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Ceremony of the innocent
Ceremony of the innocent
Author: Taylor Caldwell
ISBN-13: 9780002221139
ISBN-10: 0002221136
Pages: 350
Edition: Abridged
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Publisher: Collins
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
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A ceremoniously enjoyable text
i encountered this book not knowing much about taylor caldwell except she wrote a lot of books and not having any background knowledge of the text except smidgens from the reviews already posted. halfway through, i had to go back and read the reviews to say "what are those people talking about?" However, I did enjoy the book from first to last page. It starts off slow, but after about 10 chapters, the plot is a bit more interesting. Its a cycle of political commentary (which overall I am in awe of, wondering, how was Ms. Caldwell so aware) that eventually makes me think, get on with the juicy stuff of the book, well the narrative rather than the historical and philosophical. However, the mixture of text concerning the characters, the main one being Ellen, and an overview of the political station of the country at that time in the 20th century was quite enlightening. There is a lot to learn from this book, a sure history lesson, an inside look at Washington, DC and other political powerhouses of the early 20th century. The story centers around Ellen Porter, however, and the main question i held throughout the book was, "WHEN is someone going to slap her and tell her what's really going on in her life!??!" However the author does a splendid job of detailing the inner thoughts and motives of all the characters: Ellen, her husband, her second husband, her children, servants, "friends" and true friends, as well as everyone that comes in contact with her from her 13 years on. There are so many facets of character in this book, so many complex ideas and events, its hard to briefly review the text but overall, without giving away the details, the text will keep you enthralled and amazed at the human qualities we possess and how people relate to each other outwardly as well as in their own heads.


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One of my favorite fictional characters of all time...
...actually isn't Ellen Porter, the main character, but is Maude Cummings, governess to Ellen's children. Always wise,composed and thoughtful, she is Ellen's unwavering ally, though she expects, and indeed receives, nothing but disdain and mistrust from Ellen in return. The fact that this only reinforces her determination to protect Ellen is proof of her her strong and generous spirit, which shines even more brightly than Ellen's innocence and beauty in the novel. I wish more of Maude had been written about.
From seeing the reviews of others who have read the book, its obvious that it's a coin toss as to whether you will treasure it or throw it in the garbage when the last page is turned. It is true that Caldwell's political conspiracy theories and harsh opinion of human nature may make some declare the novel as the paranoid ravings of a hard and bitter woman. To them, I would suggest that perhaps they depend on more than just the nightly television news programs for their knowledge of what is happening in the world. As much as it may pain them to hear it, blindly accepting this truncated version of world's events coming to them in a neat little half hour package is just the kind of complacent attitude Caldwell confronts in her novel. "Bread and circuses." Yes.
If nothing else, read the story and admire Maude Cummings-Godfrey for the wonderful woman she is.
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Excellent book with lots of surprises!
I loved this book! It was a pity of how Ellen's children despised her and at the end of the story and they wanted her to die. Ellen's children were terrible. I thought her children would poison her since they wanted her to die. but, Ellen took 25 sleeping pills to kill herself. And at the end of the story she was doing so well! But did Jeremy really love her? Everyone dies in this story, Aunt May, Walter, Jeremy's parents, Cuthburt, and Jeremy. Then on the last page Ellen dies. The only people I know that didn't die were Kitty, Ellen's kids, The Godfreys and Francis. This was an excellent book with so many surprises. It does start off slow, but in chapter 5 it gets better. I will absolutely read this book again. I am 13 and I understood this book. Encourage young people to read this book, it is very educational and teaches so much. I wish this book was a movie. I also wish Ellen was real. I will always keep this book! I was informed about this book because I read a biography about my favorite singer Stevie Nicks. She said it was her favorite book, so I read it. It became my favorite also!
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