Sunday, June 5, 2011

Book Review -- Penny Candy


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book source:  Public library

My final Jean Kerr book from the trifecta offered by the library was equally entertaining.

Penny Candy follows the same formula as her previous anthologies – essays on motherhood, marriage, fashion, décor and exercise (or lack thereof) – told from a vintage 1950s point of view.

I liked this the least of the three that I read, but one of her final chapters, “Culture Night” was fabulous! Of her six children, the older four were nearing, what we would refer to as their “tween” years. She decided that they needed to start memorizing poetry – so each week she would assign them age appropriate poems that they were to memorize for the following Sunday, at which point, they were required to recite them in front of the family. Needless to say, this new family activity was met with much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, but she persevered, and soon the children were reciting, Donne, Yeats, Shelley and Housman (just to name a few). Not only was it funny to read, but inspiring ( I think I might try this!) to think that this activity had a prolonged affect on her children, that they were often heard reciting poetry – gasp! – voluntarily!

Jean Kerr was a joy to discover – I only wish she were still living so she could write about 21st century family life!