Book Review: The Clever Miss Jancy by Margaret S. Haycraft
by Joanne Troppello
The Clever Miss Jancy is the second book by Margaret S. Haycraft that I've read. The first one was Sybil's Repentance.
I liked both main characters, Orabel Jancy and Dr. Harold Kingdon, immediately. Orabel is feisty and says exactly what is on her mind. She knows what she wants and goes after it.
However, her mistaken view of Dr. Kingdon's intelligence throws her off her path. It was interesting to see her struggle with uncertainty—especially because she has always been so certain of her own intelligence and path she should take.
This book is classic literature and written in the present tense. It took some time getting used to this tense when I read Ms. Haycraft's other book, so I was prepared to read this book.
I loved Orabel's journey from pride to humility. As the story progressed, she realized that she had allowed her pride to get in the way of deepening her relationships with family and friends. Her pride was keeping her from realizing all that God wanted for her life—including the possibility of love with Dr. Kingdon.
Towards the end, she was speaking with her cousin Elizabeth who said that it's better to take life one day at a time. That's why she is so peaceful. She urges Orabel to pray for God to lift her out of her depression.
I loved the ending. I won't give away the details. This book reminded me so much of a Jane Austen novel. I highly recommend it.
About the Book
Miss Orabel Jancy is indeed clever, and she knows it. The oldest of widowed Squire Jancy's six children, all living at home, Orabel is the author of several scientific books, and has many letters after her name. To Orabel, education and intellectual pursuits are everything that matter in life. She is secretary of a women's intellectual club that teaches that women are superior to men, and the members have all agreed to remain single because men would hold them back in their academic goals.
However, when Orabel was born, a deathbed promise was made with a friend that Orabel and the friend's son, Harold Kingdon, should be given the opportunity to marry. Nobody thinks to mention this to Orabel, and she only learns of the arrangement when she is grown up and Harold Kingdon is already on his way from India -- to propose to her!
Even before Harold arrives, Orabel decides she cannot possibly marry a lowly military doctor, when she is so intelligent. As soon as they meet, the feeling of dislike is mutual. But Orabel's younger sister, Annis, who never did well in academic subjects, is also of marriageable age, and would dearly love to settle down with the right man. Their younger brother and small sisters view the developing situation with interest.
For more information about the author and book, visit the publisher’s website: White Tree Publishing.
About the Reviewer
Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Mustard Seed Sentinel. She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, SEO and social media, travel and lifestyle, website content, recommendations for apps, and content for blogs.