Friday, March 28, 2014

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette


When I first started as a Youth Services Librarian, to say I was stressed out would be one of the greatest understatements of all time.  To make yet another understatement, I don't handle change in my personal life very well.  So, I did what any librarian would do.  I picked out a cozy-sounding book and attempted to lose myself in some fluff.

The book I chose was The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, and it was a soothing tonic to me.  The curious thing about The Penderwicks is that it could exist in any time period.

In a momentary lapse of sanity, I downloaded The Penderwicks at Point Mouette from our library's ebook lending library.  Whoops.  This is book three in the series.  Unfortunately, I couldn't remember the name of book two, and was simply too lazy to google it, so there.  Thankfully, Point Mouette can be read without having read the second book, although the plot of the second one is probably spoiled in the first few pages.

In Point Mouette, Rosalind spends the summer in New Jersey with a friend, while Skye, Jane, and Batty go to the titular Point Mouette, Maine with their aunt.  It's the first time the girls have been apart, and the logical and science-loving Skye is now the OAP--Oldest Available Penderwick.  It's her job to keep Jane and Batty out of trouble.
the penderwicks at point mouette
Here's where you laugh and say, "Oh, no, that's not possible!"

And you're right.

The mishaps suffered by the girls are perhaps not as engaging as those in the first book, and I found the setting to be curiously vague.  While I could picture Arundel from the first book perfectly in my mind, I couldn't see Point Mouette.  Actually, when I think of Birches, the girls' cabin, I picture the tentshack that the Griswolds stayed in in National Lampoon's Vacation.  I'm sure Birches wasn't that smelly.

Across the way, the Penderwicks have a neighbor named Alec, who is musically talented.  When Jeffery comes to visit, he and Alec jive right away.  *woo woo woo*

I know that the whole Penderwick experience is just that--the experience.  There's not much of a plot, and what is plotted is pretty predictable.  After I read the first Penderwick book, I went back and started reading E. Nesbit and Elizabeth Enright.  After having tasted those glorious halcyon books of romping childhood, I'm not as in love with The Penderwicks at Point Mouette as I expected to be.  It's just kind of ... there.  And it's fine being ... there.  But still.

I'll definitely read the second one, but I don't think this is a series I'll be anxiously watching any longer.  I'm going back to read more of the Melendy Quartet.

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