Wednesday, May 09, 2018

The Penderwicks

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy. Jeanne Birdsall. 2005. Random House. 262 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: For a long time after that summer, the four Penderwick sisters still talked of Arundel. Fate drove us there, Jane would say. No, it was the greedy landlord who sold our vacation house on Cape Cod, someone else would say, probably Skye. Who knew which was right?

Premise/plot: Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty are the four Penderwick sisters. They along with their widower father have come to stay in a small cottage for the summer. The cottage is part of a larger estate--Arundel. They become friends with the gardener, the two pet rabbits, the housekeeper, and perhaps most importantly with Jeffrey, the SON. But with Mrs. Tifton they cannot--will not--make friends. Or rather, she despises them.

Jeffrey becomes part of their family even if they don't become a part of his. They have marvelous adventures and misadventures together during their summer vacation. But. Of course it is a vacation. And it's just a matter of time for all of them. Jeffrey doesn't want the end to come any more than they do. Even more so really since he might have to go to military school.

This novel celebrates being yourself and finding people who like you for being you. It also celebrates the ups and downs of FAMILY.

My thoughts: I liked this one very much when I first read it. But upon second reading, I think I really love it. It has an old-fashioned, feel-good quality about it.


© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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