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The Young Clementina [Paperback]

D. E. Stevenson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 9.07 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (2 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402274718
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402274718
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 372,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, this is lovely! 1 July 2013
Format:Paperback
A good, old fashioned romance, nicely plotted and smartly executed. It was published in the thirties and as I would love to think that my grandmother, then the young mother of three children, read this book. She loved a good romance, and she would have so enjoyed meeting Miss Charlotte Dean and learning her story.

Charlotte was an impoverished gentlewoman, living a solitary life in a small London flat, working in a small private library and losing herself in her books. And she was at a turning point in her life. She had been asked to do something, something that she knew she ought to do, but something that she didn't want to do, something that she knew would cause her heartache. She decided to write, addressing an imaginary friend, in the hope that the act of writing would lead her to a firm decision.

She wrote the story of her life.

Charlotte was a vicar's daughter, and she had grown up in a lovely country parish. She had an idyllic childhood, and it was illuminated by her friendship with Garth, the son and heir of the manor. It was a friendship that grew into love. But then the Great War came: Garth went and Charlotte stayed. He survived, but when he came home something quite inexplicable happened. Garth married someone else. Charlotte's younger sister, Kitty.

Charlotte was bewildered she was heartbroken, and so was I. she had pulled me right into her story, and my heart rose and fell with hers, I saw the world as she did.

When her beloved parents died Charlotte decided that she had to move away, that she couldn't bear to watch her sister living the life that she had thought would be hers, with the man she still loved. And once she had left she stayed away, because she knew that the pain of going back would be too great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story 19 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read some of D.E. Stevenson books years ago so when I saw this I thought I would buy it. One thing, though is it is published
in the States so consequently the spelling jars somewhat. However, apart from that the story is delightful and if you are a
D.E. Stevenson fan you will love it. It was worth the wait. I see that the American publisher is bringing out another of her
books soon too but it would be nice if one here could do it so we could have the right spelling! But maybe that is me just
being pernickety. I do have the Miss Buncle books published by Persephone though.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A lightweight read *spoilers* 23 Feb 2014
By A Ryder
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The lack of a 4th or 5th star isn't because of its lack of heft, since I enjoy an easy read, and nor is it because romance is not my 'slumming' genre of choice. The writing style is clear and fluent and I would have liked this more if I could suspend my disbelief in the main premise: Garth Wisdon returns from WWI as heir to Hinkleton Manor, where he unceremoniously dumps his childhood sweetheart Charlotte Dean and marries her sister Kitty. Heartbroken Charlotte moves to London and lives a drab life as a hermit-spinster working in a library and living in a cramped flat until Kitty turns up with marriage troubles and, following a scandalous divorce, Charlotte returns to Hinkleton to look after Clementina, Garth and Kitty's troubled daughter. The absent Kitty has meanwhile died and Garth has gone exploring in the wilds in order to feel better about things, but then he disappears, and his diaries are sent back for Charlotte to read and edit for publication....

The problem is that, if Charlotte's reminiscences are to be trusted, then both her and Garth seem to have undergone a complete change of character between adolescence and young adulthood. I think we are meant to trust Charlotte because there is no hint whatsoever of her being an unreliable narrator in any way, and it's a pretty straightforward narrative. We are expected to believe that feisty young Charlotte, adventurous where Garth was always stuck in a book, and fond of a hard day's hunting, is going to accept rejection from her soul mate without asking why, and retire to life in a reference library? She may have been a parson's daughter and a gentlewoman, but she wasn't a doormat!

We are also expected to believe that Garth, who is always described as noble, straight, direct etc. etc.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So very D. E. Stevenson-ish (happy sigh) 2 July 2013
By Carol Mello - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is so difficult to find DE Stevenson books these days because public libraries have been discarding books by older authors like her to make room for more modern authors. The price of used out of print books are escalating scandalously, so I was delighted to see this ebook about to be published of a title I had never read. It arrived late yesterday and I have stayed up past 4am to finish reading it.

For those of you that are Mrs. Tim or Miss Buncle fans, please be warned that this is one of her more serious novels.

Mr. Dean (parson of Hinkleton Church) had two daughters: Char (Charlotte) and Kitty (Clementina). Char, the older, was taught at home by her father and spent her leisure hours reading and playing adventure games with her best friend Garth Wisdon (only child and heir of Mr. Wisdon of the luxurious Hinkleton Manor). Kitty, four years younger, doesn't care for boyish games or reading and was sent away to a boarding school to be "finished." Before Garth goes off to fight in WWI he and Char realize their friendship has grown into love. Char promises to wait for him.

When Garth returns he is not the same--he treats Char cruelly and within two weeks he is engaged to marry Kitty. Char is emotionally crushed and after the wedding and the death of her father she leaves the country to work in London. Meanwhile Kitty and Garth have a daughter who they name Clementina.

Just as Lassie always saved the day near the end of her half hour TV program, we know that somehow, despite many bitter moments, Stevenson will find happiness for Char by the end of the novel.

It's not the very best Stevenson novel I have read but I loved it anyway and darn it I'm giving it 5 stars because I want more of her out of print titles to be e published.

Added afterwards: I notice the publisher is Sourcebooks. This is the same publisher who put all of Georgette Heyer back in print so I have high hopes that we shall have more D.E. Stevenson to delight old fans soon.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story 19 July 2013
By Ginny Kubitz Moyer, Author of "Random MOMents of Grace: Experiencing God in the Adventures of Motherhood" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I *adored* the Miss Buncle books, and so I was thrilled to see this one. It was a lovely story, with goodness rewarded and secrets coming to light and a delightful ending. I agree with the first reviewer that this was more serious than the Miss Buncle books (and the Mrs. Tim books, which I also loved). It didn't have the sly humor and subtle satire of the others, which was a bit of a surprise as I am so used to that in D.E. Stevenson. On the whole, though, it's still a great cozy read for anyone who loves stories set in quaint English towns and who is looking for something to read which makes you feel positive about human beings and human relationships. If you are tired of "angsty" books and want something uplifting for a change, this is the perfect read.

And yes, please, bring more of her books back into print!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An old favorite 25 July 2013
By Mary S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
More DE Stevenson on Kindle! Please! Her deceptively simple style of writing wraps you in its warmth while she tells stories about real people with real problems that transcend the decades..
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exquisitely Understated 18 Dec 2013
By Colleen Dennison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Young Clementina is one woman's chronicling of a few remarkable years in her rather unremarkable life. This book is exquisitely beautiful in a quiet and understated way. Its flavor is sweet and 'old-fashioned,' while at the same time real and hard (traits that are also found in its protagonist, Char), and I think it is this dichotomy of tone that makes The Young Clementina a fresh find for any library.

Pros: Stevenson's prose writing is so beautiful, her imagery is keen and stunning. I could see the stinginess of Char's city apartment, the lush countryside around Hinkleton. Her characterization of Char, Garth, and Clementina is also very good and wonderful to see develop over the course of the novel. It is quite a beautiful book.

Cons: Stevenson's epistolary plot structure is interesting, though at times it can be a little frustrating for modern readers who like to see the action as it happens, rather than being told. The novel treads a little unnecessarily slow at some points. I recommend this to readers 13+ as there are a few mature themes hit upon.

To me, this book was something of a clash between beloved Victorian classics and an Agatha Christie novel. I highly recommend this book to any who are looking for something different than the usual fare. This was my first D E Stevenson book and it will not be my last.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars D.E.Stevenson long a favorite 4 April 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Many years ago I read every D.E.Stevenson book I could find at my midwestern public library and enjoyed them thoroughly. I rediscovered her this past year, and have shared her books with other women, and they all love them. While these books are not deep literary experiences, they are rich in character and characters. They have humor, values, imagination. I have treasured and enjoyed every read. Young Clementina is a perfect example. It made me smile and it made me cry. I so hope more will be released via Kindle.
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