A Waltz for Matilda: Jackie French REVIEW TIME


A Waltz For Matilda by Jackie French. Number 1 in the Matilda saga.
Read December 26th 2016.      5 // 5 stars.

Jackie French held the place of my favourite author for a very long time, perhaps the longest out of anyone. An Australian writer, she mainly writes Historical fiction and emphasises the imagery and glory of Australia throughout all her books. I think that if you weren’t Australian you would think this country an absolute paradise from her books, but they did a lot for me by crafting an appreciation for this great land, that I still have and will  (hopefully) never lose.

A Waltz For Matilda, the first in the Matilda saga, is a slow book packed with imagery and drought and the realness of humanity in the face of despair. Matilda, a girl from the slums, leaves to find her father in the ‘middle of nowhere’. The book itself spans from when she was twelve to thirty three, and is gloriously full of everything needed for a good hearty Australian story – a farm and sheep and sun and rain and historical accuracy and forbidden love and kangaroos.

I’ve read this book … five (? something like that) times now, and though I do have a few nitpicks, on the whole it has never failed to make me smile, and appreciate this lovely brown-and-green land that I live in.

what i liked.

  • Forgiveness. It plays a huge part in this book and it’s not something that pops up often in this age of paybacks. As such, I appreciated its presence and was awed at its power. It made the book for me, I think.
  • Matilda. She is stubborn and awesome, just like this land. And can I just say that I love her obsession with sheep? Because I do.
  • Its historical value. I remember reading this for the first time when I was twelve, and I was so intrigued by it that I went and researched the late nineteenth century! That’s the best type of book; books that subtly encourage you to learn.
  • It’s pretty much an all-ages book. There are themes in there that will only be picked up by an older audience, but I am quite sure that a ten year old could read this book and enjoy it!
  • The parts where annoying characters got told off by gruff old men. It’s hilarious, I’m telling you now.

what i didn’t like.

  • The realism of a thirteen year old running a farm. I know she had loving people to help her, but it was just a leetle hard to believe. I only noticed it on this read through, however.
  • Matilda’s character was hard to discern. This is something that runs through all of Jackie French’s writing, I think – it can sometimes be hard to find the traits of a specific character, to make him/her different from the rest. By the end of the book I understood her more, but there were parts where she felt a little like cardboard – a standard character, but nothing more. HOWEVER this may just be me – knowing my reading style, I could have brushed over the most important paragraph of the book and missed a huge plot development!

All in all, then, this is a thoroughly enjoyable book and one that I highly recommend to anyone, of any age!

Have you read this book?

Keep smiling,

–Emmeline 🙂


December 2016 WRAPUP

I know it’s a little late, but here’s my wrapup for the month of December, in 2016!

I read 19 books this month. (which is a new record for me, by the way!)


Reread: The Little Bookroom (Eleanor Farjeon) – 5 // 5

Throne of Glass (Sarah J Maas) – 3 // 5

Reread: The Return of the King (JRR Tolkien) – 5 // 5

Roverandom (JRR Tolkien) – 5 // 5

Defiant Birth (Melinda Tankard Reist) – 4 // 5


Reread: How to Speak Dragonese (Cressida Cowell) – 4 // 5

Reread: How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse (Cressida Cowell) – 4 // 5

Reread: How to Twist a Dragon’s Tale (Cressida Cowell) – 4 // 5

Reread: A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons (Cressida Cowell) – 3 // 5

Reread: How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword (Cressida Cowell) – 4 // 5

Reread: How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel (Cressida Cowell) – 4 // 5

Reread: How to Break a Dragon’s Heart (Cressida Cowell) – 5 // 5

Reread: How to Betray a Dragon’s Hero (Cressida Cowell) – 5 // 5

Reread: How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury (Cressida Cowell) – 5 // 5

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender (Leslye Walton) – 3 // 5

Reread: A Waltz for Matilda (Jackie French) – 5 // 5

Reread: The Girl from Snowy River (Jackie French) – 4 // 5

Reread: The Road to Gundagai (Jackie French) – 3 // 5

Blink and You Die (Lauren Child) – 5 // 5

img_0581I had a lot of five star books this month, and a lot of rereads! This was mainly because I reread a lot of books that I don’t plan on reading again for years; books that I grew up with and loved and read over and over again. The How To Train Your Dragon series was definitely a large part of my childhood, and I hope to do a review series on it soon. However, in the meantime I hope you all have a great new year!

With love,

–Emmeline 🙂

2017 TBR

I want to read a LOT of books next year. And as I have three gazillion things happening in my life aside from books, I don’t know how plausible it will be. But guess what? I’m going to try anyway. Because impossible goals are fun things.


2017 To Be Read list

  • Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo
    I’ve read Six of Crows, and while it wasn’t my fave, I’m really looking forward to reading its sequel!
  • Throne of Glass series – Sarah J Maas
    I’ve only read the first one, and I’m simply dying to read the rest! The first one was so well done and I enjoyed it to the end of the earth and back. I hope the rest of the series will be the same.
  • Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
    I have wanted to read this one for ages. THIS IS THE YEAR.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses series – Sarah J Maas
    I was given the first of these for Christmas, and can I just say I’m awfully excited to try them, given they take up 64% of my bookstagram feed?
  • Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
    It’s worth noting that as SEASON FOUR OF SHERLOCK IS COMING OUT (HELP) I might as well do a reread of some of my favourite stories of all time!



  • Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
    As I am such a large fan of How To Kill A Mockingbird, I should probably definitely read the sequel.
  • The Simarillion – JRR Tolkien
  • Blink and You Die – Lauren Child
    This is the final book in the Ruby Redfort series, all about a girl who cracks codes for a secret agency. My sister and I have been following this series for ages and she just finished it, and won’t stop going on about how good it is! This will definitely be one of my first reads of the year.
  • Raven Boys series – Maggie Stiefvater
    I have read the first one and it is magnificent. I honestly am dying to read the rest of the books!

img_0581And there you have it, my To Be Read list for 2017! I hope to read them all, and many more.

What do you plan on reading next year?

Keep smiling,

–Emmeline 🙂


2016: my year in reading WRAPUP

Ahhhh it’s the end of the year!! Where has the time gone?

My year in reading was … interesting. I had a huge slump in the first six months where I read hardly anything (well, I did read War and Peace and Anna Karenina… but it felt like not much when you read two books in six months). But then in September I discovered Bookstagram, and all of a sudden I was reading again, starting a blog, starting up Goodreads, buying books, obsessing over new fandoms … and back to being Emmeline.

I read 77 books this year.


My Brilliant Career, Anne of Avonlea, Mao’s Last Dancer, War and Peace, Bee Hunter.


Huntingtower, Anna Karenina, Pick Your Poison, Dresses of Red and Gold, Bonhoeffer, Yellow Poppy, The Saga of the Volsungs, Le Morte D’Arthur, The City of God.


A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, How to Train Your Dragon, The Snow Child, The Treasure House, Act of Faith, The Bone Sparrow, The Ghost by the Billabong, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.


The Consolation of Philosophy, Anne of Green Gables, The Count of Monte Cruiso, Black Forest Summer, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Crusoe of Lonesome Lake, Delerium, Pandemonium.


Requiem, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, A Summer Secret, Always Emily.


Vanishing Girls, Eleanor and Park, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Jewel, Four, The Raven Boys, Geek Girl, Six of Crows.


She is Not Invisible, The Coral Island, The Fellowship of the Ring, All the Bright Places, The Sea of Monsters, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, The Titan’s Curse, The Two Towers, Stiff Upper Lip Jeeves.


My Story: Workhouse, Anna and the French Kiss, A Rose for the Anzac Boys, The Decameron, The Little Bookroom, Throne of Glass, Return of the King, Roverandom, Defiant Birth.


How to Speak Dragonese, How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse, How to Twist a Dragon’s Tale, A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons, How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword, How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel, How to Break a Dragon’s Heart, How to Betray a Dragon’s Hero, How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury.


Blink and You Die, The Road to Gundagai, The Girl From Snowy River, A Waltz for Matilda, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender.

And there you have it, all the books I read this year!

img_0581This year was a year of reading and writing and growing. I’m so thankful for everyone I’ve met who’s encouraged me, whether by written word or face to face. Thank you humans for simply existing. For everything.


Emmeline 🙂