Through the Reading Glasses, November 2017

By Janet Moore, Library Trustee

It's all about family really, isn't it? After spending a weekend in Pennsylvania (for a memorial

service) with 35 relatives from a blended family, including two great nieces and a nephew

hitherto unmet, I realized once again that blood and marriage ties are not to be sneezed at.

Much laughter and many tears and a great deal of foraging through the haphazardly packed

refrigerator ensued, as we shared stories and pictures, traded contact info, and made promises

to visit and vacation together. So…with family in mind, below are some of my favorites.

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, now a PBS series, is a real hoot. After Dad

dies, Mom moves the four children from England to Corfu and tries to make a go of it on her

widow's pension. Gerald became a well-known naturalist and brother Lawrence moved on to

literary fame with The Alexandria Quartet. Rosamund Pilcher's Coming Home details the

quest of a young Englishwoman who loses her parents to WW II to create a home of her own;

it's a long and satisfying read. Gloria Norris just published KooKooLand, an extraordinary

picture of growing up in the Manchester projects in a family dominated by a larger than life

father. And for the children among us, try Jeanne Birdsall's The Penderwicks, an ongoing

series about four daughters, their widowed father, friend Jeffrey, and a reliably goofy dog. But

my favorite, hands down, is Cynthia Rylant's picture book, The Relatives Came. What a family

vacation!