cover image The Penderwicks at Last

The Penderwicks at Last

Jeanne Birdsall. Knopf, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-75566-5

In this final installment of Birdsall’s Penderwicks series, the lovable, uniquely talented Penderwick family returns to the setting of the first novel, Arundel, a grand estate in the Berkshires, where oldest daughter Rosalind is to be wed to her boyfriend Tommy. Youngest daughter Lydia, now age 11, was not yet born when the rest of the clan visited there 15 years ago, but she’s heard about its wonders and is thrilled to arrive early with sister Batty and their two dogs to help with preparations. In true Penderwick fashion, Lydia makes every day an adventure with her newfound friend Alice, the daughter of Arundel’s caretaker. There are plenty of surprises in store for the two, including an array of welcome and unwelcome visitors. The excitement and boisterous activity that permeate all the previous books are in abundance here as well, as Lydia’s siblings join her at Arundel, showcasing their individual skills and working together to creatively solve all conflicts during MOPS (meetings of Penderwick siblings). Full of reunions with old friends, fond remembrances of good times, and developments of new friendships (and at least one possible romance), the novel provides closure, and at the same time opens the door to new possibilities as Lydia and her brother and sisters go “prancing, leaping, gamboling into the future.” Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Barbara S. Kouts. (May) [/em]