A Spinner in the Sun

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Author: Myrtle Reed (Olive Green)
Published: 1906
Language: English
Wordcount: 74,730 / 215 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 74.1
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 890
Added to site: 2004.07.05
mnybks.net#: 8729

An old-fashioned love story, of a veiled lady who lives in solitude and whose features her neighbors have never seen. There is a mystery at the heart of the book that throws over it the glamour of romance.

Show Excerpt

Evelina heard a footstep outside and instinctively drew down her veil.

Before she could close the door, a woman, with a shawl over her head, appeared on the threshold, peered curiously into the house, then unhesitatingly entered.

"For the land's sake!" cried a cheery voice. "You scared me most to death! I saw the smoke coming from the chimney and thought the house was afire, so I come over to see."

Miss Evelina stiffened, and made no reply.

"I don't know who you are," said the woman again, mildly defiant, "but this is Evelina Grey's house."

"And I," answered Miss Evelina, almost inaudibly, "am Evelina Grey."

"For the land's sake!" cried the visitor again. "Don't you remember me? Why, Evelina, you and I used to go to school together. You----"

She stopped, abruptly. The fact of the veiled face confronted her stubbornly. She ransacked her memory for a forgotten catastrophe, a quarter of a century back. Impenetrably, a wall was reared between them.

"I--I'm afraid I don't remember,"


Average Rating of 5 from 2 reviews: *****
Henry L. Ratliff

(1906) Romance / Emotional/moral suffering / Dramatic reading

R: *****

Plot bullets

  • Miss Evelina returns to her long closed home after twenty five years.

  • She left it with scars, both physical and mental.

  • She is reclusive and shy.

  • She has created a mental and emotional darkness of hate behind the veil she always wares. Hate for the man who betrayed her.
  • Others spin their threads and weave their lives in the dark and others in the sun.

    o Miss Mehitable has imposed a false life of piety for herself and her niece, as a response to a past hurt.

    o Araminta (the niece) was born for the sun, but is kept in darkness by her Aunt.

    o Doctor Dexter is the source, past and present, of most of the grief.

    o Piper Tom is a traveling peddler selling needles, threads and other goods.
    He takes it upon himself to bring Miss Evelina from behind her veil and from the darkness to spin the threads of a new life, in the sun.

    From the book.

    "Did you never," asked Evelina, thickly, "hear of chains?"

    "Aye," said the Piper, "chains of our own making. 'T is like the ancient people in one of my ragged books. When one man killed another, they chained the dead man to the living one, so that he was forever dragging his own sin. When he struck the blow, he made his own chain."

    "I am chained," cried Evelina, piteously, "but not to my own sin."

    "'T is wrong," said the Piper; "I'm thinking there's a loose link somewhere that can be slipped off."

    "I cannot find it," she sobbed; "I've hunted for it in the dark for twenty-five years."

    "Poor soul," said the Piper, softly. "'T is because of the darkness, I'm thinking. From the distaff of Eternity, you take the thread of your life, but you're sitting in the night, and God meant you to be a spinner in the sun. When the day breaks for you, you'll be finding the loose link to set yourself free."

    "When the day breaks," repeated Evelina, in a whisper. "There is no day."

    "There is day. I've come to lead you to it. We'll find the light together and set the thread to going right again."

    o Doctor Ralph (son of Doctor Dexter) is a young doctor in love with Araminta. He also has a task to set aside the shadows imposed on her.


I read Myrtle Reed's book "Old Rose & Silver" and liked it so much that I downloaded this one, and I liked it even better! Myrtle Reed is a very good writer and this book grabs you right from the first paragraph and doesn't let you go! I could give a better description of the book, but I won't because it would have too many spoilers, but this is a must-read and I highly recommend it.

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