Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall is a lovely little summertime story.

When the four Penderwick sisters, along with their father and their dog, take a vacation home in the mountains for a few weeks in the summer, they expect the usual summer vacation adventures -- but they get even more fun and adventure than they had bargained for when they meet their neighbors and landlord.

If I had to pick just one word to describe this book, it would be "charming." There's a timeless, classic feel to this story -- not that it's set in nostalgic Days Gone By (there are references to the trappings of modern life, though those things are generally peripheral to the story), but the relationships between the characters, the situations they find themselves in, and the tone and pacing of the story all pay homage to the sort of books that were already dusty and deliciously old-book-scented when I read them as a child.

This time around, I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Susan Denaker. She does a fabulous job of bringing the story to life, with different (but not too different) voices for each character, and a reading that manages to be gentle but not sleepy. So, I would highly recommend both the book and the audiobook of this sweet story.

(Reviewed from an electronic audiobook, borrowed through my library system.)

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