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Return to Gone-Away (Gone-Away Lake #2)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  1,310 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Summer has a magic all its own in Elizabeth Enright's beloved stories about two children and their discovery of a ghostly lakeside resort. These two modern classics are once again available in Odyssey/Harcourt Young Classic editions, but now with handsome new cover art by Mary GrandPré to complement Beth and Joe Krush's original interior illustrations.
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published February 28th 2000 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1961)
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Emily of New Moon by L.M. MontgomeryGone-Away Lake by Elizabeth EnrightThe Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan AikenBallet Shoes by Noel StreatfeildA Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
Forgotten Kids Books of Quality
17th out of 319 books — 128 voters
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Best Kids Books Ever
181st out of 673 books — 411 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,903)
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Gosh, for a big fancy legal professional, I have sure read a lot of children’s books lately, hmmm? Darn you Powells! I go out and buy these books to collect and then I end up putting all my serious grown-up reading aside until I am thoroughly soaked in nostalgia.

Anyway, this is by the same author as Spiderweb for Two, but seems to be set in the ‘50’s rather than the ‘40’s. It is a sequel to a book called Gone-Away Lake which tells the story of some children who come across a collection of abando
OH. I liked this more than the first one. I don't even know why, really. I supposed I liked the established setting and character. The house was great and it did such a good job of showing childhood friendships and the sibling/cousin relationships!
I think I like Return to Gone-Away even more than Gone-Away Lake. If I had to credit my love for old houses and exploring them to any one thing, it would probably be this book. This book fulfills my itch to go to an old house and explore it, redecorate it, go to the attic and explore the chests, search for secret passages and drawers, find lost and forgotten relics of the past…

Both Gone-Away and Return to Gone-Away have a great exploration and adventure feel to them. Enright has a way of writing
Wayne S.
In the 1958 Newbery Honor book Gone-Away Lake, author Elizabeth Enright (1909-1968), who already had a Newbery Medal for her 1938 Thimble Summer, tells the story of ten-year-old Portia Blake and her six-year-old brother Foster of New York City who go to spend their summer vacation with their Uncle Jake, Aunt Hilda, and cousin Julian Jarman in the country, where they discover an abandoned Victorian resort community next to a bog that that used to be called Tarrigo Lake, but is now known as Gone-A ...more
BEWARE of spoilers. One man's bookflap summary is another man's spoiler.

Picked up a used copy of this book, which I hadn't read since childhood. This and the original "Gone-Away Lake" were favorites.

I'm still eager to read the first book -- with fingers crossed that it still appeals to my adult sensibility - I but have to say the sequel is pretty formulaic. It's a treasure story that turns out exactly as the reader is likely to predict from the beginning.

The author's writing is spritely. Her obs
"Sometimes a story can open a world for you: you step into it and forget the real one that you live in."

Return to Gone-Away, P. 118

Savor this book, I urge you, because there aren't many like it. For a Newbery Medalist, Elizabeth Enright has always had an unconventional writing style. The highlights of her books are often lengthy reminiscences by the characters, particularly older characters like Uncle Pindar and Aunt Minnehaha in Gone-Away Lake (a 1958 Newbery Honoree) and Return to Gone-Awa
Sienna North
I loved the Gone-Away Lake books, and I think I liked this second book even more than the first. This time, the children's parents were all involved, and I could feel their frustration and delight as they struggled to make a home out of the ramshackle and forbidding ruin of Villa Caprice.

There are so many elements that I love in this book: the lazy summer days, the exciting treasures to be found in the Villa, the hard work that the children didn't complain about, the idea of finding such a perf
Jody Phillips
My favorite line in the whole book: "He closed the door and tiptoed to the kitchen; he decided to have a little practice breakfast before his real breakfast."
This from a little boy--and it so perfectly described what I have seen of little boys!
Alexa SOF2014
This charming modern classic is a sequel to Elizabeth Enright's "Gone Away Lake". At the end of that book in the 1950's, Julian finds one of the abandoned houses that was set away from the old lake and shut up tightly - the Villa Caprice. Portia and Julian, her cousin, show it to their parents. The adults decide to buy the old house from the governmnent and rebuild it over the summer. Portia is a tomboy and Julian is determined to be a scientist. Portia and Julian discover this house is ugly, fu ...more
Sheryl Tribble
Enright's an excellent writer, but the plots of the Gone-Away books are too neat for me. When we see the characters work hard, it's the kind of work they enjoy. There's mention of offstage jobs or responsibilities that are less pleasurable, but we never go there with the characters. We know they sometimes fight, but that's offstage as well. In the Melendy books, some of the best times are treasured because the characters know they're rare; in the Gone-Away books, an adult points out to a child t ...more
What child has not wanted to discover a lost place and create a special hidden retreat known only to herself and maybe a few friends? These are the continuing adventures of Portia and her family who are reclaiming an abandoned house in an old summer colony of houses. The house contains many secrets which will be discovered, along with the natural world waiting outside the door. Great book! possibly better than the first in the series, giving an idyllic feel of what childhood summer used to be.
Jenn Estepp
sort of like the first book was an idealized summer adventure i would've liked to have had as a kid, the sequel was sort of an idealized adventure i would like to have now. sure, the children were there and doing their kid thing, but mostly i kept thinking, "um, please can this all happen to me? i would very much like to purchase a shambling house in the middle of practically nowhere for a tiny song and discover that it is filled with antiques and curiosities and treasures that i will discover, ...more
I loved this book all over again. I found that reading it with the internet close at hand was a boon, too. F'rinstance:

"The air rang with the energetic, joyful clamor of the birds. Only one, whose song came sweetly through the others, sounded meditative and solitary: three minor notes ascending...
'What's that bird, Jule? That sort of sad one?'
Julian listened. 'White-throated sparrow,' he told her."

And I found that it does sound exactly as described:
White-throated Sparrow.

There is also this, whic
Aug 06, 2011 Leah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
Shelves: fiction, rereading, ya
Again, I cannot describe how happy this book makes me. I happily sink back into the world of Gone-Away Lake, content not to leave it until the book ends, and even then I do so reluctantly.
In this sequel, the story continues its everyday magic by describing the Blake family's battle to reestablish livable conditions in the run-down mansion they've purchased. As always, Elizabeth Enright knows when to add a detail, and when to offer insight into a child's mind. My only fault with this book is that
This sequel to Gone-Away Lake is every bit as good as the original. It's set in the 50's, the year after the first in the series. Portia's family has purchased the long-abandoned home of the inimitable Mrs. Brace-Gideon, and the adults and children spend a happy summer cleaning, restoring, visiting with Uncle Pin and Aunt Min, and treasure-hunting - with plenty of minor adventures on the way. Gentle, imaginative, and fun to read: the sort of book where I found myself reading selected pithy passa ...more
2014 Balm. Hilarity and balm, that's what this book is. Plus the stellar writing. And the white-throated sparrow.

2013 "Sometimes a story can open a world for you: you step into it and forget the real one you live in."

I love these books. Not least because these two books were in the vanishingly small number of books that my son would deign to read. Not least because Enright understood boys right down to the bone. Not least because of the botanizing. Certainly because of the quality of the prose,
William Robinson
Return to Gone-Away is a return to Portia and Julian, Aunt Minnie and Uncle Pindar. And a return to that gone-away era, the memory of time that is our childhood.
Jan 26, 2015 Alison rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Elementary
Recommended to Alison by: Marion Shea
This is a sweet adventure experienced by some youngsters. Very wholesome and interspersed with scientific information concerning the nature around them. Believable and fun! Great for 4th and 5th graders!
All the essences of an ideal childhood summer distilled in one book.
Sigh. Wendy might have to check my bag to make sure I don't "accidentally" take this book with me.

How I wish I was reading this last year, when I was remodeling my own neglected house. Tragically, we didn't discover any treasures to fund the restoration. The ultimate house fantasy book, and full of everything that makes Enright one of my new favorites.

One of my favorite lines:
"I like to see neglected houses getting fixed," Portia said. "Of course, I know houses can't possibly think but sometimes
Good second book; maybe better than first.
Michelle D.
Another good one going back to Gone-Away.
Mazzou B
Nice. For younger (8-13) readers.
Gone-away lake was excellent, a great story. Return to Gone-Away was way better, but they both deserved a five. This one was just fantastic, amazing, the best book written be her.
Siblings Portia and Foster buy a new old house, back where their cousin Julian and friends Aunt Minniehaha and Uncle
live. While fixing up the ancient house where they think they will spend only their summers, they have a fantastic time finding frogs, exploring, and being in the Philosophers Club- Portia and Julian at
This book was so fun! I liked it better than the first one. For some reason the concept of fixing up an old home laden with antiques and surprises really appeals to me.

There was one line in the book that left me wondering if Mrs. Cheever made up some of the stories she tells. Hmm. I don't know.

I love Enright's writing style—her characterization, humor, quirky situations, and the authentic dialogue. I look forward to reading more of her books.
Apr 14, 2008 Lorna added it
Enright makes the 1890s sound so idyllic. But in "Return," there's just a hint that life was not roses for everyone in society. Late in the book, the family discovers a half-dozen small rooms, cells, really. Mrs. Cheever says "Oh, those were the servants' quarters." "These horrid little rooms?" says Portia. "Why, they're like the rooms in a jail!" What's not mentioned is that the people who lived in those rooms were actually doing quite well for themselves, as opposed to factory work, for instan ...more
Makes me nostalgic for what childhood used to be...
I missed this sequel to Gone-Away Lake as a child. It certainly doesn't lose anything from being read decades later. I think what draws me in is the excitement of exploration and discovery, the relationships and simply just being set in a simpler time. I love the way the children make their own fun, enjoy being outside and just playing. Although I never had any old houses to explore, there were things that I could identify with from my own childhood.
The sequel to "Gone-Away Lake" is another childhood favorite of mine.
It is quite a joy to find books you missed in your childhood and then get to experince them as an adult, when you can appreciate them even more. I think Enright is a really talented writer.

118: Sometimes a story can open a world for you: you step into it and forget the real one that you live in.

Husbands across the world heed this advice on page 158: You really never get finished with a house.
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Elizabeth Enright (1907-1968) was born in Oak Park, Illinois, but spent most of her life in or near New York City. Her mother was a magazine illustrator, while her father was a political cartoonist. Illustration was Enright's original career choice and she studied art in Greenwich, Connecticut; Paris, France; and New York City. After creating her first book in 1935, she developed a taste, and quic ...more
More about Elizabeth Enright...

Other Books in the Series

Gone-Away Lake (2 books)
  • Gone-Away Lake (Gone-Away Lake, #1)
The Saturdays (The Melendy Family, #1) Gone-Away Lake (Gone-Away Lake, #1) Thimble Summer Then There Were Five (The Melendy Family, #3) The Four-Story Mistake (The Melendy Family, #2)

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