Saturday, January 12, 2008

Re-reading a Favorite

For Christmas TDaddy got me a set of Cherry Ames books by Helen Wells (Boarding School Nurse, Department Store Nurse, Cruise Nurse). I read many in this series of books as a child and LOVED them! I found the stories of a nurse during the WWII era and following fascinating. So much so that I seriously considered becoming a nurse. It seemed so romantic!

Then I realized that I wasn't very good at math, didn't love science, and was a bit queasy when it came to blood.

I am finding it very interesting reading them again from an adult viewpoint. I am not as enamored with them now as I was then. Life in general is very romanticized in the books. Life, as it is depicted by Wells, just doesn't ring true. The main character, Cherry, hops from job to job never sticking to anything for any length of time. She has a different romantic interest in just about every book. There are a few reoccurring male friends, but most of the time she has a new beau in each new situation she is in. As the book draws to a close and she solves some kind of mystery (that she has broken rules to solve and been forgiven for because of the results she has gotten), she and the current beau are growing closer and closer. And then in the next book, he isn't mentioned at all.

Now, granted, as an adult, I also understand that in order to write a whole series of books, Wells had to put Cherry in many different situations so that the books would remain exciting for her target audience of young girls. I think that part of the purpose of the series was to entice girls into the profession of nursing, so they had to remain exciting. And as for the men, well, if Cherry had stayed with the same man for any length of time during that era they would have most likely ended up married, had children, and she may or may not have continued in her nursing career. That would not make for interesting books (not if you are going for an exciting career nurse genre of books).

So while I am a bit disappointed in the stories, I realize that it is me that has drastically changed. I am not as romantic-thinking as I once was. A bit more jaded. A bit more realistic.

So I will continue reading them. Remembering the romantic girl I once was. And I will enjoy the books for what they are - exciting, romanticized stories for young girls.

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