Joey: How a Blind Rescue Horse Helped Others Learn to See {Jennifer Marshall Bleakley}

[I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.]


It's difficult for me to review this book objectively, for a few reasons.

1) It's nonfiction, and I always feel a little bad about judging narratives of things that actually happened, because it feels like I'm blaming the people involved for not having different lives.

2) I lose most of my objectivity when it comes to stories that deal with *SEMI-SPOILERS* animal euthanasia *END OF SPOILERS* because it's far too sensitive a topic for me, for various reasons.

3) Again, since it is a true story, it's difficult to balance appreciation for the themes and events with which it deals with quibbles about writing style, etc.

So, long story short . . . I don't know how to rate this book.  I appreciate the author's faith, and I got through the book relatively quickly, but to be honest, it didn't do much of anything for me.  There were a few good parts that did stand out (like the part when Kim was talking to Sarah about Sarah's past in Ch. 20), but overall, I didn't really like it.  And . . . I don't really know what else to say?  There wasn't really anything bad about this book, except that the writing could be a little stronger.  But even then, I don't know exactly what I would change about the writing -- perhaps just make it less . . . formulaic, maybe?  I don't know what the word I'm searching for is.  All I know is the writing didn't do it for me.

Again, all in all, not a bad book, just not a stellar book either.  I did like how they included pictures and sketches of Joey at the end of the book, though! :)






Comments

  1. Hello!
    I've never commented on your blog before, and this comment has absolutely nothing whatever to do with this particular post...but I have been dying to ask - have you finished writing the continuation of Susan Pevensie's story??? Are you still working on it? I read your post about it over a year ago, and have been waiting in such suspense and anticipation to find out more!!!
    Also, I just want to say how much I enjoy reading this blog! We have very similar interests (including a fondness for reading & writing!!!) and taste in books, etc.!!! Keep up with the lovely posts! :-)

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    1. Hello!

      Oh my goodness, thank you SO SO SO SO SO MUCH for this comment! It brightened my day so much. It means SO much to me that you noticed my post about the Susan Pevensie story and are interested in hearing more!!! Seriously, I can't thank you enough for commenting. :)

      To answer your question, YES, I am still working on it! I haven't been working on it very faithfully since November, when I used it as a (sort of) NaNoWriMo project. I've actually posted a little more about it over on my second blog, which you can find here:

      https://indecisiveandpalpitatingstars.blogspot.com/

      If you go to the labels on the right sidebar over there and click on the "writing" label, you should find the posts that deal with it. I'm not posting many snippets or anything of that nature, but I did talk some about the writing progress during the month of November, shared the "inspiration playlist," and stuff like that. I AM still very passionate about completing the story and have been working a teensy bit more on it lately, so this comment was even more inspiration and motivation to keep at it! :) Thank you!!!

      Awwwwww, thank you so much! I'm so glad to get to know you, and the compliments to my blog mean a lot to me!!! What are some of your favorite things to read and write?

      Hope you're having a blessed day, and thank you again so much!! :) <3

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    2. Thank you so much for responding to my inquiry! I am SO glad to hear that you are still working on Susan's story!!! *happy dance* I'll go look at the posts on the other blog right away!

      To answer your question, I love writing many different types of fiction - mostly historical, but a bit of contemporary & fantasy too! Despite the fact that I've loved writing since the age of 7 (I'm 19 now), and have begun literally hundreds of short stories and books, I've never actually *completed* a book until this month! Inspired by NaNoWriMo, I challenged myself to write 50,000 words in 30 days, and I did actually write 50,000 words of a WWII historical fiction novel in 27 days!!! It still needs SO much more writing & editing, but I was SO happy that I accomplished this! I have actually never forced myself to write fiction when I didn't feel like it prior to this, so it was a very new and challenging, but also rewarding experience!

      And I love reading many kinds of books, but my most favorites are the classics - especially all of Jane Austen's novels, Little Women and others by Louisa May Alcott, The Blue Castle and the Anne of Green Gables series, Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Narnia, etc.!!!

      Many blessings! <3

      Catie

      P.S. I just noticed that you are an INFJ...me too!!! :-)

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    3. Ohhh, and how could I forget Elizabeth Gaskell?!?! I love North & South and Wives & Daughters both so much!!! Molly Gibson is probably my most favorite fictional character ever! <3

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    4. Of course! Thank you for inquiring. ;D And for checking out my other blog! :)

      Oh my gosh, congratulations!! That's a huge accomplishment!! What's your book about, if I may ask? (If you don't want to share, that's completely fine; I totally understand!) Seriously, that is awesome! I'm always in awe of people who can actually write long stories -- it's really hard for me to stick it out until I have a novel-sized story. I don't think I've done it yet, actually -- but I'm hoping/planning to. :) Congrats again! And now you know that you CAN push yourself to do that!

      Ahhhhh, yes, the classics . . . I love most all of those, too! I just reread Little Women and loved it so much. :) And LotR and Narnia are definitely favorites. <3

      Love your name! :)

      P.S. Eeee, yay! Twinsies!!

      P.P.S. Elizabeth Gaskell is great, too! Do you like the movies or the books better? I LOVE W&D!! Molly is precious. <3 I love N&S, too, but if I had to choose between them, I think I'd pick W&D. :)

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    5. Well, to answer your question about my book...I originally came up with the idea for the story one day when I thought to myself, "What if my family went back in time to live during the World War 2 years?" The more I thought about it, the more excited I was to imagine what might happen to each of us! So I wrote about the many adventures of a family of 9 during WWII...

      The eldest daughter is an Army nurse serving in the Pacific, the second eldest daughter (who is very much like me, although in real life I am the eldest...) stays home and begins working in a factory, and the eldest son enlists in the Army and participates in the D-Day invasion. The 3 oldest children all meet their future spouses during the course of the book, and the 4 youngest children are all school-aged.

      As I wrote more, many of the characters became quite different from the people they were originally modeled after--but it was a really great way to spark a whole bunch of plot ideas! I actually still have so many parts left to write, but I was so burnt out by the time that I reached 50,000 words and I decided to put the story aside for a while, and resume writing whenever I feel like it again. :-)

      Yes, I love Little Women so much--I have read it SO many times, and I am actually just about to read it again! Which character is your favorite? Have you seen the new BBC adaptation?!

      To be completely, perfectly honest, I must say that I do slightly prefer the Elizabeth Gaskell movies to the books. The N&S and W&D miniseries are my top 2 favorite period dramas of all time, but the books are among what I call my "second favorites"...not my tip-top most favorite books of all time, but I did greatly enjoy and will definitely reread them!

      Ohhh, that is such a hard question! I think I would have to say N&S is my most favorite by just a tiny bit--something about the drama and tension and emotion of the story is just so moving! (I am actually rather surprised myself that I love it so much, considering that I am generally more drawn to quieter, cozy stories of everyday life in small rural villages...more like W&D) And when I am actually watching W&D I'm not sure I can choose a favorite! It is very very special to me too!

      Dear me, this has turned out to be such a long comment! :-P

      Have a beautiful day!!!

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    6. Hi again! Sorry it took me so long to reply. :-P

      Your story sounds cool! I like stories set in WWII. And that's a really creative idea -- like you said, I'm sure it produced great plot ideas! Whoa, you have more to write after 50,000 words?!?!? Wow, and I'm over here not even close to that word count . . . hehe . . . *sheepish grin* But yes, I think you're right -- you definitely deserve a break after that! ;)

      Ack, same <333 Oh, neat! Have you finished your re-read yet? Ooh, my favorite character is probably Beth, because of Reasons. But, really, it hit me this last read-through that I JUST LOVE THEM ALL SO MUCH. Seriously, I do think I truly love almost every character -- which is rare for me! (To be brutally honest, I don't think I LOVE Prof. Bhaer -- in the book -- but I LIKE him well enough and I'm DEFINITELY a Jo/Prof shipper instead of a Jo/Laurie shipper. What about you?) Who's your favorite character? And no, I haven't seen either of the new adaptations yet, the BBC or the PBS, but I'm looking forward to trying them, hopefully soonish. I'm a diehard, hardcore fan of the 1994 movie with Winona Ryder, though, so . . . they'll probably have a tough time convincing me. xD The BBC one is the one that placed it in a modern setting, right? That will be interesting. Have you seen one/both of the new adaptations?

      Same. The books are lovely, too, of course, but the movies are just wonderful. ;) I think W&D is one of my favorite period dramas, too! And N&S is amazing, obviously. Yeah, N&S definitely packs a pretty punch in the drama/tension/emotion department!!! Haha, I feel your pain -- it can be so hard to pick a favorite. :D

      Oh, but long comments are such fun to read! :D

      I hope you're having a beautiful day! Again, I'm sorry for such a late reply. :-P


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    7. No worries! I am quite certain you have many other responsibilities in life that are much more essential than blogging! :-P

      Oh yes!!! SO much more to write!!! I feel like the book will probably be around 10,000 words when I finish editing...

      No, I'm afraid I have not finished rereading yet! Some rather big & unexpected changes have come up in my life lately, so my reading pace has sadly slowed down quite a bit over the past 2 weeks. :-(

      Oh yes! I totally ship Jo/Professor Bhaer, although of course I do feel SO very sad for Laurie when Jo says she can never feel anything more than friendship for him! *sniffs*

      How can I possibly choose a favorite character?!?! I love them all so much! My top *5* are probably Beth, Marmee, Meg, John, & Laurie. <3

      YES, I have seen the new miniseries (4 times, to be exact...), and OH MY GOODNESS I love it SO much!!! I could go on indefinitely about all of the reasons why I am so fond of it, but for your sake I won't! :-P I will say that it is definitely more faithful to the book than the 1994 movie was in many ways. While I do enjoy the movie, I am not a diehard fan, so that is probably part of the reason why I fell in love with this new adaptation so easily! But I will say that I had incredibly high expectations for this new series, and it really did exceed them in so many ways!!!

      And after my 4th time watching it, I decided that all of the characters except Amy are *perfectly* cast, and just how I have always imagined them when reading the book! I *do* prefer the 1994 movie Laurie (Christian Bale), but this one is closer to how I imagine the "book Laurie", if that makes sense! :-P

      Hmm...I am pretty sure that the BBC/PBS versions are actually the same version. I believe that Masterpiece PBS produced the series, but it aired on the BBC channel in the UK. I'm not sure who made the modern-day movie, but not BBC. :-/

      Catie <3

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    8. Aww, thanks! Well, maybe more essential than blogging, but not necessarily than keeping up with friends. ;)

      Wow, good for you! Honestly, I struggle with keeping at a story long enough to get it to full novel size. So I don't know whether that means I'm supposed to write short stories or whether I just need to buckle down and be more intentional about lengthening and developing my stories. ;D But it's great that you're probably going to hit that length!

      Oh dear! I hope everything's okay with the unexpected changes and everything.

      Yesh. *sniffles* What are your thoughts on Laurie and Amy? I personally like them quite a bit, but I've heard some complaints, so I was curious as to what you thought of them. ;-P


      They're all so lovely!! Ahh, yes, awesome choices. I think it really hit me the last time I read it how much I really love Laurie. I mean, the dear boy. <33

      Whoa! There must be something good about it, then! And, actually, since leaving that last comment, I HAVE started hearing some more favorable impressions of it. So now I'm even more curious to watch it and see what I think! Ok, neat -- I'm glad to hear your take on it. I watched the '94 movie before I read the book, and it means a lot to me, so, as I said, I'm kind of biased going into it. ;-P (Pretty much the only things I don't like about the movie are how they sort of swapped Meg's and John's personalities and the fact that Laurie and Amy don't get much development. :-P)

      It's interesting you say that about Amy, because I've heard the same thing. Huh. Ok, gotcha. Yep, that makes sense! :)

      Ohhhhhhhhhh, okay. That makes sense. Yeah, I don't know who made the modern one, either, then -- I suppose I shall have to find out. ;-P

      Hope you're doing well! :D Are you having a nice summer so far?


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  2. Haha, I *totally* relate to that habit of not sticking with a story long enough to make it (anywhere near) novel-length!!! :-P

    I really love Laurie & Amy together, especially in the book!!! <3 We just get so much more of their relationship and how it progresses in the book, although the BBC miniseries did show more than previous films.

    I had read the book multiple times before I ever saw the movies, and then I saw the '49 version before the '94, so I had my own fairly detailed mental image of each of the characters already, mostly based on the book descriptions. :-)

    There are many things that I dislike about the 1994 movie, but despite that fact, I still do find it very enjoyable to watch! (Especially all the parts with Laurie...*ahem*)

    If you don't mind me asking, do you know when you might watch the BBC Little Women?!?! After all of our "conversation" about it, I am SO curious to hear your thoughts & feelings about it! You simply must write a review whenever you do see it! ;-)

    OHHH!!! Did you hear that yet *another* Little Women movie is in the works?!?! It will be produced by Greta Gerwig, and will focus on the second half of the book. Filming begins this fall in Boston. I read that the potential cast will include Saoirse Ronan as Jo, Timothee Chalamet as Laurie, Emma Stone as Meg, Florence Pugh as Amy, & Meryl Streep as Aunt March! What do you think of these choices?!?! Are you already familiar with any of these actors? I have mixed feelings about this adaptation, and I am *trying* not to have very high expectations, as I feel that it may stray away from the book more than any of the others...but we shall just have to wait and see! ;-)

    Have you read the sequels to Little Women, Little Men & Jo's Boys???

    Hmm, well...to be perfectly honest, so far my summer hasn't gone *at all* as I had planned, and it has for the most part been incredible busy & difficult & stressful! :-P But despite all of that, I see God working in my life in so many ways, so lately I have just been resting in the knowledge that He is using all of these various trials for good!!! (Oh! And my sister and I were recently able to join some dear friends for a whole, wonderful week of time away from home at a Bible conference, which was totally unexpected & last-minute, but SO delightful & refreshing!!!)

    Well, I think that's all! Have a lovely weekend!!!

    Catie <3

    P.S. Oh! One more thing! On a very unrelated note, I just thought I'd mention that after reading so much about the BBC Robin Hood series on your blog and a few others, I decided to give it a try...I watched the first 7 episodes in one week, then unintentionally took a month off of watching it--but I just watched 3 episodes in the last 2 days and I hope to finish Season 1 in the near future! It is in pretty much every way *not* "my kind" of series, and yet for some reason I love it so much!!! I love Marian so dearly *sniff, sniff*...and I disapprove of so many of Sir Guy's actions while at the same time feeling so much compassion for him...and the Sheriff is probably the most terrible, heartless, manipulative, creepy, & altogether EVIL villain ever!!! (Ok, maybe not *ever*...but you get my point! I very passionately dislike everything about him! *shudders*)

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    1. CATIE, SUCH NEWS!!!!!!

      I watched the BBC Little Women!!

      We finished it the night before last. Andddddddd . . . for the most part, I actually really liked it!!

      Now, I didn't love EVERYTHING about it . . . but I was pleasantly surprised on the whole! I thought all the actresses for the Marches did an excellent job (Amy was only so-so, I felt), especially the ones for Meg and Beth. <3 <3 <3 I was not a fan of this Laurie, for some rather indefinable reason. But they got Brooke right!! Eee!! I actually liked him more in this than in the book, and I like him in the book, so . . . ;)

      The filming itself was gorgeous!! And I adjusted to the music -- at first I was #confused, and I still don't like that vocalization thing they brought in at times (it seemed WAYYY too modern/melodramatic to me), but on the whole, I ended up thinking it was fun. :) (And speaking of the music, um, WHEN THE MARCH GIRLS ARE SINGING "THE LAND OF THE LEAL"?!?!?! And they start that INCREDIBLE harmony?!?!?! Feelings?!?!?!?! I had mixed feelings on that scene in general -- on the one hand, correct me if I'm wrong, but John doesn't actually go off "soldiering" in the book, does he?! So it was like they just added that for the dramatic effect, and that annoyed me a bit. But on the other hand . . . THE FEELINGS, THOUGH. THE SONG. WOW.)

      The show actually made me cry several times, which is no small feat for a movie, I can assure you. (On the other hand, it does not take much for me to cry over Beth March. So, there's that.)

      I warmed up to Emily Watson as Marmee -- she doesn't seem as gentle as the book-Marmee/1994-Marmee are, but she was still very good.

      Amy felt too "artful," if that makes any sense? Like, I get that Amy's somewhat conniving as a child, but still, that's as a child and in a childish way. This Amy felt too wily in a womanly sense. Know what I mean? I also don't like how they did the whole "burning Jo's book" thing, for two reasons: 1) It didn't feel like there was enough build-up to Amy's reaction, whereas I remember her kind of "stewing" all day in the movie/book. 2) They inserted the little thing of Jo bringing Amy back some candy. THAT actually came close to making me mad, because that is NOT in the book (unless I'm majorly forgetting something), and it just seemed like another example of people hating on Amy for her "besetting sin" (i.e. selfishness, vanity, entitlement) and majorly magnifying it, but NO ONE holding Jo accountable for her temper/her sense of superiority over girls who are into more feminine things (maybe I'm just reading too much into that second one, but I feel like there's a chance she does have that problem) or Meg for her materialism. (Or Beth, for whatever exceptionally-well-hidden flaw she may have. I've yet to find it, but, presumably, it's there. ;-P) And I'm just like, ?!?!?!?! ALL of the girls have flaws that they need to overcome, and all of them have character arcs -- in fact, I would dare to say that Amy's is the most significant and the most thorough, but I've yet to see a film adaptation really bring that out in its entirety.

      *sigh* Okay, Amy defense rant over. ;-P

      I loved that we got to see the boating scene, with Beth and Frank (?) Vaughn. Because I've always liked that little bit in the book (and low-key shipped Beth and Frank *cough*), and, obviously, we don't get to see it in the '94. :)

      One scene that was SO SWEET was the one when Marmee opens the door and sees all her little women arrayed for Meg's wedding. *happy sniffles* A++, PBS. <3

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    2. I think the miniseries did a really good job of capturing the homelike quality of the story. There were several scenes that were so golden and happy and safe, I feel sure that I'll be rewatching them many times. (Maybe soon after I finish this comment, in fact! Haha.) And I like that I now know that I can really like more than one film adaptation of the book. I think, in the end, I just really love the story, and unless a show MAJORLY messes it up, some part of me might cherish parts of any adaptation. :) (I will say that the ending to this one seemed a tad rushed to me -- we didn't get much time to recover from Beth's death -- but I guess that's okay.)

      I could go on, with thoughts on Maya Hawke as Jo and random other observations, but . . . I'll wait to hear back from you first. ;D

      NOW, going back to the rest of your last comment . . .

      The struggle (to keep at a story) is real! I'm really going to try with this latest one, though. I'm planning to use it as a NaNoWriMo project this November, hopefully! *crosses fingers that I can get #Plot figured out*

      Laurie and Amy are perfectly fine, and people just don't seem to get that. *huffs*

      Awwww. What are some of the things you dislike about the movie? I shall try to be brave. ;-P (Haha.) Awww, yes, Christian Bale's Laurie is really good! Not perfect, but then . . . will any Laurie ever be perfect, outside the pages of the novel?? ;)

      Gracious me, ANOTHER one?!?!? What are these movie-makers about?!?! Haha, but, hey, I guess we'll take it. ;) Thanks for letting me know! It's given me an opportunity to think about the prospect of a new movie with that cast. :D Let's see . . . I could see Saoirse Ronan as Jo (I think) . . . and, I guess Meryl Streep might be fine as Aunt March . . . (to be honest, I've never really cared that much about Aunt March, so I've never really cared that much about who plays her? Haha) . . . I can't really picture Stone or Chalamet in those roles, but I'm sure they could convince me. And I don't have any experience with Florence Pugh, so I couldn't really say, though I did look her up. What do YOU think about the new cast? Haha, yeah, I feel you on that whole skepticism thing . . . if they do end up messing it up, we can dissect it together. ;) *locks arms with you and brandishes the novel*

      I've read Little Men (and enjoyed it!), and I have Jo's Boys on my shelf, though I haven't read it yet. :) What about you?

      Awwww! I'm so sorry. I hope it's gotten better, and I'm here to talk if you ever want to. <3 I'm so glad that you've been drawing near to God in spite of it all, and that Bible conference sounds lovely!

      My summer has been kind of stressful, too (I've been working two jobs and have been a little exhausted for the past month or so), but I've also been seeing God, too. One thing He's impressed on me is how I can just trust in Him and rest in the knowledge that He can work out all the various little conundrums that pop up unexpectedly (in regards to school, work, etc). Like, He's been helping me trust: "You've worked everything else out in regards to this; I can believe that You'll work this out, too." It's been awesome! Especially since I haven't had as much of a regular "quite time" schedule this summer, and as someone who struggles with religiosity and works-based approval and feeling like I need to check off a "good Christian" list, it's been reassuring and comforting and sweet to still feel God with me, and to realize that I'm still talking with Him even when I'm out and about. <3


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    3. (LAST ONE, I PROMISE)

      *gasp* AAAHHHHH, YOU STARTED ROBIN HOOD!!!!! I know, it's a terribly cheesy show sometimes, but -- but -- BUT THE CHARACTERS!!! They're the actual best and I'm still not okay. Ahh, season one . . . season two is better in some ways, but season one has such a good ending -- I won't spoil it for you, but it's quite good. :) MARIAN IS MY EVERYTHING. (Not really, but kind of.) And Guy . . . *sigh* The poor, misguided . . . well, guy. ;-P He has SUCH issues but I still Feel for him. Ack, the Sheriff is awful, no question. But . . . I gotta admit that I sometimes enjoy watching him???!! Like, he's terrible, but he's also funny sometimes. ;D

      Okay, I'll "let you go" -- after three comments *facepalm* -- sorry, again, for taking such a while to respond. ;-P I'm loving our conversation so much!!! <3 Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday!! Blessings!! <3 <3 <3

      P.S. Gracious, what a novel I just wrote you. You don't have to respond to everything!! :D

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    4. Ohhh, I can't begin to say how excited I was to see so many long comments from you!!! And to hear your thoughts & opinions on Little Women!!!!!!!

      Yes yes yes!!! Meg & Beth were the highlights of the series to me!!! I felt that they were *perfectly* cast, and just as I've always pictured them in the my head! (Unlike in the 1994 movie...)

      While I don't just love Laurie, I must admit that he somehow looks almost exactly how I always picture him when I read the novel...if that make any sense?!?! And I do like how they highlight his, I don't know--*loneliness* in the beginning!

      Oh, I 100% agree!!! I love John Brooke SO much in this!!! He is just so kind and mature and gentlemanly and honorable and PERFECT.

      The music. Well, I will admit that is definitely surprised me! Haha. It didn't seem very period-drama-y at first; but I did warm up to it, and have decided that especially the instrumental theme part is kinda folk-music-ish, so maybe that's what they were trying for?!

      The Land of the Leal scene is quite possibly my favorite scene from the whole series!!! I just LOVE it!!! So emotional and beautiful!!! And John did actually go off to fight in the war! The quote goes something like this, "John went off to do his duty manfully for a year, was wounded, and sent home..." I love that they included this aspect of Meg & John's story! <3

      Marmee was not exactly what I expected, but I do love how she is portrayed! I like how they made her a bit less "perfect", as she is in the book. I do kinda wish her hairstyle was a bit neater, though! But that is a minor detail! :-P

      I totally agree about loving the overall homey, intimate, warm, old-fashioned feel to the whole series! It felt rather like I was actually in the March home, living everyday life with them. And I feel that that is the way the book is too.

      I am so so glad to hear that you were pleasantly surprised to enjoy the series so much!!! I am now really wanting to watch it again...haha!

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    5. Oh my, let me see. The 1994 movie. I think my two main complaints are that most of the characters do not look at all like I imagine them in my head (and Jo & Professor Bhaer in particular do not look at all like they are described in the book!!!), and also that due to length, it is missing SO many lovely parts that I just loved in the book! Especially parts about John & Meg's married life.

      Also, Marmee seems much more feministic than in the book, and I rather dislike that.

      I DO love Laurie though. <3 <3 <3

      And the 1994 Amy is my favorite, I only wish they showed (a lot!) more of her as a young adult, falling in love with Laurie and such!!!

      And I LOVE the soundtrack. To sum up my feelings, let me say this--if there was no book, I am fully convinced that this movie would be one of my top favorites! But is just doesn't quite measure up to the book, in my humble opinion. :-P

      And despite all my criticisms, I always try to remember how many people put so much thought and heart and work into creating each of these adaptations, and we all have our own ideas of how everyone looks and such! ;-)

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    6. Oh, you must read Jo's Boys!!! I just love it! It is about Jo and Meg and Amy's children as young adults, going off into the world, getting married, and such! Sometimes comical, at others heartrending, and overall a delightful sequel to the previous chronicles of the March family!

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    7. I think I have read Jo's Boys about 4 times or so...

      About the upcoming Little Women...I think I could see Saoirse Ronan as Jo, IF she has the correct chestnut-brown shade of hair! I think Willa Fitzgerald will always and forever be Meg for me. Chalamet is somehow rather "modern-looking" to me, so I kinda feel that I won't particularly care for his portrayal of my beloved Laurie...

      I also read that Eliza Scanlen & James Norton might be in the movie! Can you see James Norton as John Brooke or the Professor?!?!

      I'm so glad to hear that despite the busyness of your summer you have been able to feel God's presence in a special way!!! That is so wonderful!

      And I am enjoying our "conversation" so much too!!! Long comments are the best, so please don't apologize for their length or number--especially as this is now my 4th in response to your 3! :-P

      Well, so long for now!!!

      Catie <3

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    8. *ahem* Just one more thing! The presumption is that Eliza Scanlen would play Beth in the new movie, but I personally feel that she looks very Amy-ish! What do you think?

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    9. Hi, Catie! Here I finally am with a reply. :-P (I just rewatched the PBS Little Women so now I'm back in a LW mood. ;D)

      Meg and Beth are wonderful, as is John Brooke. <3

      I really don't know WHY I don't like Jonah's Laurie. I don't get the same sense of boyish playfulness that I get in the book and somewhat in the movie, I guess. This Laurie seems a bit TOO brooding/angsty/mopey at times, and he seems more adult, too. But I don't know for sure.

      Haha, exactly! I've now figured out that I LIKE the music, and I even think it works for the miniseries, but it was just, as you said, unexpected. And it took some getting used to. :-P

      SAAAAAAAMMMMEEE. <3 <3 <3 It's such an excellently done scene. (Ohhhh, you're right! My bad. Thanks for clearing that up!)

      Yeah, I think I really missed the gentleness that's present in the book and the movie, when it came to Marmee. But it did make her struggle with her temper more believable.

      Haha! Those reasons all make sense. I grew up with the 1994 movie (plus I just think it's a great movie), so I will probably always love it. But I understand why it unsatisfactory for some. ;) I'm glad you like certain elements, like Amy and Laurie! I also think that they're both done splendidly. <3 AND THE MUSIC. YES. IT DOES THINGS TO MY HEART. And awww, yes, that's such a good point. We should all bear that in mind when thinking about different film adaptations. Jolly good point. :)

      Oooh, you definitely make me want to read Jo's Boys! That'll be fun. :D

      So I just looked up more info on the new adaptation for the first time in a while, and apparently the casting for the main people is confirmed. And I think it looks promising! Yeah, I still don't know how I feel about Chalamet as Laurie. I did see him in something else since we last talked, so now I do have more confidence in his winsomeness and range as an actor. We'll see, I suppose. :-P I'm only familiar with two out of the four actresses for the March sisters, but they all seem decently well-cast. As for Eliza Scanlen, I think I could see her as either Amy or Beth, so I'm flexible! I confess, she doesn't look terribly Beth-ish to me, but I already like Claire Danes' and Annes Elwy's portrayals so much that I might be skeptical anyway. ;-P (I do hope they don't choose just the one actress for Amy at both ages, though, like the PBS did. That "no work". :-/) But I'll be excited to see it come Christmastime! (Is James Norton still in the cast??)

      How have you been doing? I hope you've been well and happy and feeling God's presence. <3

      Oh, I do have some exciting, non-LW news to share! (I'm sharing here because I don't think any of my other followers are really following this post/comment thread, and I decided not to announce it super publicly yet, so maybe don't go mentioning this on my other posts just yet, hehe. ;-P) Basically . . . I finished the first draft of my Susan Pevensie story!!! Aaaaaahhhhh!!!! It was really satisfying to finish, and even though I'm having to be disciplined to not immediately start harping on all the edits or "improvements" it'll need, it's still been really happy to realize that I at least got the first draft done and written. Since it's such a personal story for me, it's been really neat to see what God's done in me through the process of writing it, and I'm excited to see what he'll do as I continue with it. :)

      Anyway. I'm not trying to brag or anything like that, but since you've been so supportive of and enthusiastic about this story, and since that's what got this whole comment thread started, I figured you might like to know. :) <3 <3 <3

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  3. Oh yes, I totally know how it is to go in & out of being in the mood for a certain book, movie, etc.!!!

    I 100% agree with what you said about Jonah's Laurie! Christian Bale was so much more boyish & playful, while Jonah seems moody most of the time. :-P Of the two, I definitely prefer CB, although I feel like book-Laurie was somewhere between the two portrayals.

    How do you feel about Florence Pugh's appearance as both younger & grownup Amy, now that you've seen pictures? I feel like my opinion will depend greatly on how she *behaves* as young Amy.

    Yes, James Norton is John Brooke! I have yet to see any pictures, but I am so excited about that!!! :-P

    I am doing really well! Thank you for asking! I've been writing a lot lately which has been SO wonderful! (I'll elaborate a bit more down below!) Also, I semi-recently discovered a new favorite book, which I feel is worth mentioning. Salt to the Sea is now #4 on my list of Most Favorites! :-)

    I am SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED about your news!!! Both for you as the writer, and myself too—hopefully one day I can read ALL of your Susan story! But I totally understand that it might be a long while before you are ready to share it. (If you are ever looking for beta readers, I would be delighted to be one!!!) I feel so honored that you told me here before publicly announcing it on the blog. <3

    About the new LW: I LOVE Jo, just as I thought I would! And although Beth doesn't look at all how I imagine her and Annes Elwy is *perfection* in this beloved role, the picture where she is arranging flowers is very convincing, and I like her quite well already! More than I expected to! I'm still not "in love" with Meg (Willa Fitzgerald is perfect for me) or Amy, but we shall see! ;-)

    I have a somewhat less exciting writing update of my own! I've been working on my World War 2 Dutch Resistance/Holocaust story for the past 10 months, and the actual writing has been painfully slow and sporadic. Until two weeks ago, that is. Just recently I have been able to write SO much and it has been absolutely wonderful! I am now more than halfway through writing the first draft!!!

    Somewhat similarly to what you've expressed about Susan's story, my own has been a very special and personal journey for me also. Over the years, and especially more recently, the Lord has been faithfully preparing me in SO MANY ways to write this story. A story of kindness and hope even during a time of great darkness. So many things the Lord has been teaching me lately are woven into the story. It is so beautiful how the Lord uses our writing journey to teach us and pull us gently closer to Him, to promote growth in our own spiritual life. (Job 5:18 & 20 and Psalm 18:28 and 32-36 are a few verses that are important to my story and also just wonderful in general, so I thought I'd mention them here!)

    In case you'd like to see, here's a collage I made for my story—hopefully this link works for you! https://i.pinimg.com/originals/92/9f/d5/929fd54c9a43099e82b01bf1670d211b.jpg

    On another note, recently I realized that although I know many things about *you* through your blog and such, you don't know much of anything about me. So just in case you ever wondered about something in particular but felt strange asking, I wanted to say that I don't mind a bit if you asked! (For instance, I am actually rather curious how old do you imagine me to be?)

    Well, I think that's all for now! I look forward to your response!

    Catie <3

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  4. I have a prayer request to share...

    A dear friend from my church/homeschooling community just passed away this morning. His name is Luke Sullivan, and he has been the Aviation Director of Paradise Bound Ministries in Guatemala for just a few short weeks. He was only 28 years old, and he has felt called to serve as a missionary pilot ever since he was a young boy reading about Nate Saint. He leaves behind a wife of 4 years, 4 daughters under the age of 4, parents, and 5 younger siblings. Please pray for the whole family, but especially his wife, as they mourn this loss.

    From Paradise Bound Ministries blog (you can look it up):
    It is with a heavy heart I share with you that Luke, PBM’s Aviation Director, passed away this morning from the severe injuries he sustained in yesterday’s plane crash. Please pray for this precious family as they begin to mourn his loss. Luke leaves behind his wife, Ashley, 3 beautiful little girls (Brooklyn, Nicole, & Isabella) and another daughter on the way.

    Please continue to remember the other pilot involved, Bruce, as we evaluate his treatment options. We will continue to update you as we have more information.

    Ashley's Instagram is @life.love.sweetchaos

    Thank you so much for joining us in prayer!!! <333

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  5. Have you seen the trailer for Little Women?! How do you feel about it???

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  6. Hello!

    First of all, I'm so sorry about the loss of your friend. I hope and pray the family are doing okay. I can't imagine what his wife must have been and be still going through. How are you doing? And how is the second pilot? I hope he's recovered.

    Next, to the rest of your comments. :)

    Same! I think if they had given Christian Bale just a few more "angsty" scenes, he would have been pretty much perfect, because, as you say, book-Laurie is kind of between the two.

    *heavy, frustrated sigh* I don't understand why it's so hard for filmmakers to grasp the benefits of casting two actresses as Amy. I truly don't. :-P I think Florence Pugh looks like she'll make a great adult Amy, but young Amy will yet again be woefully unbelievable. :-/ I could be wrong, and am probably being over-dramatic. ;)

    James Norton will (I think) be such a great Brooke!!

    Yay!! Ach, yes, Salt to the Sea was a great book. The ending was especially so, I think.

    *grins and squeals* THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! I need to get back into writing regularly now that I've given myself a little break in celebration of the update. ;) Ooh! I am actually working with some alpha/beta readers right now and could use more opinions, so I'd love to bring you on board if you'd like to, but there is absolutely NO PRESSURE at all. :)

    I think Saoirse Ronan is going to be a fantastic Jo. Eliza Scanlen . . . like you, she doesn't really look the part to me, but to be fair I also feel like the trailer/pictures haven't given us much of anything to go on for her, so it's difficult to tell. We'll see! I like Emma Watson, but I would never have thought of her for this role . . . but that might make it all the more impressive if I end up liking her version. I don't think I'll dislike her, at any rate. And I think I'll like Florence Pugh as grown-up Amy but not as young Amy, as I said earlier.

    Ack, congratulations on your writing!!!! I'm so glad you were able to experience more of a "breakthrough" in writing it. How has that been going lately? Ahhhhhhhh, that collage is so cool!! I love how perfectly it all meshes together, theme/color-wise. I can tell you must have put it together with a lot of care, and it's BEAUTIFUL. I love the inclusion of that Lewis quote (<3) in the middle. It's perfect. :D

    It's so neat how God prepares us to write certain stories, as you said. It's kind of crazy to me, actually. :D He's a very good God and a good Father. (Ooh, I'll have to look up those Bible verses; thanks for sharing! I love Psalm 18 in general, don't you?)

    That's a good point! Thanks! (Hmm . . . I guess I imagine you as either mid to late teens or early 20s?? Am I close? ;D) Let's see here . . . oh, I know. How big is your family? How many brothers and sisters do you have?

    As for the new trailer: I'm feeling more excited about the production now!! ;D I'm really excited for Saoirse Ronan, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep (surprisingly, since I don't typically care one way or the other for Aunt March), and Timothee Chalamet and Florence Pugh as an adult couple. :D What about you??? What are you thinking now??

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  7. Luke's wife and family are doing so well. The Lord has been so faithful in providing comfort and strength to each of them. It has been SUCH an encouragement and inspiration to me so see how his wife is grateful even now for how many have been impacted for eternity through the life and death of her beloved husband. What a testimony! And the other pilot is doing incredibly well, all things considered! So many answered prayers!

    Of course I would LOVE to be an alpha/beta reader for you!!! Like seriously, I would feel so honored and excited!!! A few times recently I have even found myself subconsciously wanting to read your story, and then I would remember, much to my disappointment, that it isn't quite a book yet! ;-)

    I took a break from writing just after I made it halfway (at about 30,000 words), as I felt like I had temporarily exhausted my supply of inspiration and energy for writing, and I felt satisfied with what I had accomplished so far. I am just now getting back into writing, and I *hope* to finish the first draft by November! This has been SUCH a special and enjoyable writing experience, and I am so grateful for how the Lord has used this story for spiritual growth in my own life!

    I am twenty years old! I am the eldest of 7 children, and I have 4 sisters and 2 brothers who are my very best friends! :-)

    I am also more excited for the movie after seeing the trailer! It honestly looks better than I expected. Wow, I think I am most excited about the very same people as you!

    How has your summer been so far? What are your plans for this fall? How can I be praying for you? <3

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    1. I'm glad to hear Luke's wife and the other pilot are doing well. <3

      Ahhh, yay!! That makes me so happy. :D I'd be thrilled to send you the document and my beta reader questions once I get your email address. You can include it in a reply to this or, if you'd rather keep it more private, you could always private message me over Goodreads. :)

      Wow! That's awesome! How has writing been going lately? I've been needing to get back into regular writing myself. I'm so glad you've been able to keep up with it!

      Ah! Nailed it! :D I'm the second-to-youngest of six siblings, actually. It's neat we both come from larger families. :)

      I know, right?? Now I'm all, "Okay, I see you, I see you." ;D

      This year has been kind of rough or my family and me so far, to be honest (just a lot of unexpected crises), so I'd definitely appreciate prayers for the family situation right now. Right now, I'm finishing up my associate's degree at my community college and then planning to take a gap semester before I transfer into a four-year institution to finish out my undergrad. :) What about you? What are you up to? And can I pray for you for anything?

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