Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Year Down Yonder

Peck, Richard. 2000. A Year Down Yonder.
Review by Becky Laney.

A Year Down Yonder is the sequel to A Long Way From Chicago. However, this is not a novel in stories. Nor is it narrated by Joey Dowdel. No, A Year Down Yonder is the story of Mary Alice, the little sister that is almost-but-not-quite all grown up. The year is 1937. The Depression is making life difficult both in urban and rural areas. It is economic necessity which prompts Mary Alice's parents to send their daughter away. (Joey is sent away also, but not with Mary Alice.) Mary Alice is being sent to live with the vivacious, one-of-a-kind, sometimes embarrassing Grandma Dowdel. How will this "city" girl fit in with these country bumpkins? Will they accept her? welcome her? Not if the Burdicks have their way!

A Year Down Yonder is a treat. It's rich in detail, rich in humor, rich in heart and humanity. The characters, the place all come alive. Richard Peck is a pro when it comes to capturing the good, the bad, the ugly, and the laughable. Mary Alice does have a few adjustments to make, but this book captures her unforgettable journey, her coming-of-age in small town America.

If you haven't read A Long Way From Chicago, this book does stand alone. In case you're wondering. But I would recommend reading both books. Both books are such a joy, a treat, a delight.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Marbel said...

We have owned A Long Way from Chicago for years but my kids are now the right age for it. (Yeah, I buy books ahead when I see good prices.) Thanks for the reminder to read it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky - Is this book along the lines of Laura Ingalls Wilder "Little House on the Prairie" series? If yes, I can't wait to get a copy of them as I love stories about life in the early American frontier.

Becky said...

It's set in the 1930s. So it isn't frontier times. But it's certainly a different than modern America.

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing book! I love it!

Anonymous said...

where can i read the book online????