Our white Violet - Kay Spen I read this book after seeing it mentioned on the Agatha Christie Facebook page, as "a book Agatha Christie read as a child and one of her many influences." I didn't pick up on any influences, but I still enjoyed it. It is a children's story, although I'm not sure what age group it would have been for, but probably not teenagers. It contains more serious subject matter than I might have expected in what would nowadays probably be considered a middle grades book, beginning with Violet falling down the stairs at the age of two after her oldest brother Edmund trips and drops her. She becomes paralyzed from the waist down, apparently (her condition is not really described, just that she can't move around on her own, and has to lie down most of the time). The story gets rather religious in places, but it is cute rather than cloying. The author does a good job of giving each child a distinct personality in a short number of pages - no small task when there are eight(!) siblings, and all close in age. The kids are the stars of the book, and the adults have small parts; the parents show up occasionally, usually with presents or treats, and the nurse and governess are in charge of most of the discipline. There isn't really a plot; the book is basically a series of anecdotes of the kids' adventures and normal occurrences, such a birthday parties and getting the Measles. Violet is a little too good to be true, but I liked her anyway. Poor Edmund blames himself for dropping her, leaving her unable to walk, and becomes her slave and companion for life, even when all the other kids go out to play and forget about her, so it's a good thing she's not a brat, or his life would really be miserable. I admit that I was crying at the end when Edmund is presumed drowned but then turns up alive, after getting home by a very roundabout way. Also amusing is the list of books in the back from the publishers. Some of the titles sound very amusing, and I hope I can find them, such as: Fickle Flora and Her Seaside Friends, Stolen Cherries; or, Tell The Truth at Once and The New Girl; or, The Rivals. A Tale of School Life.