So I, of course, went on a search for this book. For any book I'm reading for the first time, I like to get it either free or super cheap. My local library system did not have it. My university library system had it, but only in a library four hours from my home that would require me to obtain special permission. I went into three or four used bookstores and scoured countless library sales. No dice. It finally dawned on me that I should look at Amazon and, lo and behold, there it was at the bargain price of 99 cents for the Kindle version.
And I agree with the swooniness of this book. It's just delightful. A not-really old maid, Valancy, gets sick and tired of her bickering, obnoxious family members and takes matters into her own hands. Hijinks, love, and long paragraphs detailing the beauty of freshly picked berries ensue. It's also a great example of fiction in which love between two complex characters develops over time, a true love that you know when you leave the book, that will last for the rest of their lives. This is not "love at first sight," but a mature, lovely love.
It's funny, it's sad, it's breathtaking, and it's probably going to go on my list of books to be reread every so often. I can't wait to spend time with Valancy again. This is definitely going to force me to read that download of L.M. Montgomery's short stories that I shelved after that disastrous Anne of Green Gables reread.
Read this book!