Saturday, May 14, 2011

Grace Livingston Hill

Camy here, and today I’m a bit nostalgic because I’m reorganizing my bookshelves, which is actually a fun thing for me to do (I think I should have been a librarian rather than a biologist).

I’m on a shelf that has all my old Grace Livingston Hill books, and while I haven’t read all of her books, I’ve read a good number of them.

I’m not sure exactly why I like them. They’re a bit cheesy and quite evangelistic, but there’s something about them that’s magical, romantic, and uplifting. They’re a complete escape from real life.

It helped me appreciate them more when I first looked at the original copyright date. Grace Livingston Hill wrote these novels from the late 1910s to the early 1940s (?) so when I saw the copyright date, I knew that the book was set in that time period.

My favorite is the book cover pictured, Crimson Roses. It’s just really romantic and a bit of a Cinderella story. It’s very sweet and something nice and light to make me feel good. It’s set in the 1920s, so I can imagine the characters dressed up in twenties outfits and the dialogue itself is so authentic to the time period.

Have you read any Grace Livingston Hill novels? If not, why not give one a shot? Some are available on ebook, or you can buy a used copy from or

If you love GLH as much as I do, which one is your favorite and why?

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Out now is her humorous contemporary romance novel, Single Sashimi, and her romantic suspense, Formula for Danger. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders dogs, knitting and spinning wool, running, Asiana, and other frivolous things. Sign up for her newsletter for giveways!

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Martha A. said...

Cheesy?? I'll forget you said that because you like her too!!! She is one of my favorite authors, when I want to remember that somewhere in the great beyond good conquers evil and even though one character is always poor and struggles, someone always rescues her.
My favorite is Brentwood, where the daughter has been given up for adoption when she was a baby and her adoptive parents do not tell her until they die and she finds her family in desperate straits. And Substitute Guest....mostly because the food sounds good and is what I wish Christmas would be like.
Okay, so when life is hard, I read GLH!!! She has some great morals and lessons to teach too!

CarolM said...

Several at least are available for free ebook copies - through Guttenberg?

Love Crimson Roses. Honor Girl. Best Man. Many others.

Favorite is a toss up between Marcia Schyler and Substitute Guest.

Love GLH!

Charity said...

Hey Camy,
One of my all time favorites was The Finding of Jasper Holt. For some reason I have always loved this one. Not sure if it is the bad boy type who is not really bad at all:) Another one was The Obsession of Victoria Gracen. Not a lot of romance in this one at all but I loved the whole plot of it. Very sweet story.
Thanks for bringing these books back to my thoughts. Sometimes it is so easy to forget them:)

Martha A. said...

The obsession of Victoria Gracen is really good! I always get the urge to make tiny sandwiches after one of her books though!

m.e. said...

So happy to have stumbled upon your blog. Grace Livingston Hill was my first introduction to Christian romance and now my daughter is a devotee!

Some of my favorites include The Finding of Jasper Holt and The Best Man, but my #1 favorite is my 1st edition of the The Christmas Bride. It was given to me by my grandmother, who first introduced me to GLH, because I was a Christmas bride!

Sharon Hinck said...

Loved Crimson Roses - and also The Enchanted Barn.

I loved her books because they made me aspire to being as virtuous, brave, determined, and forgiving as her poor beleaguered heroines.

Camy Tang said...

Martha, I don't remember Brentwood but I loved the Substitute Guest! And you're right, I think I love her because her books remind me that good conquers evil. That's such a great reminder in today's culture!

Carol, I have some of the Project Gutenberg ones, but I also bought some other ebook version because they have less typos than the Gutenberg versions. Oooh, I loved Marcia Schuyler!

Charity, I don't think I've read those two!

m.e., I really loved The Best Man! I don't think I've read the Christmas Bride yet.

Sharon--ooooh I loved the Enchanted Barn, too! I was so happy to get a copy on ebook.


Charity said...

I will have to check out Christmas Bride. Not sure if I have ever read that one. And Carol, you got me thinking about the Schuyler series:) Loved them as well!
Oh the good oldies!

Camy Tang said...

LOL Charity I just pulled out my 3-in-1 volume of Marcia Schuyler, Phoebe Dean, and Miranda!

Linnette R Mullin said...

WHICH GLH is my favorite? Oh, my! That's a tough one. I read her books like crazy during my teenage years. I love Marcia Schuyler, Rainbow Cottage, Rose Galbraith, The Man of the Dessert...

What I love about her books is that the hero is always a hero, the heroine is always ultra feminine and yet strong. She never backed down from her morals and she had plenty or self-respect without being selfish. The heroine was always a lady, yet she wasn't afraid to stand against the popular corruption of the day.

Grace had a huge impact on me growing up. She taught me true courage during a time in my life when I had very little guidance. She also taught me to love to read and ignited my desire to write.

Camy Tang said...

Linette, I just realized from what you said that one thing GLH books did was teach me how to be a lady and to stand up for my morals. Wow, that's really neat!

Anonymous said...

I love her books. They are sweet and gentle. Love Re-Creations and others that involve a complete domestic overhaul. One can download many of them cheaply for Kindle on Amazon.

Camy Tang said...

I've never read Re-Creations, although I have it. Now I'll have to read it!

Anonymous said...

I see this is a post from May so you may not receive this but if you do: Aunt Crete's Emancipation and The Obsession of Victoria Gracen were really good and didn't really have anything to do with romance. Cloudy Jewel is the same type of story but with a little romance added in. (Cinderella stories about the middle-aged sweetheart of an aunt who's been oppressed her entire life). Then I also like Found Treasure and A Daily Rate, both of which I found to be more evangelistic in nature but Daily Rate was helpful to me. And finally...for the romances I loved The Enchanted Barn. Just my favorite.

Camy Tang said...

I loved all those titles! I especially liked Cloudy Jewel.

Cindy said...

I love The Enchanted Barn and The Spice Box probably the best. I love her home-making books. I am trying to find two that I have read before and can't recall the titles. 1 she goes to Florida to take care of her two uncles who live in a mess. A rich man wants her and a poorer man flies an airplane. 2. she runs away and buys a little house and pays rent to put in in a corner of someone's yard (days before water, sewer, lights??)
Hope someone can provide these titles. Cindy

Camy Tang said...

I think I've read the second one but I can't recall it!

Rich M. said...

A rarity I admit, a male reader of GLH. When I was 4 or so, those were the books my Mother bought at the thrift shop and me, loving to read, read them all, well a high percentage. My favorites, like some here, Christmas Bride, Substitute Guest, Seventh Hour, and April Gold. Recently as I have grown older and cynical, I reread some and find that GLH either was playing games with us sometimes- i.e. Blue Ruin, at a time when she was going through her rotten second marriage. Brentwood-my favorite as a child, I reread now and I DESPISE the parents (some of the brothers and sisters too I think). Is it just me, was her character development so threadbare in some of her novels, or was Brentwood a special case where she simply failed to make Mom and Dad Gay anything but parasitic, do-nothings, worthless waste of human kind? Thanks Ms Camy for a great blog site. I will follow! Rich

Marian said...

Wondering why you object to her books being evangelistic. Is that a bad thing?
My favorite is one I read 37 years ago at my cousin's house, and I can't remember the title, but I've never forgotten the book. Maybe someone here can help with the title? It's about a girl who is going to be married to a man who's going to be a pastor. But the man gets seduced by a worldly girl and ends up marrying her and can't be a pastor because churches won't have a man with a worldly wife. Meanwhile the main character finds a godly husband. Two phrases I especially remember from the book are the lilt in the voice of the main character and the bare arms of the worldly woman.

Camy Tang said...

Rich, you're awesome to have read her! I didn't realize that about Blue Ruin and her marriage. I haven't read Brentwood in a long time, too, so I can't remember what the parents were like.

Marian, the only thing I object to about the evangelism is that to me, it seems a bit pushy sometimes. I'm not used to people being that direct in conversation when talking to someone else about needing Christ. I grew up as a child of the 80s in a place where you were laughed at or scorned if you even mentioned Jesus, so GLH's very direct dialogue is a bit on the nose for my taste, but I don't mind reading it.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I have been trying to identify a book that I read 20 years ago and believe it was by Grace Livingston Hill but am not certain. Since she's written over 100 and most are out of print, it's very hard to find a title and synopsis list. I'm hoping that since you've described reading so many, you might be familiar with one about a female sports writer who ends up falling in love with a Canadian hockey player. If that rings any bells for you, I'd dearly love to know the title so I can find it again!

Camy Tang said...

I'm afraid that doesn't sound like any of the Grace Livingston Hill books that I've read.