The Crystal Tree, by Jennie D. Lindquist

Sometimes the thought of trying to write a serious post about a book received for review makes one feel tired...like right now.   So instead I offer a quick look at a book that required no effort to read, and little to write about--The Crystal Tree, by Jennie D. Lindquist  (Harper & Row, 1966), a lovely comfort read.

This is the third book about a girl named Nancy who goes off to live with her grandparents in New Hampshire when her mother falls ill.   Almost a year has passed, her mother is now better, and soon Nancy and her parents will move into a little old house in the country...and Nancy and her friends and cousins are all tremendously excited about it, and try to find out as much as possible about the family who first lived in it.

The Crystal Tree has many excitements--Nancy and her friend pick out wall paper and curtains!  Nancy orders seeds from a catalogue!  A cat has kittens!  Some cakes are made!  An attic is explored, and something found in it!   And of course they find all sorts of historical clues about the family who built the little house, including the mysterious crystal tree of the title.

I am one hundred percent sincerely interested in reading about such simple happenings.  It was just the right sort of thing to read during a busy weekend.  And sure, I didn't have much clue about who all the kids were (there are lots of them, and though I read the first book in the series, The Golden Name Day, I'd forgotten who they all were, and more apparently appeared in book 2, The Little Silver House, which I think I have to get a hold of), but I didn't try to keep everyone sorted out in my head, which made it much more peaceful.

Spoiler--Nancy's wallpaper has yellow roses.  Sigrid finds a white paper, with little sprays of bluebells, that would have been too expensive, except there wasn't enough for a grown-up size room, so the clerk lets them have it at half price! 

Simple pleasures for simple minds, as my mother is fond of saying.

Oh my gosh, I just looked at the prices on Amazon--used copies are at almost $100! (except for two ex-library copies which are cheaper).   There are, however, two copies still in the Rhode Island library system....I found my copy in a bin of discards the school librarian was going to trash.  She thought I was, perhaps, a odd.  I dove into the bin and started rescuing book after book; it was a happy day.  But I wish there had been a copy of book two as well.

I found it amusing that the cheapest copy on Amazon is described as "fully functioning."  I guess the seller is more used to e-readers than real books!


  1. Hmmm, all three copies are in my system! I think I will have a little comfort read before I get back to my review stacks.

  2. Sometimes you do just want a simple read, from a simpler time... I feel that way about L.M. Montgomery's books, and sometimes I'll pull out an old Alcott or Gene Stratton Porter. I'm always inspired afterwards to be kinder, make more cakes from scratch, and generally do vintage-awesome things. Thanks for sharing about this one!

  3. I think our library weeds too aggressively; there are none in our system. But I do love a comfort read like this one, and will keep my eyes open for them!

    1. I think it does too. So many of my childhood favorites from that library are gone. Hiss.

      I'm saving this one for you to borrow, though!

  4. I enjoyed this entertaining review. It sounds like a charming book.


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