here & here) and so I was absolutely delighted to read the third instalment of the series, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette. Now, it is not necessary to have read the first two books to understand this one, although you would be missing on some details, and, in my opinion, one of the best part of the series, which is to be witness to the growth of the four sisters at the centre of the story.
In this third instalment, the Penderwicks are splitting up for Summer vacations. Mr. and Mrs. Penderwick are going to England, the eldest Penderwick, Rosalind, is going to New Jersey with her best friend, so that leaves the three youngest Penderwick, Skye, Jane and Batty, as well as their Aunt Claire and the honorary Penderwick Jeffrey (met in the first book) to spend two weeks by the seaside, at Point Mouette, Maine. Of course, charming insanity ensues. Skye finds herself the OAP (Oldest Available Penderwick) and is not ready for such responsibility, Jane stumbles into first love, and Batty discovers her passion, while Jeffrey makes a life-altering discovery.
While cliché, there is no other words that describe this series and books, as charming. It is just charming. The characters have distinctive personalities, all lovable and fun (I am particularly fond of Batty). The plot moves forward quickly, with simple adventures and events, while allowing the characters to grow and expand. To be honest, and particularly in this one, things can get a bit too sweet, in particular when it comes to the adult characters. They are always fun, they always love children and are generally very very kind to a point that is almost unbelievable. But since they are not the main protagonists, I give it a pass. Jeffrey's story line was a bit too stretched for me too, a bit too far fetched, but at the same time was dealt with very well, an in a believable manner, that was quite moving at times. I also missed Rosalind in this one, as she was away, but feel that her absence made sense in the way the books deal with growth.
Overall, I am still in love with this series. It's a perfect quick Summer read and I am already awaiting the next one.