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O, the Brave Music

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This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.


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This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.

30 review for O, the Brave Music

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chari

    My cup of tea

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I dearly, dearly love this book. Smith writes with a beauty and a feeling that is hard to find nowadays. This book is a well written, beautiful story. It always manages to capture me between its pages. I have spent many fond hours in it's company. I dearly, dearly love this book. Smith writes with a beauty and a feeling that is hard to find nowadays. This book is a well written, beautiful story. It always manages to capture me between its pages. I have spent many fond hours in it's company.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marie Saville

    'O, The Brave Music' es una entrañable historia de iniciación ambientada en los páramos de Yorkshire. Aunque la autora no proporciona fechas, una deduce que la historia transcurre entre finales del s.XIX y principios del XX. Ruan, la pequeña protagonista, acaba de cumplir siete años al inicio de la novela. Hija de un rígido pastor, Ruan vive con sus padres y hermanos en una modesta casita de un barrio obrero. Su padre vive para salvar las almas de sus feligreses, su madre para encontrar una sali 'O, The Brave Music' es una entrañable historia de iniciación ambientada en los páramos de Yorkshire. Aunque la autora no proporciona fechas, una deduce que la historia transcurre entre finales del s.XIX y principios del XX. Ruan, la pequeña protagonista, acaba de cumplir siete años al inicio de la novela. Hija de un rígido pastor, Ruan vive con sus padres y hermanos en una modesta casita de un barrio obrero. Su padre vive para salvar las almas de sus feligreses, su madre para encontrar una salida a su triste existencia, y Ruan...Ruan vive gracias a su imaginación y a los libros que van cayendo en sus manos. Aquella Inglaterra industrial aparece ante nosotros a través de los ojos de una niña curiosa y soñadora. De la sucia Cheddar Street, con sus excéntricos habitantes, a los majestuosos páramos que rodean Bolton House, el hogar de Rosie y David, acompañamos a Ruan en su camino hacia la adolescencia. Los primeros días de colegio, los primeros secretos; las primeras incursiones en ese mundo desconocido que rodea los muros del hogar. Un hogar sobre el que pesa una sombra destructora. Momentos felices y momentos trágicos que marcan los primeros años de la pequeña Ruan. Y en el horizonte, los páramos a lo largo de las estaciones, el lugar en el que Ruan encuentra refugio junto a Rosie, a David y a una galería de entrañables personajes... Después llegará el tío Alaric y la majestuosa decadencia de Cobbetts. Un lugar frío, como el corazón de su dueño, que se transformará con la calidez de Ruan. Este libro huele a brezo salvaje y a lluvia regeneradora; a scones con mermelada y a fragantes tazas de té compartidas frente a un fuego de chimenea... No puedo describir con palabras lo mucho que lo he adorado. Solo puedo deciros que lo he habitado durante mi lectura y que he tenido que despedirme de él con enorme tristeza. Deseando que no terminase nunca; deseando poder acompañar a la pequeña Ruan hasta el final de sus días y no solo hasta su catorce cumpleaños. 'O, The Brave Music' ya ha ocupado un lugar especial entre esas historias de iniciación que atesoro en mis estanterías. Junto a 'Mariana', 'Un árbol crece en Brooklyn', 'El castillo soñado', 'Mi impresionante carrera', 'El mensajero' y tantas y tantas otras. ¡Me haría tan feliz verla traducida algún día! Sin duda es uno de esos libros olvidados que merecen ser rescatados para el deleite de nuevos lectores.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beth Bonini

    But I could not be myself, and that seemed to me important, as it still does. There is something about this book that reminds me of Jane Eyre and not just because there are some similarities in terms of setting and plot elements. (There are some key differences, too, so I won't waste my time with a compare and contrast.) The really important thing is the quality of the protagonist - her intensity as a character, and the intensity of the relationship that the reader develops with her. It's tha But I could not be myself, and that seemed to me important, as it still does. There is something about this book that reminds me of Jane Eyre and not just because there are some similarities in terms of setting and plot elements. (There are some key differences, too, so I won't waste my time with a compare and contrast.) The really important thing is the quality of the protagonist - her intensity as a character, and the intensity of the relationship that the reader develops with her. It's that intensity which casts its spell on the reader. The writing is vivid, too, and Smith has a particular gift for conveying a sense of place and atmosphere. Her descriptions of nature, and Ruan's responses to it, are particularly memorable. Ruan Ashley is the protagonist of this story, and when the story begins she is 7 years old - the middle child between a beautiful older sister and a toddler brother. The heroine is not a beauty, in fact she knows herself to be stocky and plain, but she has a keen intellect and a thirst to learn. Even more importantly, she has a vivid imagination that in many ways allows her to transcend the circumstances of her life. Early on, her father - a Nonconformist preacher - warns her of the danger of too much imagination: Imagination is a wonderful gift from God and it should be used wisely. Control it, and it will be your friend, Give it rein and it will destroy you. Like fire, it is a good servant and a bad master. The book opens into a domestic setting of stability, albeit a shaky one. Ruan's parents are a mismatch, both in terms of class and temperament. Being an emotionally sensitive child, Ruan is attuned to the atmosphere of her home ('The Manse') and the unhappy people in it. The first third of the book moves at an especially fast clip, though, and the changes come pretty thick and fast. Ruan suffers many losses, but there is always something indomitable about her. Although Ruan is a highly individual character, with a strong sense of self - and this is what reminds me so much of Jane Eyre - she is not as friendless or solitary as that character. Indeed, she becomes attached to a variety of people throughout the novel. Age, station in life, even skin colour are not as important as authenticity and most of Ruan's friends are much older than she is. (Although Ruan can be childlike in her behaviour and interests, she tends to seem wise beyond her years.). As with most coming-of-age stories, there are several scenes at school - and Ruan experiences the contrast of not only attending a 'free' school, where she mixes with all of the children in the town, but also an exclusive boarding school for girls. In both cases, she most definitely does not belong. From the first she understands that conformity will require her to 'give up her soul', and also that the sacrifice of her own individuality and independence is something she is not prepared to make. This book was published in 1943, but it is set in some indeterminate time before both world wars. The idea of a world war is introduced just once, and it's like a shadow on the novel - and probably would have been even more so for the book's contemporary readers. The book feels late Victorian; one of Ruan's adopted homes is owned by the town's most successful industrialist, while her mother's family home is a faded remnant of an already lost agricultural golden age, characterised by drunken squires and the hunt. Throughout the book Ruan has a strong friendship and a puppy love for David - the ward of her friends Joshua Day and his daughter Rosie. This friendship is one of the recurring 'constants' in Ruan's life and it is also a touchstone for her. If I did have any niggles with the book, it was with the ending. Although Ruan gains confidence from the idea that David will always be there for her, the rest of the narrative seems to suggest that the lessons of Ruan's life have mostly been ones of self-reliance. 4.5 stars I debated giving this book 5 stars, but there is something unsatisfying and abrupt about the ending which made me hold back from that rare rating. Still, I absolutely adored this book and will definitely reread it someday.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    Un libro que va de cabeza a mi colección de favoritos. Qué maravilla de historia, de prosa, de ambientación, detalles y, sobre todo, qué maravilla de personajes. Ya en la edad adulta, Ruan recuerda su infancia y a su querido David creciendo en los páramos de Yorkshire, los veranos en la gran casa de Rosie Day, que la adora y la acoge, primero como una hermana y más tarde como una madre. Esos veranos de correteos, de risas, de olvidar lo estricto de la educación de Padre, de ver como Madre se va m Un libro que va de cabeza a mi colección de favoritos. Qué maravilla de historia, de prosa, de ambientación, detalles y, sobre todo, qué maravilla de personajes. Ya en la edad adulta, Ruan recuerda su infancia y a su querido David creciendo en los páramos de Yorkshire, los veranos en la gran casa de Rosie Day, que la adora y la acoge, primero como una hermana y más tarde como una madre. Esos veranos de correteos, de risas, de olvidar lo estricto de la educación de Padre, de ver como Madre se va marchitando, de su dulce pero egoísta hermana Sylvia. La granja de Luke, bálsamo para todas las pérdidas que sufrirá Ruan a lo largo de sus primeros 15 años de vida. La ternura de tio Alaric y su vieja casona que se derrumba pero cuyos libros son un tesoro para Ruan, el cariño que se tienen... Un libro que, en ocasiones encoge el corazón y en ocasiones nos hace sonreír, con los sueños, la imaginación y la visión inocente de la vida que tiene Ruan y las risas y los juegos de David, su mejor y más querido amigo. Dorothy Evelyn Smith fue una autora tardía pero con este libro demostró que sabía muy bien cómo usar las palabras, cómo evocar imagenes duraderas y cómo crear personajes inolvidables. Me da tantísima pena que este libro no esté traducido. 

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ruthiella

    This was recommended by Simon at Stuck in a Book. Simon compared it to I Captured the Castle. I can see where that comes from, but it reminded me more of How Green Was My Valley, I think mainly because of its wonderful depictions of landscape and environment but also because it isn’t shy about depicting the unhappy and sometimes ugly events experienced in childhood. Published in 1943, it is a coming of age novel set in the early 20th century narrated by Ruan, the daughter of a non-conformist min This was recommended by Simon at Stuck in a Book. Simon compared it to I Captured the Castle. I can see where that comes from, but it reminded me more of How Green Was My Valley, I think mainly because of its wonderful depictions of landscape and environment but also because it isn’t shy about depicting the unhappy and sometimes ugly events experienced in childhood. Published in 1943, it is a coming of age novel set in the early 20th century narrated by Ruan, the daughter of a non-conformist minister who married a beautiful, upper-class woman above his station. The marriage is a stormy one and the family’s relative poverty in a dreary north England industrial town puts further strain on Ruan and her older sister Silvia. However, luckily for Ruan she has an escape and a consolation in the nearby moorland where she is allowed to visit the wealthy working class parishioners, Joshua Day and his daughter Rosie. Through the Days, Ruan meets Mr. Day’s ward, David, who becomes Ruan’s best friend and ultimate solace as she grows up.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dorcas

    3 1/2 Stars I have a really hard time rating and classifying this. I think if it were written today it would be YA, since the main character starts out at age 7 (I think), stays around 10 years old for ages and finally in the last few pages reaches 14. It's a good book but I'm not used to reading about such young characters. I think if I were of the YA age range I would have liked this a lot more than I did. Its a very sweet, gentle read but I kept wondering, "Where are we going with this?" and th 3 1/2 Stars I have a really hard time rating and classifying this. I think if it were written today it would be YA, since the main character starts out at age 7 (I think), stays around 10 years old for ages and finally in the last few pages reaches 14. It's a good book but I'm not used to reading about such young characters. I think if I were of the YA age range I would have liked this a lot more than I did. Its a very sweet, gentle read but I kept wondering, "Where are we going with this?" and the answer was, "We're not. We're just enjoying the ride". And for the most part you do enjoy it, although I couldn't help wondering why the author saw fit to (view spoiler)[kill off so many people. I think I counted nine deaths. That's quite a lot by any standards but pretty over the top for a book written for younger audiences. And yet I can't say it's morbid. Most of the characters that got killed off were pretty unmemorable cardboard-type figures, and I got the feeling that once they served their purpose the author was just as bored with them as we were so... POP goes the weasel. (hide spoiler)] The friendship/love between Ruan and David was probably one of the sweetest Ive read (although at one point I could have smacked him. I suppose he couldn't be completely perfect). The ending leaves you satisfied but wanting an epilogue. Recommended for lovers of old fashioned, quaint, cozy reads. This is my second DES, and I have to say I enjoyed her book The Lovely Day a lot more. CONTENT: SEX: None PROFANITY: Very mild (Ds) VIOLENCE: None PARANORMAL ELEMENTS: None THEMATIC ELEMENTS: Death, family abandonment, unwed pregnancy vaguely hinted at MY RATING: G

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Karl

    I love this book and I'm not sure I could say exactly why. I first read this book when I was around 12; it had a haunting effect on my little 12 year old soul. As an adult, I thought it would be interesting to re-read it and see if I still liked it, but the book was out of print and I couldn't find a copy in my library. Now, 60 years later I found a used copy on Amazon and bought it. I still love the book although it no longer has a haunting effect. The narrator, 7 years old when the book begins I love this book and I'm not sure I could say exactly why. I first read this book when I was around 12; it had a haunting effect on my little 12 year old soul. As an adult, I thought it would be interesting to re-read it and see if I still liked it, but the book was out of print and I couldn't find a copy in my library. Now, 60 years later I found a used copy on Amazon and bought it. I still love the book although it no longer has a haunting effect. The narrator, 7 years old when the book begins and 12 when it ends, is an unusual child growing up in England in the years before WWI. The author has some beautiful passages and descriptions; I remember I immediately wanted to go and run across the moors when I first read it; still do.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    What a lovely book! I wish I'd first read it years ago, so I could have been re-reading it all this time. Somewhat in the same vein as I Capture the Castle (mentioned by other reviewers, and what attracted me to it) and Jane Gardam's A Long Way to Verona, it's narrated by an unusual, imaginative, bookish girl. Darkness and light, love and sorrow...all so beautifully expressed. Many thanks to the Stuck in a Book blog for alerting me to Dorothy Evelyn Smith...I'll be searching out more of her novel What a lovely book! I wish I'd first read it years ago, so I could have been re-reading it all this time. Somewhat in the same vein as I Capture the Castle (mentioned by other reviewers, and what attracted me to it) and Jane Gardam's A Long Way to Verona, it's narrated by an unusual, imaginative, bookish girl. Darkness and light, love and sorrow...all so beautifully expressed. Many thanks to the Stuck in a Book blog for alerting me to Dorothy Evelyn Smith...I'll be searching out more of her novels.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hilary Marson

    This is my desert island book. I've read it a million times, have at least 4 copies of it. It was also my Mum's favourite book and my daughter loves it too. My daughter, incidentally , is named after the girl in the story. A must read! This is my desert island book. I've read it a million times, have at least 4 copies of it. It was also my Mum's favourite book and my daughter loves it too. My daughter, incidentally , is named after the girl in the story. A must read!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    About as perfect as a novel can get. I could not wait to return to this book each evening and was never disappointed. Beautifully told, never pretentious and each character rang true. Bravo!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Juliana

    My thoughts: https://theblankgarden.com/2020/12/30... My thoughts: https://theblankgarden.com/2020/12/30...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    There is a warmth and security in this book that had me at hello. Like someone else said, this is my desert island book! My daughter loves it too.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alana/MiaTheReader

    I really enjoyed this book! Couldn't shake the feeling that I was reading a female version of _David Copperfield_, from the tone and the autobiographical feel of this novel, combined with some settings and character descriptions that were just so Dickensian. I would never have heard of it without reading a review of it on http://www.stuckinabook.com/. The writer of this site, Simon, compared this book to _I Capture The Castle_, and though beyond the sibling dynamic, I really wouldn't think these I really enjoyed this book! Couldn't shake the feeling that I was reading a female version of _David Copperfield_, from the tone and the autobiographical feel of this novel, combined with some settings and character descriptions that were just so Dickensian. I would never have heard of it without reading a review of it on http://www.stuckinabook.com/. The writer of this site, Simon, compared this book to _I Capture The Castle_, and though beyond the sibling dynamic, I really wouldn't think these two are very similar now having read them both, I jumped on the recommendation and am glad I did.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Mccandless

    This book was recommended to me by my mother, who died in 2016. I have had it on my shelf since then and am sorry I waited so long to read it. I was delightful, well written with good descriptions of English countryside in all seasons. A girl struggles to grow up in family circumstances that would be a challenge to anyone. The story reminds me of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and I Capture the Castle. A very enjoyable read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joy O’Toole

    4 1/2 stars I loved this coming-of-age story. Ruan's life is full of loss but has a golden thread running through it of reliable friends and her love of books and learning. It reminded me of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I plan to revisit Ruan and her world again in the future. The ending was bittersweet and not too tied in a tidy bow, which I liked. 4 1/2 stars I loved this coming-of-age story. Ruan's life is full of loss but has a golden thread running through it of reliable friends and her love of books and learning. It reminded me of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I plan to revisit Ruan and her world again in the future. The ending was bittersweet and not too tied in a tidy bow, which I liked.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda Gaines

    An old book from my parents' library. I thought I'd read it but didn't remember any of it. A book for almost one hundred years ago with a lot of dated language but also a definite voice of a young girl and her thoughts and growing. An old book from my parents' library. I thought I'd read it but didn't remember any of it. A book for almost one hundred years ago with a lot of dated language but also a definite voice of a young girl and her thoughts and growing.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Beka

    Beautiful I need more of her work. Sweet story of a 7 year old girl through the eyes of her grown up self. How different things look when you're 7 than when you're older. Beautiful I need more of her work. Sweet story of a 7 year old girl through the eyes of her grown up self. How different things look when you're 7 than when you're older.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Linda Price

    Such a beautiful book. I shall read it again and again

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    A truly delightful book set in England pre WWI following the life of a young girl

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Wrench

    I bought this book at a jumble sale in the early '60s. I was about 13. I loved it and read it several times. I felt that it dealt with Ruan's inner life and the struggles of the grown ups as she tries to navigate adolescence There are some great character parts too, though I found the handling of Ruan's friendship with Halleluljah Johnson a bit contrived, but the book was written long before such things were widely thought about. In a world where the adults are often caught up in their own probl I bought this book at a jumble sale in the early '60s. I was about 13. I loved it and read it several times. I felt that it dealt with Ruan's inner life and the struggles of the grown ups as she tries to navigate adolescence There are some great character parts too, though I found the handling of Ruan's friendship with Halleluljah Johnson a bit contrived, but the book was written long before such things were widely thought about. In a world where the adults are often caught up in their own problems and worries, she is often unnoticed. I never forgot the book and, 45 years after I first read it, I bought a replacement copy on line. I have been disappointed in a few books revisited, but not this one. I still think it's a great book sensitively written.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marietta

    This is my favorite book. My mother suggested I read this book more than 50 years ago because she said the girl in the story reminded her of me. I think she was trying to give me some advice with that recommendation, which I've thought about over the years. I've read and re-read this story so many times and each time it seems as fresh and wonderful as the first time I read it. I laugh and cry along with the heroine as she grows up in her uncertain world. Every time I read this book I think of my This is my favorite book. My mother suggested I read this book more than 50 years ago because she said the girl in the story reminded her of me. I think she was trying to give me some advice with that recommendation, which I've thought about over the years. I've read and re-read this story so many times and each time it seems as fresh and wonderful as the first time I read it. I laugh and cry along with the heroine as she grows up in her uncertain world. Every time I read this book I think of my mother who encouraged a love of reading in her children and think about how reading helps a young person develop ideas about the world. If you want to read a book that will enrich your life - this is a wonderful choice.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lora

    I'm not even sure how to describe this book, myself. I would classify it as a slice-of-life period piece set in the growing up years of the main character. I did enjoy it a great deal- for such an obscure book, it was full of life! I was sad that it ended. Warm and cozy, not much point to it, more like a cup of your favorite tea not because you're thirsty, but because the day outside is grey and unpromising. Lovely little book. I may read more by this author- if I can find her again. The funny th I'm not even sure how to describe this book, myself. I would classify it as a slice-of-life period piece set in the growing up years of the main character. I did enjoy it a great deal- for such an obscure book, it was full of life! I was sad that it ended. Warm and cozy, not much point to it, more like a cup of your favorite tea not because you're thirsty, but because the day outside is grey and unpromising. Lovely little book. I may read more by this author- if I can find her again. The funny thing that came to me several times: Ruan done wrong in another book would be a horrible little twit who awoke no sympathies in me whatsoever. Yet in this book, she was alive and imperfect and growing, and I liked her company. Deftly drawn character!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    This book has been in my top 5 since I read it (omg!) 35 years ago. Just bought a used copy for my niece (who gets 2 books from me for every gift occasion). Love this book, as well as others I have read by this author.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

    I think this is pretty much my favorite book. I love how well the feelings are portrayed.. I can just feel right along with Ruan.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kay Robart

    See my review here: https://whatmeread.wordpress.com/2021... See my review here: https://whatmeread.wordpress.com/2021...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    Takes place in pre war England. Descriptive of pastoral England. What an insite to the fox hunt!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Denise Lauther

    I read this book forty years ago and I loved it. I have my own copy and reread it every so often because the story was wonderful.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Erickson

    Lovely story well written. You won't find that kind of prose in modern books Lovely story well written. You won't find that kind of prose in modern books

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    I read this book when I was about 13 and loved it so much I stole it from my grandma's library. I still have it. I read this book when I was about 13 and loved it so much I stole it from my grandma's library. I still have it.

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