Elsie Dinsmore

by Martha Finley
Series: Elsie Dinsmore #1
352 pages, General Fiction
Reviewed by White Rose

Very good Christian read. Elsie is an excellent example for believers.


Elsie Dinsmore has never met her father, and her mother died soon after she was born. She has spent all but a few years of her life, so far, at Roselands, her grandfather's plantation. Her family does not like her, except her oldest cousin, but she is loved by all others who know her. Her most faithful friend is her Mammy, who taught Elsie all about her Heavenly Father and His love for her, but Elsie longs to also know her earthly father and feel his love. Finally, he is coming home from years abroad. Will Elsie finally gain the love she's longed for? Or will their differences of faith, as her father is not a Christian, come between them?


Morality is very high. All that the Bible teaches is placed very high, and those that do wrong are dealt with. The wrong doers do not necessarily change, but they do get punished. Elsie's father is an unbeliever and a harsh disciplinarian. This book deals specifically with the difficulty of honoring one's parents when they do not honor God, and Elsie is faced with many choices between obeying her father and obeying God's Word. Though readers may or may not agree with her individual choices, she does try to do what she believes is right.

Spiritual Content

Christianity is ever present. Elsie and her Mammy are Christians, and obedience to God and the message of His love for all is a big part of their everyday lives and what they show to others.


There are a few points here, where not extremely violent, could fall under this category. Those points range from the traditional class room discipline measures of the pre-Civil War era to the discipline measures taken on the plantation slaves.

Elsie has a very difficult relationship with her father, who is harsh and overbearing and whose oppression leads Elsie to have a nervous breakdown. His unloving attitude may disturb young readers.

Drug and Alcohol Content

No drugs, and I do not recall any alcohol, but there could have been some wine drinking. I do know there are times where some of the men smoke.

Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content

There is no language or inappropriate behavior, at least, no openly. If anyone says or does something bad it is only stated that they did.


This book, and all the rest in the series, are charming stories of faith in God in one of the most beautiful, though politically tumultuous, eras in our history. Elsie's example of patience, kindness, faith, etc., is one that any parent would be proud to place before their daughter. The character of Elsie's father, however, may bother some young people, as he is very unkind.

The story is very good, and you do feel for Elsie's various plights and her many joys. The original unabridged version might be a bit harder for younger readers to grasp, but older readers should do fine. For the younger audience, I recommend the A Life of Faith edition of the story.

Fun Score: 4
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

Review Rating:

Average rating: 4 stars
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