by Jeanne Birdsall
I picked up this book on a whim at a local used book store. It sounding interesting, and I liked the cute cover on the British edition (seen here).
The Penderwicks almost defies description. Not much happens in this book, but it has a sort of sweet sleepy quality. Usually I am drawn to books with lots of fantasy, supernatural elements and action - things not at all present in this book. Even so, I did not dislike it - but I didn't really love it either.
The story is simple, and much more realistic than I am used to in the books I read. The characters are charming - all four of the Penderwick sisters are very distinct. Rosalind is the strong practical one, Skye the impulsive tomboy, Jane the imaginative writer, and Batty the playful youngster.
The "villain" of this story isn't quite as villainous as I'd prefer a villain to me. Sometimes you can't really blame her for being so mad, and then she has such a sudden change of heart at the end that it makes the whole thing seem weird.
There is a sequel to this book, and while I like the characters, I don't think this book has interested me enough to want to go pick up the second one.