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.