Wow. Is 2005 the year of the subtitle or what? Enter The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy.
I had wanted to read The Penderwicks ever since a very hot and pregnant me held it in my hands in the B&N at Union Square. Jen and I had just gone to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and were browsing away enjoying some uber air conditioning. I should have bought it at that very moment, because I could have read it at least 5 times by now.
This is a wonderful story in the vein of Gone Away Lake and A Spell is Cast. The writing is superb, there is a vintage feel to it, and ahhhhhh to bask in the innocence of it all!
Rosalind, Skye, Jane, Batty, and Mr. Penderwick are uspet when their usual Cape Cod summer rental is no longer available at the last moment. Mr. Penderwick manages to find a rental in the Berkshires, and nobody is sure what to expect. What they didn't expect was to be staying in a cottage on a grand estate named Arundal.
They also didn't expect to meet friends like Jeffrey and Cagney while trying to avoid snooty Mrs. Tifton. Since Arundal belongs to Mrs. Tifton (who happens to be Jeffrey's mother), this is not so easily accomplished.
Each girl is a personality unto herself, and readers are sure to be reminded of Little Women. I am one of those few who cannot stand Little Women, but I obviously love this book.
The adventures are sweet yet real...there are crushes on boys, dreams of being an author, trying to find one's place within a family. The Penderwick's sense of family honour is admirable and it's so refreshing to read contemporary fiction that is so well written.
This is a book that I will recommend and recommend and purchase for all of my friend's children.