Spring is officially in the air (in some places more than others) and, man, am I ready for it. I’ve slowly been coming around to winter over the years, but there comes a point when you’re ready for fresh air, open windows, short sleeves and leaves on the trees again, y’know? And even though it’s raining and snowing right now in my neck of the woods, I can still get those springy, fresh vibes from some of my favorite rejuvenating novels. There’s nothing really about them that makes them specifically spring-like, but all of them make me energized and happy, and what else is springtime for?
The Ordinary Princess – M. M. Kaye
“Along with Wit, Charm, Health, and Courage, Princess Amy of Phantasmorania receives a special fairy christening gift: Ordinariness. Unlike her six beautiful sisters, she has brown hair and freckles, and would rather have adventures than play the harp, embroider tapestries . . . or become a Queen. When her royal parents try to marry her off, Amy runs away and, because she’s so ordinary, easily becomes the fourteenth assistant kitchen maid at a neighboring palace. And there . . . much to everyone’s surprise . . . she meets a prince just as ordinary (and special) as she is!”
This is a short, easy, delightful read. It’s a middle grade book but if you enjoy cute, straightforward, fairy tale stories, you’ll enjoy this. It’s sure to soothe away the harshness of winter!
The Goose Girl – Shannon Hale
“Anidora-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree spent the first years of her life listening to her aunt’s incredible stories, and learning the language of the birds. Little knowing how valuable her aunt’s strange knowledge would prove to be when she grew older. From the Grimm’s fairy tale of the princess who became a goose girl before she could become a queen, Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must understand her own incredible talents before she can overcome those who wish her harm.”
Maybe there’s just something about fairy tales that lift my spirits? I’m not sure, but pretty much anything Shannon Hale writes will do the trick. I chose The Goose Girl for this post even though it’s not my favorite of Hale’s novels (that honor goes to Princess Academy) because there’s something distinctly nature-loving threaded throughout this story. Perfect light, fresh read for the early thawing months.
The Blue Castle – L. M. Montgomery
“Valancy lives a drab life with her overbearing mother and prying aunt. Then a shocking diagnosis from Dr. Trent prompts her to make a fresh start. For the first time, she does and says exactly what she feels. As she expands her limited horizons, Valancy undergoes a transformation, discovering a new world of love and happiness. One of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s only novels intended for an adult audience, The Blue Castle is filled with humour and romance.”
This one’s definitely on the more adult/serious side of things, but is so sweet and inspiring that it’s got to be on the list. I love Valancy’s independence and the way she takes control of her life when she has nothing left to lose. This novel is a perfect way to step into a fresh season and reevaluate. Charming as heck.
Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery
“Everyone’s favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.”
I came to this story as an adult—and I am so sad I didn’t grow up with Anne Shirley, because she would have changed my life. Luckily, I have this story now, and she’s changing my life anyway. I’m not sure any book could be better for spring when you’re given the chance to see this beautiful world through Anne’s eyes. Her descriptions of Green Gables make me want to move there immediately. I love this book.
Honorable Mention: The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
“Ten-year-old orphan Mary Lennox comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.”
This one is an honorable mention only because I haven’t actually read it before. But I’d like to read it this spring, because if it’s anything like the movie it’ll get me right in the season-change mood with all the gardeny, earthy, mysterious and beautiful feelings evoked in its pages. What could be more perfect for spring than a book about a garden coming back to life?
Got any favorite books for springtime? Let me know! And hopefully wherever you are there’s a little more sunshine and warm weather. Maybe we can will it upon ourselves with a bit of spring reading, hm?