Christy #10: Stage Fright
This one was such a gimmick. Christy has her class read Romeo and Juliet, and then Doctor MacNeill walks in as she is reciting Juliet’s lines, as it turns out that she played Juliet on stage in high school… and it also turns out that Doctor MacNeill’s aunt is the director of the Knoxville Players, who just happen to be putting on Romeo and Juliet. She comes to visit, and invites Christy to come out and be part of the show as a bit player… only of course they end up without a Juliet, forced to use Christy instead (as if she remembers all the lines from high school. I’ve had nightmares of exactly this scenario, where I find I’m playing the lead role in a show I was in in high school, and it’s opening night, but of course I don’t remember the lines.) Then for good measure, Neil goes back with them, and there’s a love triangle, and a jealous stage hand tries to sabotage Christy’s performance… it doesn’t fit the Cutter Gap story at all. It takes the same characters, but it reads like fan fiction. The extrapolation is just too far to work, for me.
My rating: **1/2
Christy #11: Goodbye Sweet Prince
Another extrapolation story from the original characters that we loved so much…
I can see why this was the second to last novella ever written, as clearly they were running out of ideas. The story revolves around Prince, the mission’s stallion. The mission is running out of funds, and has to sell Prince for the proceeds. Ruby Mae especially is highly distraught. Prince, it turns out, gets sold to an abusive man, and runs away. The kids hide him until the new owner comes looking. Then Ruby Mae challenges him to a ride, and she out-rides him, so according to the rules of the deal, they get the right to buy him back. It’s very simplistic, childlike, and happily-ever-after in an over-the-top, cheesy kind of way.
But, if you’re looking for a clean, uplifting read for an elementary or maybe a middle school student, it might work.
My rating: **
Christy #12: Brotherly Love
This is the last novella in the series, and it doesn’t wrap things up at all… I think they just stopped because there probably wasn’t enough interest. And I see why…
It wasn’t poorly written, it just introduced a brand new character, Christy’s brother George. He was mentioned in the novel in passing, I think. Here the conflict centers around at first Christy’s envy of her brother’s easy way of capturing the hearts of everyone around him, and also her suspicion that there’s something he’s not telling her when he ends up in Cutter Gap out of nowhere. Turns out he stole some money… or so she thinks… and had to flee school. Then his roommate turns up, and Christy’s frantic parents write her, and the real story comes out.
All of the stories are written simplistically enough to be easy, very quick reads.
My rating: **1/2
Sexual content: none
Political content: none