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A Joyful Noise

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  47 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
A stylish and witty recounting of childhood summers in New England in the 1920s, by one of five children in a loving family -- which seemed to possess the wicked knack of enjoying, and exploiting, one another's landmark idiosyncracies. There was grandmother Baba, erect and small, bellowing messages from porch to boathouse via a megaphone; Mother and siblings, at work on Fa ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 28th 1999 by Partners Village Press (first published 1971)
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This book was given to me as a gift, which for this story I think is very fitting. The author, Janet Gillespie, writes about her childhood summers as the gift they were. She spent those few months with her sometimes serious, mostly funny and endearing family in their summer home in Westport, MA. Gillespie writes about the inevitability of growing up, and rediscovering things that you used to cherish as a child. She writes about relationships with family, the importance and the idiocy of traditio ...more
Leah Beecher
Nov 13, 2012 Leah Beecher rated it really liked it
Two chapters in and I am laughing so hard and keep sharing exerts with my husband. The type of memoir I love~ October
Well I did not technically finish this one...but most of it.
That is because the chapters read like little anecdotes of the author's life while at their Summer house in Maine,after WW1. So I skipped around.
I read most of it though.
I really, really enjoyed it. I found it interesting i
Carolyn Agosta
Feb 26, 2011 Carolyn Agosta rated it really liked it
Just finished this book, loaned to me by my sister who probably found it in a used book store. It's a delight. A look back at a different time, and a lovely family full of close and funny relationships. It made me think of both Erma Bombeck and the book Cheaper by the Dozen. By the way, Synton House, where Baba lived, still exists and is available as a summer rental. You can find it online. The book can be ordered online from Amazon as a used book, as can some of Janet Gillespie's other books. h ...more
Aug 30, 2008 Richard rated it really liked it
A first person account of life in the 1920’s as Janet is about 11-14 years old. The family lives in Holyoke MA, but take every summer vacation at their summer home compound on the shores of Massachusetts. Three months long every summer. This book is a gentle account of the experiences seen through the eyes of an 11 year old girl. Gillespie is the same age as Winnie Young so I enjoyed looking at life from her eyes concerning the customs and hardships of the times. There are some delightful accoun ...more
Sian Li
Apr 28, 2015 Sian Li rated it liked it
Very interesting new format
Emily Jones
Feb 27, 2010 Emily Jones rated it really liked it
How beautiful! It was super sugar sweet, but in the best way. Not cloying, the families & authors sense of humor gave it the right feel & kept if from feeling too over sentimental.. but right away I loved Mum & Pop & Baba & of course dear Jan & just everyone! This book truly brightened my dreary cold February bus rides with so many thoughts of warm summer & being outside taking it all in. It makes me so sad it's out of print, so if you ever come across a copy definite ...more
Mar 16, 2010 Kristen rated it it was ok
A memoir about summers in 1920 on at a beach home in New England. Some parts were laugh out loud funny. Some were just so slow. I finally just returned it to the library without finishing it.
Jul 23, 2010 Angie rated it liked it
Ok, I am loving this so far! I have a smile on my face the whole time I'm reading.

So.. I never did finish this. It just got so slow... but some parts really cracked me up.
Cori Cover
Dec 27, 2007 Cori Cover rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
An amazing book, but hard to find since it's out of print. It made me think a lot about family life and childraising...also a beautiful story about discovery.
Leslie Cremeens
Feb 09, 2011 Leslie Cremeens rated it it was amazing
I love the way Mrs. Gillespie writes, her family is wonderful, funny, weird and truly joyful as are her stories about them!
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