The Penderwicks in Spring: 03/18/18
The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall is the fourth book in the series and the first one I've read. For this reason, I will probably end up re-reading and re-reviewing the book after I've had a chance to read the previous books.
The Penderwicks are a blended family. The oldest ones can remember life with the original mother. The youngest child is the daughter of the new step mother. But they seem to be a coherent, loving family.
The neighbor is coming home on leave from the war. If it's Iraq or Afghanistan, or some alternate world, fictional world, I don't know.
Though the book appears to be set in the present, there's an old fashioned style to the story. Despite the iPads, iPhones, Internet, the Penderwicks seem more at home with the creations of the last century's authors: Joseph C. Lincoln, Edgar Eager, Eleanor Estes, Mary Norton, and Beverly Cleary. In fact I found the disconnect between a nostalgic writing style and the contemporary setting as very distracting.
Beyond that I can't really comment. In retrospect no character has made much of an impact on me. There was just a warm fuzzy feeling while reading it.
Come back in a year or so to see when I've read the rest of the series, reviewed them, and re-reviewed this one. The first book is The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy.