Girl Reader, Grown Reader: The Jalna series


I am about eleven years old, sitting cross-legged on the floor, in what we called the sewing room. Next to the sewing machine is a brick-and-board bookcase filled with paperbacks. (There was a bookcase in nearly every room, regardless of what the room was called. Now, even my kitchen

Girl Reader, Grown Reader: The Jalna series2018-07-12T15:44:53-05:00

Mazo de la Roche’s Mary Wakefield (1949)


There were “few openings for women in the nineties” and, so, Mary Wakefield is forced to consider work as a governess in the 1890s. She is fortunate, in fact, that Ernest Whiteoak is seeking a governess for his brother’s young son (nine years old) and daughter (seven years old). Their mother

Mazo de la Roche’s Mary Wakefield (1949)2020-06-01T07:48:19-05:00

Mazo de la Roche’s Morning at Jalna (1960)


Although the last of the Jalna books written, Morning at Jalna is only the second in the sequence. It is set while the civil war is raging in the southern United States, and readers are immediately informed that the Whiteoaks are sympathetic to the southerners. In school, during the 1970s

Mazo de la Roche’s Morning at Jalna (1960)2020-06-01T07:48:13-05:00

The First Jalna Story: Meeting Adeline


In 1944, Mazo de la Roche published The Building of Jalna, nearly twenty years after she began to work with the Whiteoak family on the page. The beginning grew out of the middle, you might say. Jalna was actually written first, begun in 1925 and published in 1927: the fifth

The First Jalna Story: Meeting Adeline2017-10-27T09:47:46-05:00

Beginning the Jalna Books


The snow has melted from all but the most sheltered parts of the yards and the temperature has hovered above zero for so long that any fresh flakes that fall do not accumulate on the ground. The earth has warmed, the daylight lingers well past five o'clock, and sometimes it smells

Beginning the Jalna Books2017-10-27T09:47:58-05:00
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