Monday, July 12, 2010

Enter Mrs. Belchamber... by Elizabeth Cadell

I love to read and I’m always asking family members and friends for book suggestions. They always have titles to recommend. The problem is that I don’t write them down. I repeat them very deliberately a couple of times and think my brain will be able to just call them up when I get to the library. Never happens that way. Once in a while I write them down, but do I ever have the paper with me when I get to the library? I almost always end up wandering the aisles, scanning the shelves, picking up and reading the inside cover or the blurb on the back. (However, the blurb on the back almost always has a large sticker over it that prevents you from reading it. Why do the library people do this? It’s maddening.) Actually, wandering the aisles of a bookstore or library is one of my favorite ways to spend time. I’ve discovered some of my favorite books this way, as a child and as an adult.

Several years ago, I came across a book in the large print section of the public library. This was before I even needed large print. I’m so glad I looked. It was called Enter Mrs. Belchamber… by Elizabeth Cadell. It looked kind of fun, so I checked it out. It was a fast and easy read and absolutely delightful. It had the feel of one of those great old-time movies (the book was first published in 1951) and as I read, I was picturing it on the big screen of back-in-the-day. Mrs. Belchamber is an unforgettable character. I won’t even try to describe her. This is a story about a young twenty-something-year-old Englishman who finds himself the legal guardian of three orphaned French children. As they are traveling by train from France to England, the young man and these children encounter the elderly Mrs. Belchamber. She attaches herself to their party, and, for reasons of her own, refuses to budge. It’s a sweet, simple story. It’s humorous and romantic, and maybe a little cheesy in some of the dialogue between a couple of the characters. But it’s a lot of fun. It's nothing literary, and you're not going to learn a thing from reading it. It's purely for entertainment. And the entertainment is refreshingly pure.

Elizabeth Cadell (aka Harriet Ainsworth) lived from 1903 to 1989. She was British, born in India. She wrote 52 light-hearted, humorous novels with a romantic bent. This is the only one I’ve read.

Elizabeth Cadell

I now own a copy of Enter Mrs. Belchamber... If you feel like something simple, light, and pleasant,  come over and borrow it.


  1. I will put it on my "to read" list on goodreads. I personally love for getting good book recommendations from friends and keeping track of them--and for recommending (or not recommending) my own books back to them. I guess it only works if your friends are also willing to actually use it at least occasionally. But if you want to sign up, I would gladly "friend" you, Melinda. :) It's also good for just keeping track of books you've read and what you thought of them.

    Or you could just keep wandering the library shelves, of course. I agree it's a wonderful way to spend time. As long as you don't have small children in tow.

  2. I also love to read and when someone tells me about a good book I text it to myself and then lock the text. The only problem is I have about 20 saved text messages of books I need to read and when I go to the library I end up searching through the isles (also my favorite thing to do)and coming home with something different than what I went for.

  3. I don't know if the one I wrote got posted. I'll look for the book at the library Wed. when I shelve books.