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

Friday, January 22, 2016

Book Review: Down to the Bonny Glen by Melissa Wiley

Down to the Bonny Glen by Melissa Wiley
Little House: The Martha Years Book 3
Paperback, 321 pages, Unabridged
May 8, 2001

Genre: Historical Fiction, YA

Source: Personal collection
Martha is frustrated because Mum has said she's too old to be playing on the moors now, and she must have a governess. First there's Miss Norrie. All she must to do is teach Martha sewing and etiquette. But Martha's high spirits are too much for her, and she leaves in a hurry. Martha thinks that's the end of that, but then another governess shows up. Her name is Miss Crow, and Martha is sure she's going to be even worse!
Down To The Bonny Glen is the third book in The Martha Years, an ongoing series about another spirited girl from America's most beloved pioneer family.
In this third book of what is a four book series, we see Martha hitting that age where she is starting to grow up. She still loves to be outside and have fun instead of doing her lessons (like any child), but she starts to become aware of the world around her. She begins to see that her sister, Grisie, is of an age where she might be leaving home soon and what responsibilities growing up and becoming a woman entail. You can see a real difference between the reckless child of the beginning of the novel (or from the first two books) and the young girl who is taking her actions into account and starting to consider the future beyond five minutes away. This is certainly the theme of this novel and one that most of the age-appropriate readers will understand. Despite this growing up phase, there is still one rollicking adventure in the last quarter of the book!

We also see some set up in this novel for obviously book 4, but also for what will take us into the Charlotte years (Martha’s daughter). We first meet Lew Tucker, who will end up becoming Martha’s husband down the road and there is a lot of discussion regarding what lies beyond the glen that they live in – the big cities and America, where Martha will eventually travel.

There are still some Scottish traditions, dialogue, and stories here that we have grown to expect and enjoy from the earlier novels.

I look forward to seeing how this series concludes and how it will link into the next – the Charlotte Years. I have read widely from within the various parts of these series, but never completely through each to see how they connect.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

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.  There was also an abridged version of many of these books released.  I would advise trying to check your local libraries for these books.  There was apparently some discussion at some point about bringing them back as e-books, so let the publisher know you are interested! Email, tweet, Facebook, etc!

Also by Melissa Wiley:

Melissa Wiley wrote both the Martha and Charlotte Years of the Little House series, the other books in the Martha Years are:

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

On the Far Side of the Loch (Book 2)

Beyond the Heather Hills (Book 4)

Find Melissa Wiley: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter


Copyright © 2016 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I LOVE Melissa Wiley's Little House books. I read them all with my daughter years ago. I remember being upset when all we could find in bookstores were abridged versions. We searched them out at used bookstores and some of them were exorbitantly priced. I'm hanging on to them for my grandchildren (someday)!

    1. I now have all of the books and I am holding on to them for my kids too! I couldn't believe that they had abridged the few they did re-release, the books are already short!


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