Brief synopsis (back cover): When the four Penderwick sisters find themselves staying on a beautiful estate called Arundel for their summer holidays, they can’t wait to explore the wonderful, sprawling grounds. And even more wonderful is Jeffrey, son of Arundel’s owner—the perfect companion for their summer adventures. But Jeffrey’s mother is less than thrilled with the Penderwick sisters and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will. Won’t they?

Rating🌴  Island collection

Long story short: This book made me feel ALL THE FEELS. It reminded me of the summer vacations I took as a child, of days where I had no other responsibility than to have fun. It’s a short book and I don’t want to ruin anything, so I’m going to go for the bullet points:

  • There were more than ten characters and each one had a distinct voice and personality. By the time I finished it felt like I had known Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty my whole life.
  • The Penderwick sisters had wonderful chemistry. They laughed, cried, fought, and problem-solved together, and it was so fun to see them in action. I also loved their father and thought he was an awesome parental figure.
  • The book addressed mature themes (death, love, parenting) in a non-patronizing way.

The best children’s books are ones you can enjoy as an adult. The Penderwicks definitely falls in that category and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Have you read anything by Jeanne Birdsall? What did you think?