I really wasn’t expecting to like The Penderwicks. I finished the audio book not long ago after one try with the actual book and two starts with the audio book previously. I was expecting to be bored by an old-fashioned story where nothing much happens. I kept starting it and stopping before the Penderwick family even got settled in at Arundel, where the story takes place.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to give it another try, and I put it on while I was working on some projects in my room. I actually found this book to be an unbelievably charming and winsome old-fashioned story where nothing much happens. The four Penderwick sisters go off with their father for a summer vacation at a rented cottage on the grounds of a huge mansion owned by the obnoxious Mrs. Tifton. The girls befriend Mrs. Tifton’s young son, Jeffrey, and during their three weeks together there are adventures, runaways, near-tragedies, revelations about families, and a lot of life changing. Mrs. Tifton loathes the Penderwick girls and thinks they’re a bad influence on her beloved son. But the girls help Jeffrey quite a bit. The tone and pace are just right for this quiet, funny, classic story. It made me want to sit on a porch in the Berkshire Mountains reading it over and over again.