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Elsie's Holidays at Roselands

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In this second volume in The Original Elsie Dinsmore Series, Elsie is forced into an awful choice between loyalty to her savior and her father's affection. The turmoil of this conflict contributes to a life-threatening illness for Elsie. In this second volume in The Original Elsie Dinsmore Series, Elsie is forced into an awful choice between loyalty to her savior and her father's affection. The turmoil of this conflict contributes to a life-threatening illness for Elsie.


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In this second volume in The Original Elsie Dinsmore Series, Elsie is forced into an awful choice between loyalty to her savior and her father's affection. The turmoil of this conflict contributes to a life-threatening illness for Elsie. In this second volume in The Original Elsie Dinsmore Series, Elsie is forced into an awful choice between loyalty to her savior and her father's affection. The turmoil of this conflict contributes to a life-threatening illness for Elsie.

30 review for Elsie's Holidays at Roselands

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle S

    The only thing I liked about this book was the melodramatic part where Elsie almost dies and how that takes up a good chunk of the middle of the book. What I did not like about the book - it is racist. Calling the slaves servants doesn't make it better. This is the pre-Civil War South. We all know they weren't servants. Infantilizing Chloe and referring to her as a creature is not okay. - the foreshadowing of the relationship between Elsie and her father's best friend. So creepy. Elsie is all of li The only thing I liked about this book was the melodramatic part where Elsie almost dies and how that takes up a good chunk of the middle of the book. What I did not like about the book - it is racist. Calling the slaves servants doesn't make it better. This is the pre-Civil War South. We all know they weren't servants. Infantilizing Chloe and referring to her as a creature is not okay. - the foreshadowing of the relationship between Elsie and her father's best friend. So creepy. Elsie is all of like ten in this book. Implying you are going to marry your best friend's daughter is disturbing especially when she hasn't hit puberty yet. Finally the most disturbing thing of all: the relationship between Elsie and her father. Her father requires not only instant and total obedience but it just be cheerful. I read the first book years ago and considered Elsie Dinsmore a twit but in this one I see her as an abused child. The poor little girl lives in total dread and fear of upsetting her father. She anxiously watches him to make sure he isn't going to be upset by something she does. At one point early in the book he locks her in a closet and forgets about her for several hours. Elsie almost frets herself to death because her father gets angry at her for disobeying him and listening to Jesus. He wants her to read something not suitable for Sunday on a Sunday and she says no because she loves Jesus more than she loves her father. I don't blame her. Jesus is a better person than her jerk father.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Briana

    I don't think it's a good sign that I started hoping desperately for Elsie's death...but at least then she could go to heaven, I would feel satisfied, and this series could end at 2 books, instead of 2,000!!! Seriously...there's almost no point to this whole series... I don't think it's a good sign that I started hoping desperately for Elsie's death...but at least then she could go to heaven, I would feel satisfied, and this series could end at 2 books, instead of 2,000!!! Seriously...there's almost no point to this whole series...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mecque

    Being a Catholic myself, the climax of this book made me laugh hysterically. Amusingly melodramatic, and a good set up for the next book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Good read except for the strong antiCatholicism.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ann T

    While I enjoyed this book more than the 1st, it just made me super angry. Elsie's father is a tyrant as is other household members and servants. So much so, that Elsie ends up on her death bed with a broken heart and barely survives. Mr. Dinsmore is ever so strict if not more so and repeatedly used the language that Elsie must submit to his will. She doesn't out of her duty to Jesus Christ and Mr. Dinsmore just doesn't get that. This man needs some religion or really needs to catch up on his rea While I enjoyed this book more than the 1st, it just made me super angry. Elsie's father is a tyrant as is other household members and servants. So much so, that Elsie ends up on her death bed with a broken heart and barely survives. Mr. Dinsmore is ever so strict if not more so and repeatedly used the language that Elsie must submit to his will. She doesn't out of her duty to Jesus Christ and Mr. Dinsmore just doesn't get that. This man needs some religion or really needs to catch up on his reading of the Holy Bible. By the end, I have a feeling I know where one aspect of this story is leading.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    ELSIE'S HOLIDAYS AT ROSELANDS is the sequel to ELSIE DINSMORE. It brings our heroine, sugar-sweet Elsie, into direct conflict with her godless, domineering Papa. Elsie, as introduced in the first volume, is picture-perfect, a little Southern belle living in Virginia in the 1840's. Elsie seems the ideal Christian child...except for her owning slaves, who are referred to throughout the book as inferior beings. (Even Aunt Chloe, Elsie's beloved mammy, is called a "creature.") Elsie doesn't object t ELSIE'S HOLIDAYS AT ROSELANDS is the sequel to ELSIE DINSMORE. It brings our heroine, sugar-sweet Elsie, into direct conflict with her godless, domineering Papa. Elsie, as introduced in the first volume, is picture-perfect, a little Southern belle living in Virginia in the 1840's. Elsie seems the ideal Christian child...except for her owning slaves, who are referred to throughout the book as inferior beings. (Even Aunt Chloe, Elsie's beloved mammy, is called a "creature.") Elsie doesn't object to slavery but she DOES balk at reading a secular book on the Sabbath, which Papa orders her to do. As a good Calvinist, of course she must refuse. Papa huffs and puffs but can't make Elsie "disobey God." Papa becomes so displeased with her that he finally leaves home for an indefinite period. In his absence the little martyr sinks into deep depression, has the Victorian "vapours," and nearly dies! Pure melodrama. Young readers of the nineteenth century probably liked the Elsie books for being the nearest thing to a soap opera they could find. Author Martha Finley seems to have poured out her own sexual frustrations into writing, hence the semi-incestuous love affair between "good" Elsie and "bad" Papa. When Elsie and her father are finally reconciled, the scene is described in passionate, even lurid terms. Many kisses, fondlings and "pettings" will ensue. Not much hope left for Mr. Travilla, grown-up family friend who's besotted with Elsie himself. But then, Travilla is waiting for Elsie to grow up because---as he puts it---"I have learned that ladies, both little and large, very often change their minds, so I shall still live in hope!" A fascinating read. ELSIE'S HOLIDAYS is social Americana---one little girl in the story actually gets smelling salts as a Christmas present!---and Finley's purple prose can be laugh-out-loud funny. I wouldn't give this book to any child under thirteen though. Today's kids are sophisticated and too much aware of Freudian overtones. Reading Elsie books might have a very dangerous effect!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Britt-goodie of newsieness

    I've read as much of this as I'm going to. I never want to read this again. It was awful. And boring. And horrible. And no food either. I've read as much of this as I'm going to. I never want to read this again. It was awful. And boring. And horrible. And no food either.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nicole G.

    Still more didacticism. And some anti-Catholicism, too! Her dad is still a crazy person. However, I have to finish this series now, to see how much more wacky it gets . . .

  9. 4 out of 5

    Clara

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Much like its predecessor, Elsie's Holiday at Roselands is either simplistic, contrived, and awkward, or else wickedly accurate satire (I mean, I've never read Christian childrens' fiction, so I don't know if it's accurate, but everyone else seems to think it's real, so if it's not, Martha Finley is a satiric genius), although I'm beginning to lean more towards the first one. The reason I'm less inclined to believe this is satire is because Elsie's father is extremely emotionally abusive in this Much like its predecessor, Elsie's Holiday at Roselands is either simplistic, contrived, and awkward, or else wickedly accurate satire (I mean, I've never read Christian childrens' fiction, so I don't know if it's accurate, but everyone else seems to think it's real, so if it's not, Martha Finley is a satiric genius), although I'm beginning to lean more towards the first one. The reason I'm less inclined to believe this is satire is because Elsie's father is extremely emotionally abusive in this book, and I'm not sure why someone would satirize abuse. The main reason why I'm not inclined to rule out the possibility of satire is that Elsie's father's speeches are just too much. They made me wince. I mean, what is this nonsense? I love my little girl very dearly, and want to do all I can to make her happy, but I must have her entirely submissive and obedient to me. Elsie, I expect from my daughter entire, unquestioning obedience, and until you are ready to render it, I shall cease to treat you as my child. I shall banish you from my presence, and my affections. This is the alternative I set before you. I will give you ten minutes to consider it. At the end of that time, if you are ready to obey me, well and good—if not, you will leave this room, not to enter it again until you are ready to acknowledge your fault, ask forgiveness, and promise implicit obedience in the future. Elsie, darling, your prayers for me have been answered; your father has learned to know and love Jesus, and has consecrated to his service the remainder of his days. And now, dear one, we are travelling the same road at last. Did people talk this way? I would be sure it's a parody if it weren't a story about emotional abuse that never seems to be acknowledged as emotional abuse. Here's what I mean by emotional abuse: When Elsie's father is mad at her because she won't apologize for not breaking Sabbath, he doesn't let her see any of her friends or anyone she's close to. He becomes very cold towards her. He basically cuts off all of her friendly contact. That's terrible. Elsie is still a child whose brain is developing and children need friendship and affection to develop right. In Soviet Romanian orphanages, children had severe mental health problems and many were never able to live independently because their development had been stunted by the lack of affection they received. I think children even had these problems to some degree in orphanages where they were treated well. Cutting off all of Elsie's contact with her loved ones isn't that far removed from literal torture. Why is this a childrens' book? I can understand if it were acceptable in the Victorian era, but, I will remind you, child abuse is no longer acceped by society. Elsie's relationship with her father is really not good. Her father is kind to her as long as she's perfectly obedient, and the second she does anything slightly not-allowed, he snaps. If she were routinely anything less than a perfect little angel, her father would be regularly abusive. And she would love him anyway. Elsie needs to grow a spine if she wants to live any sort of life worth living. As a diligent student of the Bible, she will be familiar with the story where Jesus flipped money changers' tables in a temple. Elsie wants to be like Jesus; she ought to flip a few tables. Now I will nitpick about the unrealistickness of the wasting disease Elsie contracts. We are told that it's not contagious; it's a broken heart. I'm 90% sure you can't get sick from a broken heart. You can worry yourself sick, certainly, but what that means is stress weakens your immune system and you contract a contagious disease. "Wasting diseases" are just tuberculosis. You don't get better from tuberculosis without treatment. It's possible Elsie could have worried herself sick from tuberculosis, but then she would have been contagious, and she wouldn't get better just from seeing her father. Also, I think it would have taken more than a few months for her to die. And she would have been coughing a lot. It would have been a ✨decision✨ if Elsie got sick with tuberculosis and died, that's for sure. And it would have been fine, too, if she hadn't gotten sick and her father had just had a chance of heart. But Martha Finley couldn't make up her mind, so she tried to have it both ways. Pick a lane, Martha. I'm not sure why I've read this book, as it is the second in the series. I'm not sure how many more of these books I'll read. Perhaps it will become more clear whether it's satire or not. Until then, I can't be sure whether this book is fantastic satire or ridiculous drivel.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Helen Paynter

    Call this primary source reading: I did not read this for pleasure, nor does it come with any endorsement from me. I was led to read it because of listening to this podcast https://controlfreakchristianity.libs... which describes an abusive extremist 'Christian' homeschooling set-up in the USA, and the use of this book as a primer to teach young girls to obey their fathers implicitly. The book is of its time - think Little Women - but much more pietistic. And the father's behaviour is nothing sh Call this primary source reading: I did not read this for pleasure, nor does it come with any endorsement from me. I was led to read it because of listening to this podcast https://controlfreakchristianity.libs... which describes an abusive extremist 'Christian' homeschooling set-up in the USA, and the use of this book as a primer to teach young girls to obey their fathers implicitly. The book is of its time - think Little Women - but much more pietistic. And the father's behaviour is nothing short of coercive control. Some samples: "I did not mean to be naughty, papa," she said, struggling to keen down a sob, "and I will try never to ask why again." ... "Don't you know" said he playfully, laying his hand upon her head, "that I am absolute monarch of this small kingdom, and you are not to question my doings or decrees?" ... "I don't know what you mean, Mr Dinsmore," replied Lucy, laughing again, "but it was one of Elsie's curls I asked for." "Elsie doesn't own any, " said he; "they all belong to me. I let her wear them, to be sure, but that is all; she has no right to give them away."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Candace

    I've loved this book ever since I was about 10 years old. See my review on the first of the series for reasons why. The first book was originally published in 1868, solidly in the defined dates of the American Romantic Period of literature. This most definitely explains the melodramatic nature of this second book - and the perfection of the heroine. As Finley intended Elsie to serve as a moral example for her readers, she achieves a high standard of obedience and moral understanding that we, in I've loved this book ever since I was about 10 years old. See my review on the first of the series for reasons why. The first book was originally published in 1868, solidly in the defined dates of the American Romantic Period of literature. This most definitely explains the melodramatic nature of this second book - and the perfection of the heroine. As Finley intended Elsie to serve as a moral example for her readers, she achieves a high standard of obedience and moral understanding that we, in our modern era of distraction and moral ambiguity, would never begin to expect from our children. There are complaints of patriarchy and other modern issues that would not have troubled the author at all in her day and time (and quite frankly don't bother me at all in mine.) I still cast my vote with Finley and offer Elsie Dinsmore as a good example of filial obedience and graceful femininity.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mckinley Howard

    I enjoyed reading this book, even though it was very easy to put it down and take breaks in the reading this. Elsie definitely improves her emotional side and faithfully trusts the Lord. This was a pleasurable read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Can't believe I wasted any amount of time reading this book. The daughter and father relationship seemed incestuous and he was controlling in ridiculous child abuse seeming ways. Can't believe I wasted any amount of time reading this book. The daughter and father relationship seemed incestuous and he was controlling in ridiculous child abuse seeming ways.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Faith Burnside

    All. The. Abuse. So much grooming. Dear lord.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cilla Savary

    When I was a kid I loved everyone of these.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katja

    5 stars & 5/10 hearts. I enjoyed this book so much more than book one. I really enjoyed the plot (all that drama XD). And the message of the book was SO good. Horace is such a nice guy once he’s saved—I went from disliking him to totally loving him. Elsie is even more human/natural in this book, too. And I love Adelaide and the Allisons! And finally, I love how clean these books are. No content whatsoever.  A Favourite Quote: “‘I don't know, darling; I cannot tell that; but one thing we do know, 5 stars & 5/10 hearts. I enjoyed this book so much more than book one. I really enjoyed the plot (all that drama XD). And the message of the book was SO good. Horace is such a nice guy once he’s saved—I went from disliking him to totally loving him. Elsie is even more human/natural in this book, too. And I love Adelaide and the Allisons! And finally, I love how clean these books are. No content whatsoever.  A Favourite Quote: “‘I don't know, darling; I cannot tell that; but one thing we do know, that it is all in God's hands, and he will do just what is best both for you and your father. [R]emember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, 'Your Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.' He will not send you any unnecessary trial, nor allow you to suffer one pang that you do not need.’” A Favourite Humorous Quote: “‘I see it will never do for me to try to quote Scripture to you,’ he remarked, looking rather discomfited; ‘for you know a great deal more about it than I do.’”

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emily Bell

    As a child, I read this book and wept with sorrow when Elsie was heartbroken. I was captivated by Elsie and her steadfast faith, as well as the strained--and then beyond perfect--relationship that she has with her father. There are some huge issues in these books I can see now that I didn't before. Racism is strong, as this book was published in the 1800s. Elsie's family owns many slaves. These slaves are, of course, perfectly happy in their subservience and are given the characterization of you As a child, I read this book and wept with sorrow when Elsie was heartbroken. I was captivated by Elsie and her steadfast faith, as well as the strained--and then beyond perfect--relationship that she has with her father. There are some huge issues in these books I can see now that I didn't before. Racism is strong, as this book was published in the 1800s. Elsie's family owns many slaves. These slaves are, of course, perfectly happy in their subservience and are given the characterization of young, silly children. The moral Christian lessons are strong, meant to be reinforced onto young readers. Elsie is ever-perfect and patient. Despite their problematic content in places, these stories will always hold a nostalgic place in my heart.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    Fantastic, classic writing, however I feel that the storyline was drawn out a bit too much perhaps. Martha Finley repeatedly used a few situations, and tho it fit her character, I feel that Elsie's crying and dramatic anguish was worked too much. It seemed as though she was always in a turmoil, and while she was, and she was young, I tired of hearing the same thing happening over and over. But that wasn't a big deal, and I really did like the book a lot. If you ever get sick of modern writing, t Fantastic, classic writing, however I feel that the storyline was drawn out a bit too much perhaps. Martha Finley repeatedly used a few situations, and tho it fit her character, I feel that Elsie's crying and dramatic anguish was worked too much. It seemed as though she was always in a turmoil, and while she was, and she was young, I tired of hearing the same thing happening over and over. But that wasn't a big deal, and I really did like the book a lot. If you ever get sick of modern writing, take a look at this book, it has the old-style classical style of writing which you never see anymore.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    My 2 daughters have loved all of the Elsie books that they have read. The 17 yo says it's the saddest of the books, but she still couldn't put it down. She has learned a lot from Elsie's attitude and wants to have a stronger Christian testimony as a result. I'm very glad we own all of these books. I read somewhere that Martha Finley was a contemporary of Louise May Alcott, and sold nearly twice as many books as Alcott, but the strong Christian influence of these books allowed them to become lost My 2 daughters have loved all of the Elsie books that they have read. The 17 yo says it's the saddest of the books, but she still couldn't put it down. She has learned a lot from Elsie's attitude and wants to have a stronger Christian testimony as a result. I'm very glad we own all of these books. I read somewhere that Martha Finley was a contemporary of Louise May Alcott, and sold nearly twice as many books as Alcott, but the strong Christian influence of these books allowed them to become lost over time - so glad that my girls have had a chance to read them.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shoshana

    Same old Elsie, same old dad. This picks up exactly where Book 1 left off (apparently they were originally published together), and the differences are small. My fervor against the books remains intact, as does my fervor against Elsie's father. Elsie, though? Now that I've had over a year to get used to her existence (and continued publication and popularity, which is what's always worried me more), I mostly just feel sorry for her. Same old Elsie, same old dad. This picks up exactly where Book 1 left off (apparently they were originally published together), and the differences are small. My fervor against the books remains intact, as does my fervor against Elsie's father. Elsie, though? Now that I've had over a year to get used to her existence (and continued publication and popularity, which is what's always worried me more), I mostly just feel sorry for her.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    The second book of the Elsie series was another great success! it especially touched my emotions much more deeply then the first. So much so that I found myself for the first time ever, while reading a book, on the verge of tears. It was a wonderful read and I'm very excited for the next one: Elsie's Girlhood. The second book of the Elsie series was another great success! it especially touched my emotions much more deeply then the first. So much so that I found myself for the first time ever, while reading a book, on the verge of tears. It was a wonderful read and I'm very excited for the next one: Elsie's Girlhood.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Partridge Public

    Finley, Martha

  23. 4 out of 5

    Meadow Frisbie

    When Elsie's love for God causes conflict between her and her father. She will have to choose between her beloved earthy father or her heavenly father. When Elsie's love for God causes conflict between her and her father. She will have to choose between her beloved earthy father or her heavenly father.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Diaz

    It has been years since I read these books, but I will say that they are wonderful stories. The outlook on life that Elsie keeps dispite her circumstances can be a great lesson for any age.

  25. 5 out of 5

    MaryRachel

    This was a great book It was sad though :( But if you liked Elsie Dinsmore, you'll like Elsie's Holiday. This was a great book It was sad though :( But if you liked Elsie Dinsmore, you'll like Elsie's Holiday.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    Made me cry a WHOLE lot more than any other book I've read. Except maybe the first one. That's only a maybe though... Made me cry a WHOLE lot more than any other book I've read. Except maybe the first one. That's only a maybe though...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This series is a bit Calvinistic in its theology, and it's also a bit uber-Christian; i.e., the Christians are really, really good and the non-Christians are really, really bad. This series is a bit Calvinistic in its theology, and it's also a bit uber-Christian; i.e., the Christians are really, really good and the non-Christians are really, really bad.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    It's been a really long time since I read this book, but as girl I really liked my Elsie Dinsmore books. Great classic books for girls. It's been a really long time since I read this book, but as girl I really liked my Elsie Dinsmore books. Great classic books for girls.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

    read to my children while home schooling

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    It was great. i can't remember much but I liked it very much. It was great. i can't remember much but I liked it very much.

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