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EVEN IF she has lived ten terrible years, terrible, horrible Edie really isn’t terrible and horrible at all, but rather one of the most charming and engaging and gutsy children in American children’s fiction. It’s true of course that Edie does get into—and not always without it being at least a little bit her fault—some pretty terrible and horrible scrapes, and that sometimes she will sulk, but these are the kinds of things that happen to the kid sister of two snooty boys and one fancy-pants girl, not to mention having to deal with the distraction of two half sisters who are no better than babies. Edie’s father and stepmother have headed to Europe for the summer, and though the rest of the family can look forward to good times at a beloved summer house on the sea, Edie still has to fight to hold her own. Adventures on a sailboat and on an island, and the advent of a major hurricane and what Edie takes to be a military coup, all come to a climax when Edie solves the mystery of who stole the neighbor’s jewels and saves, at least for one day, the day.
This story of Edie and the other members of the Cares family may remind readers of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, except that Edie has an experimental, even anarchic streak that is all her terrible, horrible own.
|Publisher:||New York Review Books|
|Series:||New York Review Children's Collection Series|
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||9 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Elizabeth Choate Spykman (1896–1965) was born and raised in Southborough, Massachusetts, and was the fourth child in a family of four boys and two girls. Following her graduation from the Westover School in 1914, she traveled widely and adventurously, spending a year in Germany and another in England. In the 1920s, she wrote for The Atlantic Monthly, describing a journey to the South Seas by tramp steamer and life in small-town New England, among other subjects, but it was not until 1955 that she published a book, A Lemon and a Star, the first of four novels about the Cares family, which include The Wild Angel (1957), Terrible, Horrible Edie (1960), and Edie on the Warpath (1966). Elizabeth Choate Spykman was married to the co-founder of Yale’s Department of International Relations, Nicholas J. Spykman, with whom she had two daughters.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One of my favorite books from childhood.
This book was originally published in 1960. Ten year old Edie really isn't terrible or horrible, she's just feisty, curious and determined to get the most out of life. She is plunked in the middle of two high-brow brothers, one older sister, and two younger stepsisters that are a constant distraction to her. The Cares family is completed by Edie's biological father, his new wife Madam, and an entertaining menagerie consisting of a bird, a goat, a beagle, a second dog, and a spider monkey, not to mention their very own cook and kitchen assistant. Edie's step-mother and father decide to spend the summer touring Europe and the kids go to spend the summer at their Aunt Louise's house in Mount Harbor, Massachusetts by the sea. A myriad of adventures await them there: sailing on the water, surviving a major hurricane that is both destructive and dangerous, and Edie becoming a super hero as she solves the mystery of who stole the neighbour's valuable jewellery all by herself. The author writes beautifully and has a keen sense of sibling rivalry. She understands how lonely and misplaced a middle child can feel and how the older children seem to have all the freedom and fun while not including her. No one will listen to Edie, give her a chance or invite her along with them so she goes off by herself and does her own thing. She does not feeling guilty or that she needs to apologize to the others for her decisions or actions. This is Spykman's third book about the Cares family. The family is modelled closely after her own upbringing which brings great authenticity to the content. The book is rich in both character and plot and I highly recommend it.