Monday, September 7, 2015

A Vintage Reads MG Review: The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy

Vintage Reads, where the not so new young adult and middle grade books get some much deserved attention. From old favorites to new discoveries, both good and bad, you can see my thoughts on some titles from the two years and back!!

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (Penderwicks, 1) by Jeanne Birdsall, June 14, 2005. 262 pages. Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers. Source: Purchased at Library Sale.
This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.

The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will—won’t they? One thing’s for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.
First Sentence:
For a long time after that summer, the four Penderwick sisters still talked of Arundel.


I know that at some point at had heard of the Penderwick books, yet, I had never had the chance to read them. While I didn't read the description before deciding to but it at the library sale. The cover piqued my interest, well that and that it was about four sisters. After devouring the first Penderwicks books, I can easily say that this is going into my "Books Featuring Siblings" pile of favorites!! I'll try to tell you why I loved not only the Penderwick girls, but, also the story and writing.

One thing that I was left wondering about after finishing the first of the Penderwick books was why it isn't talked about more! What I mean to say is this is one wonderful book that has a timeless classic feel and yet you barely hear anything about it. The writing is fantastic. The story is fabulous. And the characters, well, they're are wonderful and such fun to read about!! If you haven't read it yet, you simply must. I'll try to explain why you need this book in your life.

If you've been following my blog for some time then you are well aware of my love of sibling books. Since I have three sisters I really enjoy reading books that feature sisters. Especially one's where the siblings get along...even if they argue/disagree every now-and-again. No big surprise then that I loved reading about the four Penderwick girls.What I most liked about them was how well the author captured their various personalities. You could see their differences so clearly and, I for one, could pretty much hear them as they argued and held their secret councils. At times I was reminded of me and my sisters, so, yeah, personally, I think Jeanne Birdsall nailed the whole sisterly relationship. There really are no more, non-spoiler filled, words to describe how much I loved them and how well they came across.

There are so many things that I enjoyed about the story that I don't know where to start when it comes to talking about it. But one of the things that stuck out the most, other than the great handling of the characterizations and character development, would have to be the adventure the faced while on vacation. While not necessarily chock-full of danger, okay except for the one incident with a bull, they faced an entirely different adventure-that of an angry, stuffy landlady who was still reeling from a broken heart. I'm not going into details on how it worked into the story, but, seeing how things played out for the girls and their new friend was really something. I would say that this book is definitely a character driven story as they all have things to work through. Yet, the story remains light and pulls you right into their world.

What I'm trying to get at in this review is that Jeanne Birdsall did one incredible job with the entire book. Her writing and the character development was perfection. Seriously, almost a month after reading it and my brain, and heart, are still wildly in bookish love with the wonderful story of the Penderwick girls!! I've already said this once, but you most definitely need the Penderwick girls in your life!!

Final Verdict: The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy- Probably some of the best characterization I've read in ages!! Loved every little piece of this book!!!

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy earns
This book was purchased, on a whim, by me and I just so happened to talk about it here. All thoughts are my own.

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