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Felicity Learns a Lesson: A School Story is the second book in the Felicity series. With her BeForever rerelease, it is now part of Love and Loyalty.




Chapter by Chapter Summary[]

Chapter One: Apple Butter Day[]

Felicity sits on her roof on a blue October morning, admiring the weather and the view from her roof. A cardinal flies by and she is envious that it can go wherever it wants, with nothing holding it back. Nan calls for Felicity, but she ignores her sister. It's apple butter day, and Felicity is on the roof to pick the apples from the highest branches of the tree. Nan is calling Felicity so they can swap positions with Nan picking apples and Felicity working in the stuffy kitchen. She's not eager to go in, so instead she eats an apple and wiggles her loose tooth. Ben has offered to teach Felicity to whistle, and she hopes it will be easier once she has a gap in her teeth. Felicity imagines whistling from the roof so everyone in Williamsburg can see her up there.

Nan learns Felicity is on the roof and immediately calls for Mother, sounding scared. Mrs. Merriman comes out with William behind her, and she insists that Felicity come down from the roof. Felicity worries that she's done something wrong again, and she comes down the ladder so fast that she scrapes her knee. Mrs. Merriman tells her off for trying to get the apples faster at the top of the tree, and she chalks this up to Felicity's usual impatience. She speaks firmly as she reprimands Felicity for being careless and childish at almost ten years old. Felicity apologizes, and Mrs. Merriman kindly says she understands, but she wishes Felicity would stop and think before acting. She also hopes no one saw Felicity's bare legs with petticoats blowing around, because it would not be appropriate for a girl her age.

Felicity starts working on the apple butter process in the kitchen and feels miserable in the dark, hot kitchen. Rose is cutting apples, and Felicity has to stir the pot so the apples don't stick. She quickly gets bored and dislikes the hard, sweaty work. Although she tries to hide her impatience, after a while she asks if they've made enough. Her mother responds that it takes a whole pound of apples to make just one pint of apple butter. Felicity sighs and says she doesn't feel it's worthwhile, as the process makes so little and there's nothing to show for your work when you're done. Her mother laughs and says she felt the same way at Felicity's age, but as an adult, it makes her happy to know she can provide for her family. Mrs. Merriman says that one day this will be Felicity's most important task and responsibility, and she wants her daughter to be able to do it well. She explains that she wants Felicity to learn to be a good housewife who can run her household smoothly, keep everyone happy and healthy, and contentedly care for her family in private. When Felicity comments that these are all activities no one ever sees, Mrs. Merriman agrees, but she adds that many lovely things are private. To demonstrate, she cuts open an apple and shows her the flower that seeds make inside if you know how to cut it the right way.

Mrs. Merriman comments that her own mother showed her the apple flower when they made apple butter together, in addition to all other necessary household tasks like sewing and cooking. Someday Felicity will teach these skills to her own daughter. Mrs. Merriman adds that at Felicity's age, she also got special lessons with her aunt to learn how to act in polite society. She considers that it's time for Felicity to do the same before she notices that Felicity has not stirred her pot enough and tells her to work at it. Felicity doesn't like the idea of lessons- they sound "fussy" to her.

Chapter Two: Loose Tooth Tea[]

Chapter Three: Tea in the River[]

Chapter Four: Bananabelle[]

Chapter Five: A Bright Red Cardinal Bird[]

Looking Back: School in 1774[]

Discusses education during colonial times. Topics covered:

  • The use of hornbooks, quill pens and copybooks to teach children how to read and write.
  • Wealthy children being taught by tutors, with some boys going on to attend the College of William and Mary, where they could start at age 12 and stay all the way through college.
  • Opinions regarding the education of girls, as they were taught the arts of housewifery by their mothers to assist in learning how to run a household.
  • Lessons girls were taught by teachers, such as learning how to dance, play musical instruments, practicing fancy stitchery, and the proper way of serving tea.
  • Tea lessons serving as a way to not only practice good manners, but to learn how to carry polite conversations and to remind colonists of their English background and traditions.
  • The difference in viewpoints between Patriots and Loyalists - Patriots believed the colonies should be independent from England while Loyalists believed the colonies should still be ruled by the King.
  • Famous and important Patriots in the 1770s, including Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Patrick Henry.

Items associated with Felicity Learns a Lesson[]

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