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Bright Island by Mabel Robinson
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Bright Island

by Mabel Robinson

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Bright Island by Mabel L. Robinson
ISBN: 9780394809861
First thing that attracted me to this book was that it's about an island. Love islands as I spent many a year in my teens growing up on one local one.
Next thing is the state of Maine. We have traveled around the state and have spent many a week there just discovering new things.
Mary Curtis has 6, 4 living boys who were now all married and living on the mainland and the last child she had a daughter which she named, Thankful.
They were all coming to visit for the day to have a Sunday dinner.
The family has decided come September she will spend time over on the mainland going to regular schools. Spend a few weeks with one relative and then onto
another. Thankful is not too keen as she likes her daily routine of jumping into the frigid ocean for a quick wake up swim, then onto breakfast, feeding the
animals and other chores before she heads out in her sailboat, The Gramp. she misses him so much and loves being so free to do, dress and as she likes on the island.
The mainland will be so different.
The charcoal type drawings throughout the book are interesting to visualize.
Another solution presents itself and that is what Thankful wants and is able to get.
Is this going to be the right choice for her?
Love not only the Latin language, I had picked up a book of my brother's once to study it. but also the knowledge of the winds and sailing. What a lesson!
Highlander traditions, song and dance and everything it stands for comes out in this book.
Not only the weather she knew about but the signs of fall, when certain berries were a certain color, I remember those.
Happy to hear the gift her gramps gave her in his will, priceless!
Wish there was a previous book when the grandfather was alive and teaching her everything. ( )
  jbarr5 | Jul 25, 2013 |
This is just the kind of old-fashioned book I love, very reminiscent of A Girl of the Limberlost. Thankful's understanding but no-nonsense mother also reminds me of Velvet's mother in National Velvet. And there are some boarding-school elements as well, another of my favorite themes. I can't believe I'd never heard of it before, but now it's been re-issued for its 75th anniversary. ( )
  Dandelion_Cottage | Mar 30, 2013 |
I wish I'd known this book when I belonged to the target age group. It feels like an unexpected amalgam of a Heidi, Anne of the Island, and Swallows and Amazons, with a little Railway Children thrown in for good measure - the isolated girl who is just fine with staying that way, who has to carve out a place for herself among townsfolk; the extraordinary girl going away from her beloved home to school, a completely foreign environment where she is seen as a hick but proves herself and wins good friends with a very good mind and an unaffected attitude; the completely unsupervised children messing about with boats – and a timely rescue or two. But it in no way owes anything to any of these stories: it is - despite what I just said - very much itself.

Bright Island - so called because it shines in the sun and acts as a beacon for boaters - is the home of the Curtis family, and always has been, as long as there have been Curtises. It is its own world off the coast of Maine, almost entirely self-contained. It used to be home to a large family: not too long ago Gramps, the patriarch, ruled over his son's family: Scottish wife, four strapping sons, and fey daughter. But as the book opens Gramps has died and the four sons have married and left the island, to their father's dismay, and only Thankful, the youngest, remains. She is more of a sailor than any of her brothers ever were, and scorns the decision all of them made to marry and take work off the island (as she scorns the silly mainland wives they've taken) - all Thankful wants is to continue as she's always lived, learning from her former-schoolteacher mother, working around the farm, and sailing every available minute.

When it is decreed that she must go to the mainland to go to school, she digs her heels in. Hard. She has no desire to meet new people, or to learn more than her learned mother can teach her, or to leave the island for any reason whatsoever; the idea of an undetermined time spent at a landlocked school - especially boarding with those sisters-in-law by turns ... It's a nightmare. But as it is decreed, so it must be done, and though she wins a battle or two, the war is a lost cause to her, and off she goes.

There are plenty of fish-out-of-water coming-of-age stories in which the ugly duckling either becomes a swan or proves s/he was never ugly to begin with, and ducklings are terrific. This fits in well amongst them, but stands strong – and bright - on its own. ( )
  Stewartry | May 23, 2012 |
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When sixteen-year-old Thankful Curtis must leave Bright Island, Maine, for the first time in 1937, she has trouble adjusting to life on the mainland, new people, and "proper schooling," and yearns for her days of farming with her father and sailing.

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