Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Return to Gone-Away (Gone-Away Lake, #2)” as Want to Read:
Return to Gone-Away (Gone-Away Lake, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Return to Gone-Away

(Gone-Away Lake #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,532 ratings  ·  181 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)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Return to Gone-Away, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Return to Gone-Away

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,532 ratings  ·  181 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Return to Gone-Away (Gone-Away Lake, #2)
Although Elizabeth Enright's sequel to her Newbery Honour winning Gone-Away Lake does indeed recapture some of the charm of the former (and also features the same set of characters), the entire premise of Portia and Foster's parents purchasing and then renovating the decrepit, dilapidated Villa Caprice and discovering and exploring its many nooks, crannies and wealth of strange but at times also very expensive objects and furnishings (and finally, at the end of Return to Gone-Away, finding Mrs. ...more
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
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! ...more
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After finishing Gone-Away Lake, I was so excited to discover that there is a second book!! I immediately checked out the audio version of Return to Gone-Away because I was eager to find out what happened next!

Portia and her little brother Foster are so excited when their parents purchase an old house they found while on summer adventures with their cousin, Julian. The house, located near an abandoned former lake resort, is filled with treasures from a by-gone era (and lots of dust and cobwebs).
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! ...more
Rebekah Morris
This book picks up several months after “Gone-Away Lake” ends, and it’s just as delightful as the first.
Reading this book made me want to buy an old forgotten house filled with who knows what, and explore it, remake it, and live in it. Once again the characters are unique and fun, There is more about the house than Gone-Away, but that was okay. Uncle Pin and Aunt Minnehaha were still in the story, still ready to tell tales of long ago, and still up for fun.
Julian had me grinning with his plan fo
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
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. :) ...more
5+ stars & 7/10 hearts. You know those books that end and you're left going "AWWWWW..."? Yeah. This is one of those. From the first page to the last page it is just so quaint and lovely! Enright has a marvellous talent for describing or saying how you feel in certain situations or certain seasons. There are a handful or two of euphemisms, also a couple recurring mentions of ghosts (nobody really believes in them though) and a scene where Lucy and Portia read a book by a fortune-teller and discus ...more
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!
We loved this as a read aloud!
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. ...more
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
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Though a charming continuation of the first book, this one did not contain as much Aunt Minnie and Uncle Pinn, both of whom I dearly esteemed in the first. I did enjoy the adventures and excitement of opening up and discovering what lay inside the magnificent Villa Caprese; the closed off attics, the secret dumbwaiter, and the continuous search for the hidden safe. Portia, Julian and Foster were able to further their explorations and find additional delights all around them at Gone-Away Lake.
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.
Emily (emilyreadsbooks)
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Return To Gone Away Lake has everything I loved about its predecessor plus the charm of a before-and-after house transformation. If you’re looking for a classically great middle grade read, don’t miss this two-book series.
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Enright is a timeless author, in my opinion. She has written stories that I would have enjoyed as a child, still enjoy now, will read multiple times with my kids, and hope to pass on to others for generations. Her wholesome nature of writing kept me engaged, and I know my kids will love both of the Gone Away books.
Such a fun read out loud for the family! Not quite as good as the first book, but still so dear and fun. My only complaint was that there were so many mentions of different children being chubby or fat. Very strange as that didn’t happen in the first book. I skipped almost all of these mentions while reading the book out loud.
Valerie Kyriosity
Went ahead and listened to the sequel. Again, fun, but not superspecial.
Luisa Knight
Absolutely loved it! Just as good as the first book and definitely a great choice for a family read-aloud. Parents and kiddos alike will laugh at the wonderful characters Enright has created!


Children's Bad Words
Mild Obscenities & Substitutions - 15 Incidents: Heck, stupid, Holy crow, for Pete's sake, I don't give a hang, pooh (Great Scott, By Jupiter, by Jove, thank fortune-used several times throughout the book).
Religious Profanities - 16 Incidents: The Lord knows, heavens, good hea
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

Return to Gone-Away is Elizabeth Enright’s sequel to her 1958 Newbery Honor Book, Gone-Away Lake. The second book follows the adventures of Portia and her family as they work to restore an abandoned house at Gone-Away Lake so they can spend the summers there. As they uncover the treasures and skeletons hidden in the closets of their new home, Portia and Foster spend time with their cousin Julian and their elderly friends, Uncle Pindar and Aun
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
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Return to Gone-Away" by Elizabeth Enright was published in 1961, a follow-up to Enright's Newbery Honor Book, "Gone-Away Lake." This is a selection for "classics" month for Chapter and Verse Book Club.

I read the book with three lenses in mind - myself as a child in the early 1960's, myself as an adult, and today's child audience. I spent the first three of my elementary years in a school that had no library. We were too poor to purchase books. And, despite the fact that both of my parents were
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.
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: #75 - Return to Gone-Away 1 2 May 04, 2015 03:09PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Vanderbeekers Lost and Found (The Vanderbeekers, #4)
  • Socks
  • Homer Price
  • The Unmapped Sea (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, #5)
  • Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932 (Dear America)
  • The Magic City
  • The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb - a Hercule Poirot Short Story (Hercule Poirot)
  • The Moffats (The Moffats, #1)
  • Mystery in Arizona (Trixie Belden, #6)
  • Skylark (Sarah, Plain and Tall #2)
  • Detectives in Togas
  • The Mysterious Visitor (Trixie Belden, #4)
  • The Unseen Guest (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, #3)
  • The Secret of the Mansion (Trixie Belden, #1)
  • Rufus M. (The Moffats, #3)
  • The Knight and the Dragon
  • The Toothpaste Millionaire
  • Baby Island
See similar books…
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

News & Interviews

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
46 likes · 11 comments
“No matter how old a person gets, he's never old in spring!” 4 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.” 1 likes
More quotes…