I don’t know about you, but I like learning about new authors. There are so many out there. So many who have written more than just one or two books. Some are more or less unknown in this age, so allow me to introduce you to an author you might not know about.
Come with me for another Closer Look at an author who has written many books. We’ll look at her style, and her characters, her descriptions and plots, and perhaps you’ll discover a new author you’d like to try.
Let’s go now to Janet Lambert.
Born in 1893 in Indiana, Janet Lambert would become the author of 54 books for girls. In 1918 she married Kent Craig Lambert who had served in the cavalry during WWI and later would see action in North Africa, Anzio and China during the second World War before retiring with the rank of Colonel in 1951. Mrs. Lambert used her experiences as an army wife, as well as her short time on the Broadway stage, in her her books. Her one daughter also married an army officer at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York. Though Janet Lambert died in 1973, her books have lived on.
Unlike some authors, Janet Lambert doesn’t spend long paragraphs describing things, yet you are never left wondering where the characters are. She excels at keeping her readers grounded in the setting while not boring them by trying to describe everything as her characters go here and there. It is an art that can be hard to master.
If you like conversations, Janet Lambert has them down to a T. There is teasing, there is contemplation, earnest conversations, talk that has meaning even today. Her characters live with their words. And usually she had one character who enjoys showing off her “southern drawl” even if she’s never lived in the south.
A few of Mrs. Lambert’s books have a mystery, or some real excitement, but most are just ordinary lives. The plots are everyday struggles that girls face even today. What shall we do with our time this summer? How should I handle the friends who aren’t nice? What about growing up? Perhaps that’s why I find them such a refreshing read! (I get tired of authors trying to out-do the other in excitement and intrigue.)
While Janet Lambert doesn’t take on really hard issues, she does address the struggles of children who have grown up being pampered and catered to as they try to fit in. She deals with loss, with war, with the hurts and pains that come with living in an imperfect world with others who don’t always do what is right. She even takes on a family who have spend most of their lives traveling around the world yet don’t know the first thing about interacting with young people their own age.
Some of the books have more romance in them than others as some of the characters get married. But it’s all very sweet and clean. Nothing is there to make you cringe or blush. There are some kisses before marriage, but remember, these were written in an era that hadn’t thought it was a problem. The kisses are never described. Some of her books are about her characters after they have gotten married, but there is still nothing to be concerned about as far as the “romance” goes.
These books are not necessarily “christian” books. There is talk of going to church sometimes, or of Jesus’ birth at Christmas. There are some prayers, and talk about God, but they are not overtly Christian.
Time Periods and Places and People:
These stories take place during the time the author lived, spanning from the 1930’s through WWII, and on to the Vietnam war. I think her marriage to an army officer had much to do with her writing as she has army posts in the US and even abroad as settings for some of her stories. Her characters live at West Point, in Panama, in small towns, in the city, and even on boats. Her characters are so real that I feel as if I could meet them if I were to go to their town. The main characters are girls as that is who she was writing for, but the boys aren’t left out, be they brothers or just friends.
Once in a while I’ve noticed the Lord’s name taken in vain, but very rarely and it can easily be whited out. Another objection I have is the smoking. Most of the fathers smoke in these books. But again, these were written in an era where no one knew the dangers of it or thought anything about it. It was just life, especially those who had fought in the World Wars. Now and then a character will throw out an idea that I don’t agree with, but it has never taken away from my enjoyment of the stories.
One bit of advice given by one of the characters to a younger sister was so good that I think I’ll share it (though it won’t be word for word): Fix yourself as nice as you can, your hair make-up, clothes, and then once you have finished, forget it all. Don’t keep fussing over how you look. It’s your inside character that matters.
And that ends our second Closer Look of an author. Would you like more Closer Looks? Do you think you would enjoy Janet Lambert’s books, or are they not your type? Do you get tired of constant action and wish for something slower but well written? What books do you go back to re-read when you want something light?