onquest of you forever. There was a sweet, winning personality about Mary which was as impossible to describe as to resist. One wondered how so much adorable sweetness could be embodied in one small maid. But Mary's sweetness of expression and charming manner covered a strong will and tenacity of purpose one would scarcely have believed possible, did they not have an intimate knowledge of the young girl's disposition. Her laugh, infectious, full of the joy of living, the vitality of youth and perfect health and happiness, reminded one of the lines: "A laugh is just like music for making living sweet."
Seated beside her Uncle in the carriage, Mary was borne swiftly through the town out into the country. It was one of those preternaturally quiet, sultry days when the whole universe appears lifeless and inert, free from loud noise, or sound of any description, days which we occasionally have in early Spring or Summer, when the stillness is oppressive.
Frequently at such times there is borne to the
Housekeeping lore and lectures get a slightly saccharin coating of fiction in this story of sweet, young Mary and her Pennsylvania relations. About to wed, Mary gives up her job teaching kindergarten and visits Bucks County in order to learn cooking, handicrafts and other housewifely skills from her Great-Aunt Sarah.
Along with these lessons, she gets tips on thrift, reads a great deal of sentimental poetry (included in the text) and travels around the area taking in the scenic views and historic sights, as well as arguing in favor of women's suffrage and setting up a chapter of the Camp Fire Girls.
It's not exactly thrilling reading -- the storybook section can get a bit prosy (Aunt Sarah is inclined to lecture) -- but there's a wealth of information about early-20th century homemaking techniques, including rug making, preserving and cookery, and the recipe section is full of interesting, old-fashioned American and Pennsylvania-Dutch/German recipes.