Victorine – Frances Parkinson Keys Book Review

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Level of Reading Difficulty: 2 out of 5

Book Rating: 4 out of 5

Copyright Year: 1958

Old Soul Buys First Antique Book

My generation is an interesting one. We were born into the digital era but have experiences of life before the second industrial revolution. Ya know, the technology revolution. Reading is what I enjoyed and primarily did before I got my first cellphone. It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted a book review and mainly because I was concerned about the lack of people reading them. Through recent practice of not caring about whom I may be serving, I’ve decided to put my voice and thoughts on a tray for those willing to take from it.

I’ve always been someone who appreciates the older ways of life because I value their experience richer at times than my own. I find it richer in a terms of wisdom, I suppose. Anyone older than me could argue my experience is richer due to ease of living and convenience. However, I find both ways of living to have their pros and cons in terms of value. I just romanticize life before technology to be much more pleasant. This is one of the reasons I believe I’ve enjoyed this book so much.

It brings me so much joy to live in a ‘small’ town in California and be able to find such little treasures like this book at antique shops. I plucked ‘Victorine’ from the shelves based on the title name and flipped the book open to read the description cover flap. Of course, I fell in love.

The Story (No Spoilers!)

The setting of the story takes place in the early 1920’s of Louisiana. Louisiana was originally owned by France and had left a large cultural influence after being purchased by the U.S.. For some reason I’ve personally always adored French culture for its beauty and romance. Also, Louisiana is a signifying Southern state which hits close to home for me seeing that I’m from Texas. So, I’ve got my fancy taste and country culture in a book. I’m already sold! The setting of a book sets the atmosphere for our imagination. Without the setting, we have nothing to create or build from in a story.

The book is named after one of the main characters Victorine, whom was easily relatable to the traditional minded feminine fashionista. Her co star being her romancer, Prosper Villac was a generally well liked man throughout his community. Their romance comes unexpectedly but an uber drive once told me and an ex boyfriend some advice that relates to this story line. “If you two are willing to argue that much with one another, you must care deeply about each other”. At the time, I didn’t care to hear the driver’s advice but now I can understand where he’s coming from. This advice goes hand in hand with Victorine and Prosper. I wouldn’t say this is the best piece of advice, on account it depends on what you’re arguing about with a significant other. What and how you’re arguing can depict the severity of care you may or may not have for one another. In this storyline case, it was a lack of lifestyle differences and understanding. Victorine could be viewed as pretentious because of her upbringing as opposed to Prosper’s humble life.

Book Appeal

The romance isn’t what made me want to continuously read “Victorine”. What really sold me is the idea of Prosper being potentially involved with the murder of his previous love interest. Once a dead body was found in Prosper’s workplace, his reputation, trust, and freedom was on the line. Most importantly his newly announced love for Victorine was also at stake. Francis Keys narrates perspectives for each character so that the reader isn’t entirely biased and favoring of one person throughout the story. I personally tend to elaborate and draw out my stories, so I enjoy a good book that does so too! It keeps the reader on the edge of their seat and persuades them to keep reading to find out who actually committed the murder.

If you’re a fan of stories like The Notebook, you’ll most definitely enjoy this book. I wouldn’t say the passion about the romance is as elaborate or drawn out as that story though. This book dances between mystery and romance. Victorine is beautifully written and it constantly had me in awe of appreciation for older authors. Not to put a bad vibe out there for modern writers but the vocabulary and the form of writing during this time period was just extremely different. I’d like to continue reading books from Francis Keyes and experiment with other books published around the same time.

Final Thoughts

The main characters names just dawned on me. Prosper is a perfect name for this character based on his continuous emotional roller coaster of character development. Victorine is also a signifying name for her character because of the many battles she has to face throughout her character development but consistently prevails with victories. This book has short chapters and is a fairly quick read. It allowed me to fall in love and hope for a happy ending which I haven’t found in quite some time. I recommend this book to someone who may want to get back into reading or someone whom enjoys old romance.

Love & Light


whiskey words & a shovel – r.h. Sin

Hello. Hi.

Welcome back book worms! Here we are again with another poetry book. Imagine me voicing that last sentence with a tone of sarcasm accompanied by a nonchalant eye-roll. The reason I’m rolling my eyes is because there are so many of these poetry books floating around now, it’s weird! I read a bunch of poetry books as a teen and thought they were all the rage back then. However, there wasn’t that many to choose from when I began having an interest in poetry..

Writing Art

Back in early 2000’s, the style of poetry books seemed more unique in my opinion. I could easily finish an entire series because I was overjoyed with the storyline. The narrative made me want to keep reading. The poetry books were cooler in a sense of style. The words were displayed upside down, spaced apart, bolded, written across the page, and more. How the words were being displayed was the art form. The presentation often persuaded the reader to analyze the meaning behind the word being emphasized. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy the old teen poetry books more. I’m a word junkie.

Also, not every poetry book was about the same subject back then either. The books followed more of a traditional style writing by having a narrative. I brushed up on this issue in my recent review of “Neon Soul” by Alexandra Elle. Now, I feel as if Milk & Honey has paved the way into a new style of  “teen novel” poetry books. We are now seeing two dimensional & minimal looking illustrations in almost every teen poetry book. It’s not bad to have the illustrations, it’s bad that I can spot the influence. If I can tell that an author had inspiration from Milk & Honey to write a similar book of their own, I’m not going to read it.

Poetry Book Rant

Honestly, I feel like I’ve been reading the same book repetitively because of the style and subject almost being identical within 3-4 different books. The author usually writes about experiencing love or heartbreak through poetry and it’s nothing new or impressive. Maybe I’m jaded but one thing that really ticks me off is the lack of narrative. These new age authors skip from poem to poem without any direction. I don’t feel as if there is closure when I’m done reading their books. I feel as if I’ve read their experience in life, but not an actual story that’s complete.

Anyway, Ellen Hopkins was one of my favorite poetry book authors as a teen. Shout out to Ellen! You go girl! Her writing style had a huge influence on my own poetry writing. Although, I wasn’t inspired enough to jump up and write a book that was exactly the same as her that year, but ya know to each his own!

Now that I’ve gotten my rage out about poetry books I have to say, excuse my eye-roll comment earlier about “whiskey words & a shovel”,  it had nothing to do with my actual review of the book. I actually liked this book despite it also fitting in with the new poetry book trends. Let’s get into the review, if you’re still down to hear my opinion. Lol!

The Review

(No Spoilers, just photos of quotes & a few opinions on writing)

If I had a friend who was healing from a bad break up, I’d recommend this book to them! I actually enjoyed the book! However, I’d only recommend this if they were at a point of healing where they may feel anger more than sadness. Everyone heals differently, but this book carries more anger than sadness. One aspect I enjoyed about this book is that the author often directly speaks to the reader. “No one taught you, to love you, and that’s your biggest problem”. Sin may be referring to ‘you’ as his self in certain contexts, as if he’s talking to himself but its interchangeable with the reader.  I find that in his poetry to be unique. Also, Sin may or may not be a woman, but from his website I’m assuming he’s male. There are no photos of him besides his hands and to me it looks like he has man hands! I could be totally wrong though. If he is in fact a man, I feel as if the story is a completely different one and I’m going to re-read it. I read this in the voice of a woman, but going over it again I’m like wow that makes much more sense.

This book was published in 2017 and is easily associated to a younger generation. For example he uses social media terminology like hashtag in one of the poems. Not that it’s a bad thing, I’m just an old soul and hate connecting to present time in books. Using the term hash tag was a detail that stuck out to me as unappealing, but to each his own! There are also a lot of cliche moments that I’ve personally already seen. One of his poems is “watching you in museums is like witnessing art observing art”.  Can we even consider that a poem or original? I’m throwing shade for that one. How many times have you guys already seen that line on the internet? His writing isn’t all bad, as I said earlier I did throughly enjoy the book. It easily guides the reader from feeling sad to being mad to being hopeful and that’s honestly all I want to say about this book. I didn’t easily have a connection to the book at first, but as I continued reading and the anger in the poetry  is what stood out to me. I guess you’ll just have to read it, because I’m not going any further into details on this one!

The GashlyCrumb Tinies – Edward Gorey Book Review


If you’ve browsed through any of my social media or just happened to connect my blog name to my extreme interest in death and not just sleepiness, congrats! Anything that’s related to death, I’m particularly into. It’s something that I don’t know why it attracts me or interests me and I’ve always held onto things related to it tightly. However, if you find my interest perturbing or sort of sick this coffee table book is definitely not for you. There isn’t necessarily a story for this book.. so I can’t exactly spoil anything. However, I can share my infatuation I now have for “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” and Edward Gorey.

Being Attracted by a Book

While browsing around Amazon, I found this book cover calling my name. The image of a seemingly friendly grim reaper whose holding an umbrella over children seemed as if it would fit with my interests. I’ve never read anything by Edward Gorey, but even his last name intrigues me. The writer’s last name is Gorey! He has GORE in his last name for Christ sakes! Okay, I had to look it up and yes that’s his real last name! His last name is perfectly suited for this book and it was hard for me to believe. Upon verifying the authenticity  of his last name, I discovered that Gorey passed away at age 75 in early 2000. This deeply saddens me and I’ve only read one of his books.  If anything, my sadness should give you a hint at how much I adored The Gashlycrumb Tinies.

The Review..

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