Saturday, April 4, 2009

TENNYSON by Lesley M. M. Blue

This is a cheater review because I'm going to post the summary from Booklist and just tell you how I liked it.
From BooklistThe year is 1932. Eleven-year-old Tennyson Fontaine and her younger sister, Hattie, have grown up running wild, but that ends when their mother leaves without warning. While their father searches for her, the siblings stay at the Fontaines’ crumbling ancestral home, Aigredoux, once a wealthy Louisiana plantation. There, Aunt Hattie and Uncle Twigs live in the shadow of the past, holding tight to false hopes of restoring the family fortune. The precocious and sensitive Tennyson begins dreaming of her Civil War ancestors and is swept into their dark history of greed, betrayal, and pride. She begins writing down this history and publishing it in her mother’s favorite literary magazine, but this plan to connect with her missing parent has unexpected consequences. The Fontaine history is complex, evoking horror and sympathy; by contrast, a subplot involving Tennyson’s haughty New York editor feels jarringly cartoonish. Still, many readers will respond to this novel’s Southern gothic sensibility, especially Blume’s beautiful, poetic writing about how the past resonates through the generations. Grades 4-6. --Krista Hutley
Kimber An here. I agree that the subplot with the New York editor was jarring. The author just didn't have the voice for it. However, everything else about this novel was absolutely wonderful! Tennyson is an unusually precocious but thoroughly believable 11 year old girl and the way she deals with the dreams and navigates her creepy relatives is hypnotic. Although this is what I'd call Middle Grade Paranormal Historical, I think anyone would enjoy it. I certainly did. In fact, I'm finding the best new fiction in Middle Grade right now, which is wonderful but a little frustrating because I scour the shelves for YA Science Fiction and most often turn up empty.
If this sounds interesting, you might also like THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND by Allegra Goodman.
Learn more about the author and her books here-

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