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Return to Gone-Away

(Gone-Away Lake #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  2,216 ratings  ·  141 reviews
A wish come true. That's what Portia thinks when her parents buy Villa Caprice, a tumbledown Victorian house along the swampy edge of Gone-Away Lake. A new house is always full of surprises, but Porcia is completely unprepared for the extraordinary things that happen when her family moves into a new old house.

Empty for half a century, ugly as a horned toad, Villa Caprice i
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published February 28th 2000 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1961)
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Julie  Durnell
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Oh the innocence of that time and place! The Gone-Away Lake books are so enchanting! I can feel the children's excitement exploring the lake and bog areas and the "treasure" filled attic on rainy days; the mother's joy in cleaning and renovating an old abandoned house. A wonderful light and easy read, take joy!
Jan 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The perfect read-aloud to close out the summer for my 6- and 9-year-olds. Portia and Foster return to Gone-Away Lake, this time to live in the abandoned mansion their parents have bought. Lots of discovering and fixing up are done and a few adventures are had. Favorite moments: the swimming hole, the safe, the dumbwaiter.
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!
Mariah Mead
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, but I must say I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one. BUT! It as fantastically written and I loved the descriptions in every chapter.
Heidi Hertzog
I just love Elizabeth Enright's books. All of them, but the Gone-Away books have always been some of my favorites. Well, honestly, it's hard to pick a favorite when it comes to Elizabeth Enright. I'm just sorry that these books are all but forgotten on library shelves because they are "old-fashioned". So much childhood fantasy of summer adventures and discovering hidden rooms, and houses, and people and safes and attics full of treasures. Elizabeth Enright must have been my kind of person. :)
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Jody Phillips
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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!
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Carol Arnold
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I think I enjoyed this book even more than the first in the series. Elizabeth Enright has such a way with words. The adventures of Portia and her cousin Julian continue as Portia and her family return to Gone-Away Lake for the second summer. They excitedly explore the old house that they found the previous summer looking for treasure. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves stories of children being children in an age when they were free to roam the countryside without fear. It is a chil ...more
Will White
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Return is as good if not better than the first. The kids are just as real and interesting. The story was more fast paced but not as deep. We listened to the audio version with the kids on a road trip, and they would move to Gone Away lake tomorrow if we could. They would get downright mad when we had to pause the audio. I recommend it for long trips or out-loud reading with kids.
Heidi Burkhart
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love this sequel! The two “Gone Away” books have so many elements that make wonderful childhood memories in reading.
Wayne Walker
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, realistic
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
Sienna North
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
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
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
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.
Holly Ollivander
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reading this and its companion volume Gone-Away Lake many decades after I first read them as a child it is astonishing to recall how young people at one time made their own adventures and how accepted it was to let children run free. This is a thoroughly wonderful story of how summers used to be and may never be again.
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another delightful, near idyllic childhood idyll from this author! If couldn't live a perfect adventure as a kid, these books are the next, best thing. Solid writing, interesting realistic characters, abandoned summer town with big old tumble down houses for a setting, family and friends to help fix one up--such fun.
Stephanie A.
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The first book was already perfection. How could it possibly get better? Oh, I know: their parents could buy one of the abandoned old Victorian homes full of enviable antique left-behind items, and then they could fix it up and move there.

Both of these books are basically my dream life.
We loved this as a read aloud!
Makes me nostalgic for what childhood used to be...
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the favorite books from my childhood. This is at least the third time I've read it.

I love how, when reading this book, you remain in the present but you are also in the best part of the turn-of-the 19th-century past: the Victorian excess in houses, clothes and furniture. I also long for East Coast summer weather when I read this, living surrounded by lush, dew-dripping grass and trees and bushes.

What a charming voice Enright has, occasionally slipping in an out of talking to the reader
L.H. Johnson
It's always a little difficult coming to a series 'second book in as it were' as you do tend to miss a lot of what's gone on. It took me a while to figure out who was who, and what was what, and then I simply gave up and enjoyed the wild richness of Enright's writing. This is a summer like no other, as all the best children's books are, and full of some absolutely beautiful moments. I have to say I struggled with some of this as it's not the quickest, nor most 'open' of books, but it is rather u ...more
May 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"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
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
*4.25 stars.
"'Your joy is too athletic; it jars my bones'" (1).
"Everything in the house, except for the velvet shawls of dust..." (4).
"Indoors, a fire was snapping..." (9).
"When Portia kissed Mr. Payton, it was like kissing a basket because of his beard" (13).
"...lay now in a great heap of rubble, all scrawled over with a withered vine" (15).
"Davey came to the back steps wearing his own face. The rubber mask dangled under his chin like a hideous bib" (27).
"...supported by pillars set with cobble
Oh, what a delightful little book! I so enjoyed the first book, Gone-Away Lake, but I loved Return to Gone-Away perhaps even more. Enright charms with her return to a simpler time, when boys and girls could roam the countryside and explore nature, develop healthy relationships with elderly neighbors, and learn a bit about history.

Gone-Away Lake ended with Mr. and Mrs. Blake telling their two children, Portia and Foster, that they have purchased Villa Caprice--an abandoned lakeside mansion from
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
A perfect sequel to Gone-Away Lake.

In Return to Gone-Away, Portia, Foster, and their parents have purchased one of the old houses at Gone-Away to use as a summer house. All of the characters from Gone-Away Lake are here, including the aforementioned Portia and Foster, as well as cousin Julian, Mrs. Cheever, Mr. Payton, and others. In this book, the characters spend much of their time fixing up and exploring the old homes at Gone-Away.

The book maintains the tone of the original and is a very ligh
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I finished this summer read with just a shred of summer left (technically speaking, the foreseeable weather forecast in my neck of the woods is still showing temps in the 80s & 90s!)

Excellent writing and an excellent audio narration. Someday I'd like to go back and listen to the audio of the first book as well. As with the first book, Enright again captures a bit of the magic of childhood adventures. I think the book shows its age though in how it stereotypes Native American and Chinese peop
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Who said that books need conflict to be good or a fun read. This is definitely a book that hearkens back to the 50s and early 60s of good, clean children's fun. After watching or hearing the news this is a nice antidote. Though, it can be a good read for any age group.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #75 - Return to Gone-Away 1 1 May 04, 2015 03:09PM  
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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

Other books in the series

Gone-Away Lake (2 books)
  • Gone-Away Lake (Gone-Away Lake, #1)
“No matter how old a person gets, he's never old in spring!” 2 likes
“Gradually people began to speak of the place as Amberside, though there were a few diehards who never stopped calling it Villa Caprice, or, as in the case of Eli Scaynes, the Villa Cay-priss. But Julian and Joe and Tom and Lucy and Davey never called it anything but "the Blake's house"; and Portia and Foster never called it anything but "home." All their lives they knew that one of the best things that ever happened to them was to be able to call it that.” 0 likes
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