Dulcie’s Little Brother by Evelyn Everett-Green

Dulcie’s Little Brother by Evelyn Everett-Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was surprisingly charming, albeit in that very Victorian ‘everybody gets a moral’ kind of way. The story is simple: Dulcie and her brother Tottie live in London with their nurse Nancy. Their father is away being something of a foolish wastrel (as is the nature in stories like these) and Nancy herself has just died (again, as is the nature of stories like these). The children have one choice: to throw themselves upon the mercies of distant relatives.

Things progress in a very charming and gentle manner from that point onwards. There’s a strong Christian thread throughout (I did want to call it subtext but really it’s the text at this point…) with the children learning about religion and God and generally Doing The Right Thing by being good eggs, and there’s a few dramatic incidents to underscore the necessity of doing so.

It is a little bit Written By Numbers at points with noble maiden aunts, rich local gentlemen, secretly kindly doctors, wastrel papa eventually having a wastrel revelation, and an ‘Oh No They Might Die’ life-threatening incident, but I kind of didn’t mind it. Even though the children are very much of the time balls of innocence doing innocent things innocently, they are still occasionally human and all the more interesting because of that.

It’s all sort of intensely pleasant and immensely readable and rather charming. Quite the pleasant surprise!

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