An Interview with Jeanne Birdsall, Author of the Penderwicks Series

In two weeks time, I have finished all four books in the Penderwicks series, a sort of modern-day Little Women, which follows the lives of four sisters—Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty (Elizabeth). I am not ashamed to admit that I binged on them, and I even stayed up until 3:00 a.m. to finish the last one—The Penderwicks in Spring.

I also have a confession to make:  I really took a dislike to one of the sisters. It started in the first book and intensified by the fourth book, where she inflicts great pain on one of her sisters.  In fact, I disliked this character so much that after I finished reading The Penderwicks in Spring, I thought of her for most of the day.

On the one hand I couldn’t help thinking, “What the heck! This character isn’t even real. Why are you brooding about her so much?”

On the other hand, only a very good writer can make you dislike (or love) a character in a novel, to make that character so real and intense that she gets under your skin.

Hats off to Jeanne Birdsall. I am eagerly awaiting the fifth and last book of the series.

Below is an interview with Jeanne Birdsall. (I came across this on a blog I follow, Letters from a Hill Farm.)  I always love to hear authors talk about their books and the writing process.


12 thoughts on “An Interview with Jeanne Birdsall, Author of the Penderwicks Series”

      1. Yes, there were lots of copies in our area libraries. I ordered her first one. I just looked and she lives in Northampton, a mere 15 miles away!

  1. These books are going on my list. I loved how, in the interview, she talked about the bits she took from books she read as a child. I loved the Edward Eager books, for example, but often find that no one has heard of them. I bought them all in case my grandchildren want to read them when visiting. (Well, maybe I want to read them over and over again, too.) So far, though, Percy Jackson seems to be winning out.

    1. Let me know what you think of them. I think many writers borrow bits of books they love. I know I certainly did with “Maya and the Book of Everything.” I have not only heard of Edward Eager, but I have read “Half-Magic. How about that? Haven’t read Percy Jackson yet.

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