Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters
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Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  1,708 ratings  ·  275 reviews
Eleven-year-old Cornelia is the daughter of two world-famous pianists—a legacy that should feel fabulous, but instead feels just plain lonely. She surrounds herself with dictionaries and other books to isolate herself from the outside world. But when a glamorous neighbor named Virginia Somerset moves next door with her servant Patel and a mischievous French bulldog named M...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 11th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Kathryn
This story was not at all what I expected. Even once I got into it, I thought I would/should like it very much. A neglected daughter of a famous pianist (who would hate that I just called her that!), Cornelia hides behind large words and dictionaries, wishing her mother would spend time with her instead of jetting off to various parts of the world to give concerts all the time. I appreciate intelligent, quirky young heroines and I hoped Cornelia would be no exception. However, for all her seemin...more
Ann
Cornelia is the daughter of a famous pianist, Lucy. And, unfortunately for Cornelia, that's all anyone ever seems to care about. When she's invited over for a new play-date with a possible-new-friend, it's typically because the parent wants to find out what Lucy is like, or somehow befriend Lucy via Cornelia. Add to this the fact that Lucy is always traveling and never takes Cornelia with her, and that when Lucy is home she's often busy with her music, Cornelia decided to seek refuge in long, co...more
Janeen-san
Cornelia Street Englehart is possibly the most lonely girl in the entire area of Greenwich village. Her mother, Lucy, is a famous pianist, and barely spends any time with her. She never knew her father.
Her legacy should feel wonderful, but instead Cornelia is miserable and lonely. Privacy is as rare as diamonds. Making a fortress of difficult words, Cornelia hides behind it often.
One day while running home from school, Cornelia sees something strange. Parked in the middle of the street is a gian...more
Avital
I didn't get to the good part, but my mom says I'll like it.
Terri Lynn
Here is another children's book that has captured my imagination, made me feel so many emotions, and then made me cry bittersweet tears.

Eleven year old Cornelia Englehart is the daughter of two world famous concert pianists though she has never met her dad who left them for another woman before Cornelia was born. Cornelia lives with her mother Lucy and with their French housekeeper who loves the child but is frustrated when the young book lover purposely uses complicated words as an emotional s...more
Arlene Allen
This was a sweet, almost old-fashioned read. Cornelia is a shy bookish type who hides behind big words. Her mother is an international concert pianist, and most of her schoolmates' afterschool invitations are at the behest of their star struck mothers. When the amazing eccentric Virginia Somerset move in next door, she finds a kindred spirit, and her own sense of identity in the relationship.It is not sappy or saccharine, although the ending is a bit predictable. What prevented me from giving th...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danielle
Jun 08, 2008 Danielle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to Danielle by: My Mom
Shelves: children-s-books
Try saying this title ten times fast :)

I loved this book. It was everything I ever dreamed a proper book worm should be. How they should act, feel, and exist. Cornelia is a rather peculiar child. She has a great capacity for knowledge and knows words that would send you running. In fact, that's one of the main reasons she knows so many words. She thinks that people just don't want to be her friends, so eventually she stops trying to be a friend. She hides herself behind a fortress of books and u...more
Mary Louise Sanchez
Eleven-year-old Cornelia Englehart's parents are world famous concert pianists, but she's never met her father and her mother is always traveling around the world. Poor little rich girl,Cornelia, has so-called friends who want to get to her mother through her. Her real friends are her books, especially her dictionaries that give her complicated words to shield her away from people. Then, an older, famous writer, Virginia Somerset moves into the apartment next door and wants to be friends with Co...more
Susan
This is an incredibly sweet book. I adored little Cornelia, and the "audacious escapades" Virginia shared were both hilarious and endearing. This story is the perfect sort for reading aloud--Virginia's tales in particular are well-suited to a dramatic read.

I have to say that it read a bit younger than I was looking for, so I had a harder time getting into it than I expected. But once I was fully attached to Cornelia (and those wild Somerset sisters), I no longer noticed the "lower" reading level...more
Camille Robak
The book is odd and different I had never of thought certain things would happen and it was throwing curve balls at me and I thought it was a good book. It takes place in New York City and a little girl name Cornelia was the main character she was the daughter of very wealthy parents because of their many talents. The parents were also traveling a lot so Cornelia was mostly alone and never really wanted to talk to her maids she could only think about her parents. Her parents loved to sing, act,...more
Melinda
Okay novel about a lonely young girl who befriends the old lady next door who tells her wonderful stories about the escapades of the traveling Somerset sisters. That's about it. The dog on the cover, supposedly owned by the author, is cute, and I did like Cornelia's penchant for words, but the novel itself seemed forced and flat. It will probably be made into an okay film. Look for it at theaters near you!
Jenna
Cornelia and the audacious escapades of the somerset sisters is a very interesting book. The stories of the somerset sisters and captivating, intriguing and of course funny. It was sad too. It also showed me how lucky I am to have a mum that makes time for me and is always there. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone.
Cheryl in CC NV
Cornelia's personal story is a bit forced and superficial. The characters are a little stereotypical but fine. The adventures of the Somerset stories are fun. I can easily some young girls just falling under the spell of this world, but in my opinion it was just a little bit too light & simple.
Karina
AMAZING. this is about a girl who's mom is a famous pianist and she doesn't like how people view her as a famous pianist's daughter, not herself. the book is about how she expresses herself to her distant famous mom. this is a must read!
Dana
This is a great book for a pre-teen girl that loves words. The story is engrossing and is a tear-jerker with a happy ending. I really enjoyed it and have recommended it to random people in the store.
Rebekah Watkins
this book was so good that i was sad when i finished it cause i didnt want the book to end... and the end of the book was sad and happy...and on the sad part of the end i cried.............
Kim Harris
Cornelia S. Englehart is a very lonely girl. People only seem to want to be around her because her mother is a famous concert pianist. She hides behind huge words to confuse the people nearest her and to be left alone. Everything changes when Virginia Somerset moves next door. Suddenly there is someone who enjoys Cornelia's company and sees her for who she really is. Cornelia and Virginia bond over Virginia's amazing tales about her life and world travels with her three sisters.

The stories were...more
Cassandra
Oh My gosh, this is one of the best books EVER! Read this, and you may want to learn more about words!!!
Alex Grant
This is an amazing book.
It takes the reader to so many places (Greenwich Valley,Paris,India,London and so on)without having to get up from a chair.
This unforgettable book has an unforgettable cast of characters.
Cornelia S. Englehart is the daughter of a famous pianist. She feels lonely because she lives in the shadow of her mother and never knew her father. Her mom's away most of the time on piano concerts,and she doesn't have much/no friends.
Until she meets Virginia,the woman next door to their...more
Liz Sanders
This was a very enjoyable book. A good read for the pre-angst, pre-teen. It was a lovely break from post-apocolyptic, dystopian teen fiction.
Although the story is a little predictable and not as adult oriented as a lot of teen fiction it engaged me to the end. I appreciated the broad use of vocabulary. As each word is used it is defined so a young reader could come away from reading this with a great deal of new knowledge.

I would highly recommend this for a girl who is well in to chapter books...more
Libby K.
The example of an amazing book! This tale was a wonderful story of heartbreak, adventure, and unexpected everlasting friendship. Cornelia S., an eleven year old who's parents are famous pianists and are hardly ever home to care for their only daughter, is alone almost al the time and as a result, has minor social problems and nothing to entertain herself with except a room full of books, particularly dictionaries. Then, a Miss Virginia Somerset moves in next door and an unexpected friendship bl...more
Mickey
What im about to tell you is the most exciting yet saddest story you will ever know.The book I read is titled Cornelia And The Audacious Escapades Of The Summerset Sisters by Lesley M.M.Blume.My opionon of this book is that anyone could read it and enjoy it as much as I did.My reaction to this book is that from the moment I picked the book up and started reading I couldn't put it down.This book is the most interesting book I have ever read.The plot of this is that an eleven year old girl named C...more
Amy
Nov 11, 2010 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: Cassidy
What a sweet, heartwarming book! "Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters" will definitely be remembered.

I felt like i was reading at least two stories at once when i was reading this book, because you get to read Cornelia's story, and the adventures of the Somerset Sisters. I really got attached to the Somerset sisters. They were gutsy and pretty darn fearless,and i loved reading about the adventures they had. Gladys' was very funny, and it was absolutely hilarious the tro...more
Cleo
Though a fairly easy book with a long title, I love Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters. Set in New York, it's about eleven-year-old Cornelia, who is the daughter of two famous pianists. But she is really lonely, because Lucy, her mother is always away, and she's never met her father. But then the writer Virginia Somerset moves into the apartment next door with her Indian servant Patel and a French bulldog called Mister Kinyatta. Virginia befriends Cornelia and tells her...more
Donald
This is an okay young reader's book about a young girl who retreats into the world of long and complicated words to keep people at arms' length to deal with the seemingly strained relationship with her mother, a famous pianist, who always seems to overshadow Cornelia. Cornelia meets Virginia Somerset, an older lady, and the two embark on a friendship in which Virginia tells Cornelia the stories of her and her three sisters as they travelled around the world, gradually drawing Cornelia out of her...more
Charlotte Day
I decided to read this book because of the darling little French bulldog on the cover page. The main character of this story, Cornelia is a very lonesome and shy girl. One day she meets an old woman named Virginia. Virginia tells Cornelia many stories about here adventures with her sisters. In the many months Cornelia spends with Virginia, she becomes more social and her personality brightens. The quote," the object in question appeared to be a small black french bulldog, who was very crafty and...more
Pat Salvatini
Cornelia Street Englehart is the lonely eleven-year-old daughter of a famous pianist. Her mother travels often so Cornelia is left to the care of her housekeeper. She has no friends as most people just want to talk about her mother. To protect herself, Cornelia uses her love of words to befuddle those around her. To her delight the fascinating Virginia Somerset moves in next door. Cornelia is drawn to Virginia’s exotic apartment and cherishes their developing friendship. Virginia not only loves...more
Jackie
Cornelia S. Englehart is eleven years old, but probably around 40 years in maturity and intelligence. She lives with her mother, who is a world famous pianist. Her mother constantly travels the globe to perform in concerts, making Cornelia a very lonely little girl. Cornelia has a love-hate relationship with her guardian, Madame Desjardins. Cornelia does her best to confuse and rattle Madame Desjardins with her eloquent and ever-expanding vocabulary. Above all else, Cornelia loves words! She lov...more
Broche
May 26, 2008 Broche rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: read-aloud to age 6 and up
What a surprisingly fabulous read! I picked up this book off the returns cart at my store and mainly read it based on the fascinating title and the cover art (which is actually different than the jacket goodreads has). I was pleasantly surprised to find that the content reflected both the title and the art! This books is reminiscent of A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, but shorter, updated, and the storyline is a little different. Cornelia is the only child of two famous pianist pare...more
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Lesley M. M. Blume is an author, columnist and journalist. She did her undergraduate work at WIlliams College and Oxford University, and took her graduate degree in history from Cambridge University.
She now regularly contributes to Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal and Departures magazine.
More about Lesley M.M. Blume...
Let's Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious, and Otherwise Commendable Things from Times Gone By Tennyson The Rising Star of Rusty Nail Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties: A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition: A Collection of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful Words, Phrases, Praises, Insults, Idioms, and Literary Flourishes from Eras Past

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“Too many people realize at the end of their lives that they've taken for granted those who really love them. ” 77 likes
“Are you watching the boats?" Cornelia guessed. She craned her neck to see if there was any excitement on the river.
Heavens no, I'm spying on people," Virginia responded unrepentantly.
-Cornelia E and Virginia Somerset”
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