Review: At the Sign of the Jack O’Lantern


If you’ve read my latest post on the additions to my vintage book collection, then you saw that I recently purchased At the Sign of the Jack O’Lantern by Myrtle Reed. I have never heard of this book before nor am I familiar with the author, but the book was quite interesting appearance-wise (though rather dingy as well) and I bought it.

Yeah it’s very dingy, especially on the other side. But it’s from 1910 and I have yet to find a book as elaborately encased as this one.


I like to read the books I buy, so I sat down one afternoon and dove into this novel.

As you can see, the book is set up in a very interesting way, with a general summary of a page in the margin. Quite curious indeed.

The story started off slow. Very slow. I was not a fan at all at the beginning. But then it got better – so much better in fact, that I finished the entire thing in one sitting.

The book centers around a newlywed couple who move into a house handed down to the husband by his great uncle. A few weeks after settling in, distant, unheard-of relatives begin showing up, claiming that the uncle always let them stay for a few months. Most of the relatives are rather painful individuals, and rather humorous. My only problem was that some of them were given too much time to talk – there were literally pages and pages of dialogue that I skipped because I was not going to waste my time. The ending of the book was pretty hilarious, and I feel as though the entire book should be read just for the ending.

Overall, I feel very lukewarm about this novel. It wasn’t special. It was too average for my tastes, so I ended up selling my copy at Half-Price Books.

If you are looking for a somewhat interesting and very relaxing read this summer, I do recommend this novel. Sure, I may not read it again, but it’s a book that made me happy and allowed me to employ my time in a relatively useful manner.

This is a really sad review, isn’t it. I suppose it’s because I was expecting something spectacular out of this novel and only received sub-par entertainment.

I’m also re-vamping my ‘scale’ again, so look out for that in later posts!

Happy Day!


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