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. I believe Jeanne Birdsall lives in your neck of the woods. I’m betting your library has her books.

      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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