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Topic: Gwen Bristol's "Celia Garth"

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Subject: Gwen Bristol's "Celia Garth"
Date Posted: 2/1/2010 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Why have I not heard of Gwen Bristol or at the very least her book  Celia Garth? I don't think I've been living under a rock but...

These books are very popular. The wait list is too long and the books aren't moving. These must be keepers? They're also still relatively expensive for being old books, and not available on e-readers. It's cheaper to buy them new than used.

Anyway, are these Bristol books geared towards kids or adults?  They look like they're for teens, people admit to reading them when they were young, but I don't see any indication that they are juvenille fiction.


Date Posted: 2/1/2010 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I read it when I was in 6th or 7th grade and loved it.  I bought a copy on ebay a couple of years ago, but haven't gotten around to rereading it yet (I had been looking for it for ages).  I haven't read it in nearly 30 years, but I think its geared more towards a YA audience, though that designation didn't really mean the same thing in the '50s as it does now.

Date Posted: 2/2/2010 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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In eighth grade, my school had a copy of Celia Garth and I ADORED it.  I must have read it half a dozen times.  One of the first historical fiction books I ever read (aside from some 19th C classics that would qualify). I kept an eye out for it for years as an adult, but I couldn't rememeber either the title or the author, only a few character names.  Someone mentioned it over in the Historical Fiction forum, and I saw that it was recently re-published and available new on Amazon.  I immediately ordered it and read it again as soon as I received it.  I loved it at least as much as before and I think I may have appreciated it even more, as I have a little more life experience to draw from now.

It's the only Bristow book I've read, but I have a few others on my WL now.  I believe some of her books are YA, and Celia Garth is certainly appropriate for young adults.  Celia is a 20 year old girl, pretty fresh and innocent from the farm, sort of person, and her voice is exactly that, although she matures over the book.  The first 10 pages or so seemed a little simplistic and surface, but then I slid into it and was just charmed.  It is absolutely a keeper, and I will probably re-read it every few years for the rest of my life.  It's just so well done and likeable.