I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!

Search This Blog

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Book Review: The Far Side of the Loch by Melissa Wiley

the far side of the loch

The Far Side of the Loch by Melissa Wiley
Little House: The Martha Years Book 2
Papeeback, 256 pages, Unabridged
May 31, 2000
goodreads button

Genre: Historical Fiction, YA

Source: Personal collection

“In The Far Side of Loch seven-year-old Martha is lonely and restless. The Stone House was filled with people during the holidays, but now the cousins have gone home, Martha's father is traveling, her brothers are at school, and her older sister, Grisie, is too busy brooding over her embroidery to pay any attention to Martha. Her new pet hedgehog makes things a bit more fun, and then Father comes home with some thrilling news and suddenly Martha's house is bustling with excitement

The Far Side of Loch is the second book in The Martha Years, an ongoing series about another spirited girl from America's most beloved pioneer family.”

This volume on the life Laura Ingalls Wilder’s great grandmother takes place over the course of a 2 week period when Martha’s cousins come to stay for a visit. Martha and her cousin, Rachel, are foils of each other; while Martha is a free spirit and loves to have fun and get dirty, Rachel is the perfect little lady, shy, quite and ever so clean. As you might imagine, these differences cause a great amount of drama over the 2 weeks.

There are several great themes in this book that children can relate to. One of the major events is that the mothers of all the girls are over helping get a new house ready to be moved into and the girls are all left at home. So there is the feeling of freedom and fun at first but ultimately missing their mothers by the end. Martha feels left out in this novel because she is the only one of her family members to not have seen this new house and is not told what is going on. Both of these issues are resolved by the end of the book.

As in the first book, we are treated to more traditional Scottish poems, stories, and songs as well as history of the area. We also get a glimpse at the city of Edinburg when Father comes back from the city and tells stories. I think that my favorite parts of the book are the fairytales because I have never heard anything like them before.

I don’t think I mentioned it in my review of Little House in the Highlands, but there are beautiful hand drawings throughout the books. Usually they are at chapter beginnings but sometimes they are where something important begins. These images are very accurate to the descriptions of the happenings in the books, so I would imagine that this time the illustrator might have read from the book first.

This book is less of an introduction than Little House in the Highlands was and we get to spend more time learning about Martha and seeing her have fun and of course get into a little mischief. Children will have fun reading this book – and I think boys might too.

Please be aware that this series is currently out of print, but can often be found on Ebay or Half.com - but you have to look often because they can be exorbitantly priced.  I would also advise trying to check your local libraries for these books. 

Reviews of this book by other bloggers: 

Also in the Little House Series:

There are 5 series of books within the Little House Series each focusing on a different family member of Laura’s.  They are not all written by the same author.

Little House in the Highlands
Little House in the Highlands
(Martha #1)
[My Review]

down to the bonny glen
Down to the Bonny Glen
(Martha #3)
[My Review]

beyond the heather hills
Beyond the Heather Hills
(Martha #4)

little house by boston bay
Little House by Boston Bay
(Charlotte #1)

on tide mill lane
On Tide Mill Lane
(Charlotte #2)

the road from roxbury
The Road from Roxbury
(Charlotte #3)

across the puddingstone dam
Across the Puddingstone Dam
(Charlotte #4)

little house in brookfield
Little House in Brookfield
(Caroline #1)

little town at the crossroads
Little Town at the Crossroads
(Caroline #2)

little clearing in the woods
Little Clearing in the Woods
(Caroline #3)

on top of concord hill
On Top of Concord Hill
(Caroline #4)

across the rolling river
Across the Rolling River
(Caroline #5)

little city by the lake
Little City by the Lake
(Caroline #6)

A Little House of Their Own
A Little House of Their Own
(Caroline #7)

little house in the big woods
Little House in the Big Woods
(Laura #1)

little house on the prairie
Little House on the Prairie
(Laura #2)

farmer boy
Farmer Boy
(Laura #3)

on the banks of plum creek
On the Banks of Plum Creek
(Laura #4)

by the shores of silver lake
By the Shores of Silver Lake
(Laura #5)

the long winter
The Long Winter
(Laura #6)

little town on the prairie
Little Town on the Prairie
(Laura #7)

these happy golden years
These Happy Golden Years
(Laura #8)

the first four years
The First Four Years
(Laura #9)

on the way home
On the Way Home
(Laura #10)

west from home
West from Home
(Laura #11)

little house on rocky ridge
Little House on Rocky Ridge
(Rose #1)

little farm in the ozarks
Little Farm in the Ozarks
(Rose #2)

In the Land of the Big Red Apple
In the Land of the Big Red Apple
(Rose #3)

On the Other Side of the Hill
On the Other Side of the Hill
(Rose #4)

little town in the ozarks
Little Town in the Ozarks
(Rose #5)

new dawn on rocky ridge
New Dawn on Rocky Ridge
(Rose #6)

on the banks of the bayou
On the Banks of the Bayou
(Rose #7)

Bachelor Girl
Bachelor Girl
(Rose #8)

Find Melissa Wiley: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving your comments! I love reading them and try to reply to all!