what i really want to do is first get something off of my chest that's been bugging me ever since i read lowry's most recent offering... hasn't she managed to firmly ensconce herself enough in the annals of modern children's literature via "the giver" that she doesn't need to stoop to the level of writing yet another book to add to the piles of lemony snickett read-alikes? i mean, really... really? phew, now i feel better. i started off this book hating it, and feeling not a little bit contemptuous toward it. i even debated not finishing it. and believe me, i'm the sort of person who leaves literal tides of unfinished books in my wake. life is too short for unenjoyable literature. sure, i read my fair share of trash, but i'll be the first to admit that everyone needs a little fluff to round out their literary diet. but, for some reason i didn't simply throw this book on the floor in disgust and move onto the next thing in my pile. no, i stuck it out. and somewhere along the line i changed from being irritated by it to quite enjoying it. strange that.
this is the story of the willoughby children. four old-fashioned children, who face challenges and peril with good old-fashioned ingenuity and perseverance. actually, i'm not quite sure there's really much in the way of perseverance, though there is quite of a bit of ingenuity to make up for it. it seems that they have read most of the classics of children's literature and fancy themselves to be somewhat like the characters in those well-loved tales. to that end they endeavour to rid themselves of their beastly parents, because all good, old-fashioned children are orphans. everyone knows that, i mean look at oliver twist and anne shirley for goodness sake. full of sarcasm and mildly dark humour this is a good book to recommend to fans of lemony snicket's series, though you'll need to have more than this ready at hand as it is fairly short and they'll be back soon enough looking for something else.