Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane by Horvath

Horvath of EVERYTHING ON A WAFFLE and CANNING SEASON is always a laugh out loud funny read. Also, her books contain plenty of references to food. This time around its Jewish food and this reader had fun looking up recipes to see what was being served. Teen Cousins Meline and Jocelyn are orphaned at the same time. Their fathers were brothers, their parents were in a train wreck - all four killed. The girls find themselves on an island owned by their fathers' remaining brother and living in a huge Victorian mansion of his own design. He is really rather clueless about raising kids. After serving them mac and cheese and hot dogs for dinner every day until they began to grimace, he hired a cook for them then a butler. Along the way a kitten and a puppy are acquired. All the residents of the mansion live their own lives of quiet desparation, no one relates to anyone though it is suspected that the very silent butler knows more than he lets on. After hearing that the island was once a air training field and its littered with airplane parts, the cousins decide to try to build a plane and fly away. Their fathers were both pilots, they know how to fly. Meline, at least, knows how to assemble a plane. They spend all nights and many days searching for parts, in trees and under weed hills, leaving hidden inside sodden clothes since it's always rainy and foggy on the island. Uncle puts on a disastrous Christmas celebration based on his childhood memories and not at all on what anyone else might want. One by one the residents get terribly ill and slowly begin to heal with the help of a Dr. flown in by helicopter. The story of the drunk helicopter driver is a quite funny side story. During that time of physical healing they also begin to relate and heal from the life tragedies all the residents have suffered.
JDW 9/9/07

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