On The Fence May 4, 2007
It was difficult to decide if I liked this book or not. I really wanted to like it. Overall, the plot was rather like the family stories of days-gone-by. Think modern Bobsey Twins or Happy Hollisters. I won't fault it for that. It chronicles the bucolic events of four sisters on summer vacation. The characters were more fleshed out than older books of this kind, but they were hardly more believable. Some of the quirks and characteristics of the girls seemed rather forced. I appreciate that the siblings (mostly) get along, though the sister with the most personality was a bit too unlikable and showed little growth in the course of the story. The villain was a parent who had no redeeming qualities. That might work for Roald Dahl, but not in this innocent tale. The book ended abruptly and seemed incomplete without a sequel. I applaud the author's goal of wholesome family reading. I hope that as she continues to write, her writing style will improve. I would recommend this book because there is often little available that is wholesome and free of R-rated language, but it won't be first on our summer reading list.