Monday, August 21, 2017


Skitterbrain. Irene Bennett Brown. 1978. 112 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: Early dawn glowed softly across the harsh Kansas prairie outside the sod house where Larned "Larnie" Moran was just waking up.

Premise/plot: Skitterbrain is a coming of age novel set in Kansas in 1875. Larnie, the heroine, is responsible for the family's milk cow, Bessie. When Bessie wanders off, Larnie takes the family's mule and heads off after her. (She does not tell her mother or father where she's going or why.) Bessie is not an easily found cow. In fact, little of this search goes as planned. Bessie gets mixed up with other cattle in a cattle herd; Larnie's mule gets stolen; she's forced to decide how badly she wants this. Larnie thinks of only one thing: her mother is days away from having a baby. Her new baby brother--or baby sister--will NEED the milk from that cow to survive. Her mom is just not able. So finding this cow is a matter of life and death--as she sees it. Larnie proves her fierceness in this one.

My thoughts: It wasn't instant love. I can tell you that much at least. At first I was yelling at Larnie a lot. I just didn't understand why she didn't go to her Dad for help within minutes after discovering the cow was gone. Sure, he might have been upset. He might have called her "skitterbrain." But I still think that would have been the right thing to do--the responsible thing to do. I was also upset with the young thief whom Larnie ultimately ends up loving enough to bring back home to her parents saying, please adopt him. It wasn't just that he made one bad mistake; he kept on taking advantage of her time and time and time again. By the end, I was happy enough with how everything turned out. This book was a quick read, and I don't want my time back despite not loving it.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

J.G. said...

This sounds like an odd book, with bad choice after bad choice that still comes out right. It makes me wonder if the book was intended to teach lessons, and to make that happen the plot had to suffer.

Thanks for reading along with the BYRC!