This book is a disappointment after "Sarah, plain and tall." "Sarah" is a story of a young woman committing herself to lonely man and his family, whereas this is a tale of selfish, stubborn determination to hold a grudge. According to the book, Jacob wanted his father back, he loved him, he missed him every day of his life. Why then, when his father returns does he hate him and set himself against him? The plot is incongruent. Jacob and his father get into a push and shove type of fight, yet Jacob supposedly a man of firm character, and determination to do right. But, actually he is selfish, proud, and unforgiving. This is not a book I would give my 9-12 year old. For that age the writing style is to simplistic, however the story is not appropriate for someone younger.
This is a lovely story for the 9 to 12 year old group -- if they liked "Sarah, Plain and Tall", this is a really good follow on story. It's engaging and not too long, a little over 100 pgs. I like the format of short journal entries and then regular narrative.
3rd book in the Sarah, Plain and Tall trilogy.