Monday, June 23, 2014

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

Here is a school for girls that takes those in that the family's don't want around or can't handle.  The parents pay for the education and room and board.  The lady running the school keeps the money for herself and gives them very little to eat.  Their education is boring, the lady's brother is a bother when he visits, and nobody is any too happy living there.  They do all agree it's better to be there than at home, though.

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review.  It will be published September 23rd, so make a note to pick up a copy then.

They are serving Sunday dinner to the lady and her brother on a Sunday, as they usually do, when the woman starts to choke and then just sits there - without breathing!  Her brother runs to her aid and keels over the floor.  He's also expired.  The girls just sit there and look at each other!  What happened, how did it happen, and what will they do now?

The first thing they decide to do is bury the bodies.  They want to stay together in the house and they are prepared to make it appear everything is normal.  While they are in the process of hiding the bodies until night, they have their first shock.  Company comes to visit!  What's the worst thing that could happen when your guardians have died from the dinner they ate?  A surprise birthday party for the dead man that they didn't know about!

This is a fanciful tale that I just love.  They begin by telling lies:  The lady is sick and abed, the brother has gone to rescue a poor nephew in India (suddenly, of course) and the party will have to be cancelled.  One lady has hurt her ankle while the girls were trying to keep her out of the house, so now they have an overnight guest.  They put her in bed with the dead woman, hide her glasses and give her a drink with a sleeping power in it.  She sleeps well.  In the meantime, Stout Alice has to dress up as the teacher and take her place in the bed to make sure the woman doesn't realize the wrong person is sharing the bed.

This is just the beginning of this tale of deception.  In the midst of covering the calamity, they are also trying to determine who killed the brother and sister.  Who would want them dead?  And how did they do it?

There were spots that made me laugh out loud.  I have to admit, I might have been one of those girls who would do that sort of thing when I was growing up.  I had lots of imagination and so do these girls!

Read this book, you won't be bored!

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