Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January Mother Daughter Book Group -- Theater Shoes

Theater Shoes
My enjoyment rating: 2 of 5 stars
Book source:  Public library
Genre:  Juvenile fiction

Life’s a bummer – Sorrel, Mark, and Holly’s mother is dead (although we never learn when or how), their father is missing in action during WWII, they are living with their paternal grandfather, who also dies, then they are shipped to London to live with their maternal grandmother (whom they have never met) only to learn they are a part of a theatrical dynasty (think Barrymore or Fonda) and are required to follow in their familial footsteps.

Theater Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild (1895-1986) was a fussy, confusing, mess. I’m usually endeared by tales of orphaned children and their tales of survival – which are usually quaint and surrounded by nannies and other caregivers. However, I found nothing likeable in the book. I had to re-read passages over and over again, just to get the gist of what was going on. In fact (insert confession here), I didn’t finish the last 6 chapters, because, well, I. Couldn’t. Read. Another. Word.

But regardless of how I felt – the girls loved it. Daisy Daughter (I mean Rosie Girl) was like her mother and fought thru this book (and this was her book choice!), but the other girls loved reading about Sorrel, Mark, and Holly’s theater classes, their experiences on stage, their relationship with their grandmother, and their life during the war.

Which is why it’s about the daughters, not about the moms. In fact, if it had been left up to me, I would have given the book 1 star – but after our discussion I’m giving it 2, because the discussion made up for what the book lacked. And Daisy Daughter came up with some really good discussion question, of which I am proud.

Haven’t decided on our February choice yet…will post soon!