading everyday from Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. Through opposition, fear and tragedy the lessons from Mr. Watts will persist, and the love of that story will help at least one child emerge scarred but victorious.

Rave reviews abound for Mister Pip, and there is a good reason for that. It is an amazing book! It put my emotions through the wringer, squeezing out any idea of remaining ambivalent about Mr. Watts, Matilda, her mum and the other villagers. With my current crush on Mr. Dickens, I thought this would be fun way to capitalize on that new-found fancy, but it turned out to be so much more than that.

The quote I included at the beginning of this post remained in my mind for the entire book. And in the end, to me, it meant this: Material goods and fluid circumstances have little meaning in the illumination or gloom of our relationships with those around us. Evil can abound in the most unlikely of places and good can flourish in its shadow. The choice is yours.


Darlene said...

Great review Lezlie. I was waiting to see what you thought of this one. I really want to read it and will fit it in a challenge this year. I always like a book that will put one's emotions through the wringer. Glad you enjoyed it.

Lezlie said...

Dar ~ I think you'll love it. I can't wait until you get to it!


Anonymous said...

I keep seeing fantastic reviews about this. And yours is wonderful! Thanks. I'll definitely have to check this one out.

verbatim said...

I'm so glad you liked it! This book made me stop and appreciate the abundance of wonderful literature we have at our fingertips, unlike the children in the book. Also, I'm a big Dickens fan, so I could totally relate to someone becoming completely absorbed in Great Expectations.

Tasha said...

Nice review! I'm looking forward to reading this book.

Literary Feline said...

This does sound good, Lezlie! Thank you for the review. I can see why you like the quote--it definitely touches a chord with me too.

Michele said...

I've read such great reviews of this book (now including yours!) and I just can't wait to read it, Lezlie.

Marg said...

I really enjoyed this when I read it last year. It also inspired me to actually read Great Expectatios which was cool too.

Teddy Rose said...

Wonderful review Lezlie! This one is on my TBR and I look forward to reading it!

Lezlie said...

Meghan ~ Thank you! It deserves every one of its great reviews, too.

Verbatim ~ This book made me thankful in so many ways, including that one. I plan on reading Great Expectations sooner than later, that's for sure.

Charley ~ Thanks! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Literary Feline ~ I couldn't get that quote out of my head the whole time I read. I kept flipping back to it, reading it over and over.

Michele ~ I'll be waiting to see what you think of it. There is so much there to mull over.

Marg ~ There is a lot of bad stuff in there, too, which made Peter wonder what it was I liked so much when I told him about it. But there is something about the book as a whole that I know other readers understand.

Teddy Rose ~ Thanks so much, Teddy! Put it on the top of your list. I want to see what you think of it. :-)


Booklogged said...

Beautiful, thoughtful quotes. I'm adding Mr. Pips to my list. Thanks for the great review.

Ladytink_534 said...

I remember hearing a lot about this one when it won that award (can't remember which one lol). It sounds like a good one.

Lezlie said...

Booklogged ~ You're welcome! I hope you enjoy it!

Ladytink ~ I had it down for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. (I think that's what it was called.) I don't know if it won others, but I wouldn't be surprised.


zetor said...

Hi Lezlie, pop over to my blog, I've tagged you.

Lezlie said...

Hi, Zetor! I'll go check it out now!