[LISTENED TO: May 24, 2015] The Penderwicks at Point Mouette
In this third book, which is set but one year after the events of the first book, quite a lot has changed. And the main characters are somewhat different in this book.
It is summer time and the Penderwicks are headed to Point Mouette, Maine for a vacation. Except that Mr Penderwick is away in England [I won’t say why, I don’t want to spoil the part I know from book two] and Rosalind is vacationing in New Jersey with friends. We don’t get to see Rosalind at all (I’d like to hear a bit more about her time in Ocean City), and we only get occasional phone calls from her (it’s as if Rosalind grew up and didn’t want to be part of the show anymore, so she was “written out” of the script).
That means that 12-year-old Skye is the O.A.P. (Oldest Available Penderwick) and she will look after 11-year-old Jane and 6-year-old Batty. Fear not, they will have some adult help–Aunt Claire will be there too. Although she is quickly taken out of the action when she twists her ankle and is on crutches for most of the book.
The one major problem I had with this book is that as O.A.P., Skye is annoyingly insecure in this book. In general, Skye is a major bad ass. She’s tough, she takes no guff from her sisters (even though she loves them dearly) or from boys. And yet for this whole book she is petrified of being O.A.P. And she comes across as a bit whiny. While this does work to humanize her a bit, it also seems excessive. Of course, this may also be the decision of audio book reader Susan Deneker to make her sound quite so frantic, but it’s weird to think of Skye as being so insecure.
On the other hand, she is the one who is mostly in charge of everyone and she is only 12, for crying out loud. So her concern is understandable, it’s just that her reaction seems out of character. Indeed, the whole premise of these books–that these kids make pretty big decisions on their own–is just crazy (but that does it give it a cool retro feel too). (more…)