Sally’s Rating: 1.5/5
The Windy Hill by Cornelia Meigs was anything but a breezy read. Oliver and his sister, Janet, spend the summer with their cousin, Jasper, but end up solving a mystery that is connected to their family history. When Oliver finds that somebody is harassing his cousin about property claims, he takes an interest in the local area’s history and befriends the local storyteller, the Beeman.
The Beeman’s stories are interspersed throughout the novel, and surprisingly, are some of the best parts of The Windy Hill. If this book was just a selection of folklore, I would of graded it less harshly as the author has some skill in relating these stories in a colorful and meaningful way. The most interesting story tells of an Indian boy who is curious about what lies beyond the ocean despite his people’s distrust of the sea.
No doubt this was a thrilling adventure in the 1920s, but nowadays, this novel is a fairly slow and tedious read. The writing style feels outdated and the plot moves along at a leisurely pace. The main characters, except for the Beeman and his daughter, lack vibrant personalities.
If interested in reading The Windy Hill, you can find it for free on the internet. While I wouldn’t recommend it to young readers, it does give you an interesting glimpse into what was considered an entertaining book in the 1920s.