The Penderwicks

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Today was an insanely busy day, filled with moments where I was convinced that I wouldn't get the book read in time. So I'm really glad I picked a book that was a quick read. Then I had a brief computer crisis in which I couldn't get the mouse to work, so there were a few moments there where I thought this entry was going to go up without a picture of the book. As you can see, everything got straightened out eventually.

Today's book; "When the four Penderwick sisters find themselves staying on a beautiful estate called Arundel for their summer holidays, they can't wait to explore the wonderful, sprawling grounds. And even more wonderful is Jeffrey, son of Arundel's owner - the perfect companion for their summer adventures. But Jeffrey's mother is less than thrilled with the Penderwick sisters and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will. Won't they?"

Oohh, cliffhanger. Will they stay out of trouble or won't they? Okay, so it's not the equivalent of a good Friday afternoon soap opera cliffhanger, but it was enough to keep me reading.

Shallow thoughts:

  • The book opens with the family car trip to Arundel. I love novels that feature car trips because they bring back such wonderful memories of childhood road trips; Mom handing out candy bars like they're daily vitamins, Dad handing out money like it's going out of style, us in the back playing a fun little game we made up called "Count the traffic violations Dad makes." Dad likes to think of traffic rules as suggestions rather than actual rules that have to be followed - suggestions that are aimed primarily towards all of those other drivers like that "yeh-who over there who can't seem to pick a damn lane and stay in it." Sometimes we would also play "Count the bad words Dad says while violating traffic rules." Ahh memories.

  • My one complaint about the book is that the characters weren't as well developed as I would have liked. Which brings me to another favorite car trip game. My parents would often let us bring along a friend on these road trips - and so my sister, her friend, my friend and I would sit around trying to figure out which person we would be out of each group of four we could come up with from books and TV; The Golden Girls, Designing Women, Little House, Little Women, Jane Austen. And that's now my standard of whether characters are well developed enough or not; would we be able to play the "Which one are you" game. Sadly, with this book, we wouldn't be able to (unless I was playing with a group of people who are exactly like me, and what are the odds of that happening). Which is not to say that it was a horrible book, because I actually really enjoyed it. I just felt like all four sister had pretty much the same personality.