The Canning Season Author:Polly Horvath Thirteen-year-old Ratchet spends a summer in Maine with her eccentric great-aunts, Tilly and Penpen, hearing strange stories from the past and encountering a variety of unusual and colorful characters.
I loved this oddly moving story, both joyful and poignant. It's hard to believe your response to reading of a mother's suicide by self-beheading is to laugh, but Horvath conjures an almost magical set of elderly aunties who seem to make the sad funny and vice versa. This tale of eccentricity, loss and acceptance surprised and delighted me.
Another reviewer liked this for young adults and adults. I don't get that. To me, the plot was uninteresting, the prose was flat, it has occasional purposeless foul language, and the plot resolution was "eh?" The author has better titles.