Monday, May 14, 2018

THE PENDERWICKS AT LAST -- the final installment of the Penderwicks series!

Image result for the penderwicks at last

THE PENDERWICKS AT LAST by Jeanne Birdsall, (May 15, 2018, Alfred A. Knopf, 294 pages,for ages 8 to 12 )

I loved every minute of this delightful novel for middle grade readers. If you're looking for gentle (but not prissy), funny (but not goofy) family stories, and especially if you devoured the first four books from Jeanne Birdsall, you'll adore this lovely middle grade novel. Perhaps even more so because it's the last of the five-book series.  It's ostensibly about Rosalind's upcoming wedding -- a homemade event that the Penderwicks decide to hold at Arundel, where it all began. Rather fitting, I'd say.. There's also an important subplot about making new friends when you're a shy tween.

This book reminded me of my own childhood. And of spring melting into summer.. The child you first met as a toddler in THE PENDERWICKS IN SPRING, Lydia or Lids, as her older sisters call her, is now a tween.

And wow! All the girls from the first books are actually... grown up.  Or growing up. Even Batty, who's now in high school. The return to Arundel and the presence of Jeffrey and even Mrs. Tifton (the villain of the first book) made me smile. Best of all, Rosalind's getting married! But we see it all from Lydia's point of view.

A well-developed plot, realistic characters who feel like people you know, and cameos from all your favorite characters, like Hitch, the three-legged dog, add to the charm. Picking up this book each time (I can no longer read a book in one sitting, unfortunately -- see previous post) was like joining a fun gathering of loved ones. Every day,  I eagerly looked forward to my precious afternoon reading time.

Jeanne Birdsall's website

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Part 2 of What Happened to Me


There's a very good reason I never responded to those comments (thank you all for your good wishes) from my last post  about what happened to me in the six months prior to that.  I posted that on January 22, 2018. And I remember feeling pretty good then.

Within days I was back in the hospital with a shunt infection. Since then I've been through another five months of illness and recuperation, including a month in the hospital (three different operations and I now have shunt #4) and a few months in rehab.  I don't remember most of it. Then I finally came home and had about six weeks with home health care -- physical and speech therapists who came to our house at our convenience to work with me. They all just discharged me this week and all told me I made amazing progress. A few even admitted they weren't sure I was ever going to come back to what I had been.

I'm thankful to be back. To be able to talk. To know what year it is, what day it is. And besides everything you would expect me to be grateful for (family, friends, etc), I'm thankful I can still type. And I can still read. But I won't be posting reviews very often because I find reading (and writing) for more than ten to fifteen minutes at a time gives me nasty headaches. And anyone with my history needs to pay attention to headaches.

But I read some gorgeous children's books this spring as I've recuperated, so I'll be telling you about them in my next few posts. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers reading this post!