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Dangerous Days by Mary Roberts Rinehart, Fiction, Historical

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"If you want my opinion, things are bad." "For the Allies? Or for us?" "Good heavens, man, it's the same thing. It is only the Allies who are standing between us and trouble now. The French are just holding their own. The British are fighting hard, but they're fighting at home too. We can't sit by for long. We're bound to be involved." The rector lighted an excellent cigar "If you want my opinion, things are bad." "For the Allies? Or for us?" "Good heavens, man, it's the same thing. It is only the Allies who are standing between us and trouble now. The French are just holding their own. The British are fighting hard, but they're fighting at home too. We can't sit by for long. We're bound to be involved." The rector lighted an excellent cigar. "Even if we are," he said, hopefully, "I understand our part of it will be purely naval. And I believe our navy will give an excellent account of itself."


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"If you want my opinion, things are bad." "For the Allies? Or for us?" "Good heavens, man, it's the same thing. It is only the Allies who are standing between us and trouble now. The French are just holding their own. The British are fighting hard, but they're fighting at home too. We can't sit by for long. We're bound to be involved." The rector lighted an excellent cigar "If you want my opinion, things are bad." "For the Allies? Or for us?" "Good heavens, man, it's the same thing. It is only the Allies who are standing between us and trouble now. The French are just holding their own. The British are fighting hard, but they're fighting at home too. We can't sit by for long. We're bound to be involved." The rector lighted an excellent cigar. "Even if we are," he said, hopefully, "I understand our part of it will be purely naval. And I believe our navy will give an excellent account of itself."

30 review for Dangerous Days by Mary Roberts Rinehart, Fiction, Historical

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    This was an interesting glimpse into what American life was like in the run up to World War I. I learned some things--such as that sabotage was a very real threat in those days--and appreciated Rinehart's perspective on the attitudes of the time, both for and against entering the war. This was an inspirational read that vividly showed the difference between people who live their lives according to a moral code, even if it means turning their backs on happiness, and people who live only for thems This was an interesting glimpse into what American life was like in the run up to World War I. I learned some things--such as that sabotage was a very real threat in those days--and appreciated Rinehart's perspective on the attitudes of the time, both for and against entering the war. This was an inspirational read that vividly showed the difference between people who live their lives according to a moral code, even if it means turning their backs on happiness, and people who live only for themselves: Some time during the evening his thoughts took this form: that there were two sorts of people in the world: those who seized their own happiness, at any cost; and those who saw the promised land from a far hill, and having seen it, turned back.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Perry Whitford

    America initially resisted Britain's call to join them in WWI, but by 1916 that decision was dividing the nation. Clayton Spencer, the owner of a steel mill, hates war but has to think of his business, the expensive needs of his shallow wife Natalie, and the self-respect of his son and heir, Graham. A German employee resigns in principle over the manufacture of shells for the allies, Graham wants to enlist and his mother doesn't want to lose him, but Clay's business ambitions rest on his war con America initially resisted Britain's call to join them in WWI, but by 1916 that decision was dividing the nation. Clayton Spencer, the owner of a steel mill, hates war but has to think of his business, the expensive needs of his shallow wife Natalie, and the self-respect of his son and heir, Graham. A German employee resigns in principle over the manufacture of shells for the allies, Graham wants to enlist and his mother doesn't want to lose him, but Clay's business ambitions rest on his war contracts: 'He wondered, rather uncomfortably, what he would do, under the circumstances, if it were in his power to declare peace to-morrow.' I bet there were a lot of American businessmen asking themselves that question at the time. I also get there weren't many as scrupulous and honourable as Rinehart's fictional version either. Clay gets his contracts but takes a nominal profit for the munitions he produces (yeah, right.) The characters who support intervention in the war are good, those who oppose it selfish and weak, such as his wife and a gold-digger after Graham. Dangerous Days is a sweeping yet essentially shallow family and social drama with generally uninteresting characters straight out of a semi-expensive soap opera. It's also tritely readable all the same, if inferior in everyway to her next novel, A Poor Wise Man, which I read not long ago and was similar but had more depth.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marci

    This story is set in the period just before and during the U.S. becoming involved in the First World War (1916-1918), and the place is probably Pittsburg. The danger in the title can refer to the war, to the changing social norms, and to actions different characters take that endanger either their physical lives or their way of life and relationships. There's significant suspense but little mystery--this is more of a social drama. I found it hard to keep reading when it seemed that everybody was This story is set in the period just before and during the U.S. becoming involved in the First World War (1916-1918), and the place is probably Pittsburg. The danger in the title can refer to the war, to the changing social norms, and to actions different characters take that endanger either their physical lives or their way of life and relationships. There's significant suspense but little mystery--this is more of a social drama. I found it hard to keep reading when it seemed that everybody was in such a dreary situation with little hope of any change except for the worse. However, some twists and turns of plot near the end result in an upbeat ending for at least some. The one thing I'm liking about Mary Roberts Rinehart's novels of this period is seeing the self-determination of the female characters. This novel shows clearly how this can be both a positive or a negative thing, underscoring that true equality means cooperation, not competition nor repression. In at least one character, this novel also shows a woman breaking away from male oppression can be both dangerous and in danger--and that's a good thing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    I did enjoy this book, not just because it was a free download to my Kindle. It takes place during the years before America's entry into WW1. Some of the people are just amazing, and I would have enjoyed knowing them. One in particular, however, was so unlikable that I admired her husband more than I expected. His patience, and his love for another woman and how he handled that, made him a true hero in the story. The ancillary characters were mostly good people. Moral standards were definitely h I did enjoy this book, not just because it was a free download to my Kindle. It takes place during the years before America's entry into WW1. Some of the people are just amazing, and I would have enjoyed knowing them. One in particular, however, was so unlikable that I admired her husband more than I expected. His patience, and his love for another woman and how he handled that, made him a true hero in the story. The ancillary characters were mostly good people. Moral standards were definitely higher in that period than they are now.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeff J.

    Generally considered to be the American Agatha Christie, Rinehart's fiction goes beyond mysteries. This is the second book of hers that I've read that concerns itself with America's involvement in World War I. While The Amazing Interlude focused on the debate over American involvement in the War, this book actually climaxes in the battlefield. While the Christie comparison is fair, in this case her writing strikes me as a progenitor of the works of Sinclair Lewis. Rinehart deserves greater recog Generally considered to be the American Agatha Christie, Rinehart's fiction goes beyond mysteries. This is the second book of hers that I've read that concerns itself with America's involvement in World War I. While The Amazing Interlude focused on the debate over American involvement in the War, this book actually climaxes in the battlefield. While the Christie comparison is fair, in this case her writing strikes me as a progenitor of the works of Sinclair Lewis. Rinehart deserves greater recognition.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I loved this book. It was suspenseful, to say the least. Characters so well-drawn. I fell in love with one of the characters, and certainly cared about lots of the characters. I love this writer. It's an older book, copyright 1919! An oldie but a goodie. I loved this book. It was suspenseful, to say the least. Characters so well-drawn. I fell in love with one of the characters, and certainly cared about lots of the characters. I love this writer. It's an older book, copyright 1919! An oldie but a goodie.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Janell

    With a bit of an "Agatha Christie" reputation, Mary Roberts Rinehart has been on my "to read" list for some time. Ironically, in spite of the mystery sounding title, my first Rinehart book turned out to be a pre-WWI book rather than a mystery. Published just after the conclusion of WWI, Dangerous Days takes place just before the US entered into that war. Throughout the book there was a low-key romance going on, but the plot was really designed to highlight the emotions, struggles and changes tak With a bit of an "Agatha Christie" reputation, Mary Roberts Rinehart has been on my "to read" list for some time. Ironically, in spite of the mystery sounding title, my first Rinehart book turned out to be a pre-WWI book rather than a mystery. Published just after the conclusion of WWI, Dangerous Days takes place just before the US entered into that war. Throughout the book there was a low-key romance going on, but the plot was really designed to highlight the emotions, struggles and changes taking place in the US as the war raged in Europe. Although an older writing style, I still found the story intriguing and am looking forward to reading some of her other books.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Mary Roberts Rinehart wrote spine tingling and clever mysteries. This book, however, published just after the end of WW I, is propaganda disguised as a society novel. Clayton Spencer, industrialist and eventually munitions manufacturer, is a deeply principled man married to a rather shallow woman who attempts to dissuade their son and only child, Graham, from enlisting when the US enters the war. Meanwhile, Clayton falls in love with a "real" woman, Audrey, who supports the war, supports men's e Mary Roberts Rinehart wrote spine tingling and clever mysteries. This book, however, published just after the end of WW I, is propaganda disguised as a society novel. Clayton Spencer, industrialist and eventually munitions manufacturer, is a deeply principled man married to a rather shallow woman who attempts to dissuade their son and only child, Graham, from enlisting when the US enters the war. Meanwhile, Clayton falls in love with a "real" woman, Audrey, who supports the war, supports men's enlistment and is altogether "fine" compared to Clayton's wife. As the domestic characters sort themselves out as "good" and "bad" based on their support for the war, German workers, characterized as (surprise!) stolid and cowardly, abusive of women and given to rash enthusiasms, seek to sabotage Clayton's munitions plant. All I can say is if you want gender and ethnic stereotyping with a dash of jingoism all nicely wrapped up with quaint drawing room conversation, this may be the book for you! Ugh.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I didn’t hate it. Literature, American literature, from between the Wars is always so interesting as historical artifact. Not literature about the time period, but literature written during the time period. There is so much arrogance, and innocence. This is a novel that tells the story of a nation that grows up. It is full of pro-American optimism and a sense that we have left our mistakes behind us. They have graciously exited stage left, never to be seen again. The ending is rather a bit of a I didn’t hate it. Literature, American literature, from between the Wars is always so interesting as historical artifact. Not literature about the time period, but literature written during the time period. There is so much arrogance, and innocence. This is a novel that tells the story of a nation that grows up. It is full of pro-American optimism and a sense that we have left our mistakes behind us. They have graciously exited stage left, never to be seen again. The ending is rather a bit of a mix. Rudolph Klein’s ending is rather ominous. Rinehart leaves all the less likable characters, her villains, such as they are, at rather loose ends. It’s an odd choice. It keeps the novel from being too saccharine, but it does nothing to finish off the story. So while our heroes and heroines are off living happily ever after, the reader is left with this vague sense of unease about those villains. Where are they going to show up in the future? I’ll have to read more of Rinehart to decide how I feel about that choice

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

    It's one of those books that have to be read more than once to really figure out what it narrates. Rhinehart addresses many subjects that are as important in 2020 as they were in 1914. Definitely worth your time! It's one of those books that have to be read more than once to really figure out what it narrates. Rhinehart addresses many subjects that are as important in 2020 as they were in 1914. Definitely worth your time!

  11. 5 out of 5

    James

    I enjoy books written years ago. It gives a different perspective. A moment in time so to speak. This one was interesting and I did enjoy it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Hamilton

    I have yet to be disappointed by Mary Roberts Rineheart. Her mysteries are awesome as are her romances. Neither genre ever lacks the deep feelings they both require to be effectively attention-worthy. Dangerous Days contained a mixture of mystery and romance. The mystery was due to the espionage and the on-going war effects, and the romance was the heart of the story. I loved the characters of Spencer and Audrey. They were both so tempted, yet they both remained strong and with God's help, upheld I have yet to be disappointed by Mary Roberts Rineheart. Her mysteries are awesome as are her romances. Neither genre ever lacks the deep feelings they both require to be effectively attention-worthy. Dangerous Days contained a mixture of mystery and romance. The mystery was due to the espionage and the on-going war effects, and the romance was the heart of the story. I loved the characters of Spencer and Audrey. They were both so tempted, yet they both remained strong and with God's help, upheld their moral principles and fidelity. I loved them for it. Nowadays there are too many stories about characters who give in to their desires and then regret it or are forced to deal with unseemly consequences or end up happily together after struggling for a while. A good old vintage book helps to better deal with the bitterness of immoral life that prevails today.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    A marvelous little period piece, not, I gather, one of her usual early twentieth century mysteries, but a sound snapshot of the days before the First World War on the heady, gilded home front. The Spencer family -- its work and love lives mirroring others' -- is followed as the both get caught up in the nation's events. More history than mystery, but nine the worse for that. A marvelous little period piece, not, I gather, one of her usual early twentieth century mysteries, but a sound snapshot of the days before the First World War on the heady, gilded home front. The Spencer family -- its work and love lives mirroring others' -- is followed as the both get caught up in the nation's events. More history than mystery, but nine the worse for that.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    # NC Own on Nook. Book inside 50 Classic Mystery Books. FS: "Natalie Spencer was giving a dinner." LS: "A gift to take place of the things that had gone with youth, of high adventure and the lilt of the singing heart. The last gift." # NC Own on Nook. Book inside 50 Classic Mystery Books. FS: "Natalie Spencer was giving a dinner." LS: "A gift to take place of the things that had gone with youth, of high adventure and the lilt of the singing heart. The last gift."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sydney

    Excellent unfolding story of the life of a wealthy American man, his honor, his role, his love and the lives he touched in so doing, during WW1. It is a story of integrity, failure, perseverance and hope at a time when our nation rallied and acted as one to defend the cause of freedom.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Celia

    It is more of a romance than thriller. Most interesting for a perpective that it is about the US in the First World War.

  17. 4 out of 5

    K. Flynn

    Reads like a modern novel, but offers great insight to the mood, mores and times prior to America's entry into WW1. The characters were interesting and well drawn. Reads like a modern novel, but offers great insight to the mood, mores and times prior to America's entry into WW1. The characters were interesting and well drawn.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Couldn't get into it. There was no one I could relate to or like. Did not even try to finish. Couldn't get into it. There was no one I could relate to or like. Did not even try to finish.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    A saccharine sweet WWI romance without a hint of mystery. Everyone is either long suffering, self sacrificing or a total "cad". It was enjoyable to me for a change of pace. A saccharine sweet WWI romance without a hint of mystery. Everyone is either long suffering, self sacrificing or a total "cad". It was enjoyable to me for a change of pace.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joggingt

    Interesting perspective of WWI.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Espionage and romance, what's not to like! Well plotted and narrated tale of WWI. Recommended. Lots of insight into WWI. (Excellently read by Nicolas Clifford at Librivox). Espionage and romance, what's not to like! Well plotted and narrated tale of WWI. Recommended. Lots of insight into WWI. (Excellently read by Nicolas Clifford at Librivox).

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marts (Thinker)

    Rinehart captures the lives and thoughts of the Spencer family and life in America prior to its entry into the first world war...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Neeroc

    Interesting look at a Golden Age, but not the mystery or thriller I was expecting

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Life and loves of upper-crust America in the days leading up to and during America's involvement in World War I. Life and loves of upper-crust America in the days leading up to and during America's involvement in World War I.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Holly Hardie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daria

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  29. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Shepard

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shreya Sarkar Sahoo

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