Arminzerella's Reviews > Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters

Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume
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's review
Dec 21, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: juvenile-fiction, realistic, 2009-caudill-nominees, borrowed-from-the-library
Read in October, 2008

** spoiler alert ** Cornelia is the child of two very famous pianists, now divorced. Her mother is always away, performing in exotic locales, and Cornelia’s never met her father. She’s a very solitary, lonely, bookish girl. Then, one day, Cornelia meets Virginia Somerset, an older woman who has just moved into her apartment building. Virginia is a talented storyteller, writer, and eccentric who becomes Cornelia’s best friend. She regales Cornelia with tales of her and her sisters, telling her about all of the places they lived and all of the adventures they had together. Cornelia really cherishes her relationship with Virginia, and Virginia is very taken with Cornelia as well – she writes about her! Their friendship enables Cornelia to reach out to other people, including girls her own age and her somewhat distant mother.

This was one of those nice books (and I mean that in the best way!) - there’s nothing terribly bad or objectionable content-wise. The “escapades” of the Somerset sisters are on par with the escapades of The Penderwicks, or the escapades of the children in From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It’s good, wholesome fun. I quite enjoyed hearing about the Somersets – I was hoping they really existed (independently outside of Lesley Blume’s story). Alas, they are fictional. I was heartbroken when Virginia died and when her friend and companion, Patel, settled her affairs and then chose to move back to India. And the destruction of her whimsically designed apartment was also hard to bear. I found myself wishing these places and people were real, so that I could find out more about them.
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