Monday, December 22, 2008

Utterly charming

I was so tired at work today (thank the Lord for the Starbucks in my office building) because I stayed up too late last night finishing the most charming and adorable book. I simply had to finish it! Jeanne Birdsall's The Penderwicks on Gardam Street is a rare book, a sequel that's even better than the first.

The Penderwicks sisters are back home after their wonderful summer vacation. Fall is about to start and with it, a change that will rock the Penderwicks forever. (Hmm, that sounds super-dramatic, but it's really not that sort of book. It's just sweet.) Their father will start dating again.

About four years ago, the girls' mother died from cancer. Since then, it's been the four girls and their professor father, happily chugging along. But when a certain letter forces Mr. P into the dating scene, the girls aren't too happy and concoct a "Save-Daddy-Plan," which of course, has disastrous results. (At one point, Mr. P says he's going off on a date with "Marianne Dashwood." That name sounded so familiar and after 30 minutes of on-and-off-thinking about it, I realized who she was and laughed. Again, charming.) The sisters all have their own separate plot lines which are never confusing and weave together nicely. It's a witty book, with clever, funny little sentences for adults. I was giggling out loud at certain paragraphs. (I can't find the page, but it's when Jane and Skye are talking about a poem of Jane's that Skye turned in as hers and the teacher just can't quite believe it's Skye's.)

Birdsall says she wanted to write a book that is the sort of book she used to read when she was a little girl. I'd say she did a fabulous job.

Rating: 10/10

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