The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

★★★☆☆ (3/5)

The Penderwick sisters, along with their dog Hound, are on vacations in Arundel. Their mischiefs and well-intentioned albeit poorly thought-out plans carve their summers, all in the shadow of the terrifying Mrs. Tifton and her lovely but somewhat estranged boy Jeffrey whom the sisters befriend.

A selection of my favourite passages from the book

  • But this was Skye. She only thought, I need a way through the hedge, and here it is. And then she plunged.
  • “Besides, Cagney says the bull’s more dumb than mean. It’s not right to shoot someone because they’re not intelligent,” said Jeffrey.
  • Poor bull. He had simply wanted to quietly munch daisies in the sunshine, and now his private paradise was full of active and extremely noisy creatures. He hadn’t the wits for it.
  • She knew that hearing bad things about yourself is one of the punishments for eavesdropping. Her father had taught her that a long time ago. Her wonderful father.
  • “People sometimes make unexpected choices when they’re lonely,”
  • This is what made a book great, she thought, that you could read it over and over and never get tired of it.
  • “Good-bye, white bedroom,” said Skye. “Good-bye, secret passage in the closet,” said Batty. “Good-bye, dearest Jeffrey and Churchie and summer and magic and adventure and all that’s wonderful in life,” said Jane.
  • “Are you all right?” she asked. “No.” “Endings are sad, aren’t they?” “Yes.”

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