Spiderweb For Two
By: Elizabeth Enright
My rating: Wonderful
I read this book to my kids and we all enjoyed it immensely. Elizabeth's Melendy family are such a wonderful group, so full of fun and great morals that we love hearing about all of their adventures. I love imagining the way life was back then and I constantly find myself longingly wishing that I could travel back in time to those days and raise my children there!
Randy and Oliver are so much fun to watch as they follow the poetic scavenger hunt through the pages of this book. I love the boyish ways of thinking and acting that Oliver is constantly displaying. The way he rationalizes his actions, such as climbing out on the roof in his pajamas or climbing up the chimney, is hilarious but completely true to form for a 9 year old boy. Randy as his older sister is not much better being a bit of a tomboy herself, but does attempt to temper his rash decisions with a small amount of common sense.
The plot of this book is fun and touching at the same time. The family is so close that they all know that Oliver and Randy will have a tough time with the older kids gone off to school. The Four Story Mistake isn't meant to be so empty and the loneliness that they would feel would have been virtually unbearable. Lovingly the rest of the family decide to make it better for them, and do a wonderful job at it! The main story line that follows the hunt for clues is entertaining by itself, but Elizabeth has written in a myriad of little side stories that are just wonderful. Ranging from trips into the past to adventures that come along unexpectedly, there is no shortage fun for Oliver and Randy. I especially loved reading about the Christmas holidays and hearing of the wonderful ways that people used to celebrate this wonderful time.
I also love the characters of Willy and Cuffy, who despite the unexplained escapades the kids engage in, continued to be patient and loving every step of the way. They both lend such a warmhearted appeal to the story that I can't imagine them not being included!
As I said at the beginning, I found myself longing to be able to raise my kids back in those times. The freedom to run and play, exploring far and wide, meeting strangers without fear, having fun no matter what. I wish that our world hadn't turned into the paranoid society full of people who can't be trusted. I wish that people still would watch out for each other instead of being afraid to get involved. This book serves as a reminder of what we have lost as a society and the price we have paid for the progress we sometimes so foolishly crave!