Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Children's Crusade by Ann Packer...

How I Heard About It:   This is one of those novels that I bought awhile back and it sat by my bedside for quite some time.  I started it at the beginning of the summer and brought it with me on my family cruise that we took at the end of July.  It was the first book I finished while on vacation.  

What It Is About:  The year is 1954 and Bill Blair finds a piece of land just outside of San Francisco.  He envisions himself living here with his "future" family.  After marrying Penny, they begin the family that he always wanted.  Bill and Penny have four children.  Bill is an active and involved father, but the same thing can't be said for Penny as a mother.  She doesn't connect with the four children, but instead finds her satisfaction in the world of art and creating.  Three of the four children grow up to be successful both in their careers and their personal lives.  The youngest of the children always had "issues" growing up and doesn't quite measure up to the other three children as an adult.  When he returns to the family home he throws everyone a curve ball when he announces he wants to sell the family home in order to get his share of the family money.  The story goes back and forth between when the children are young and living with their parents to the present day when they are grown and dealing with the issue of whether to sell the home or not.  

What I Thought Of It:  The story began a bit slow for my taste, but once I was a few chapters into it, I found my reading groove.  I enjoyed the story of the Blair family and the relationships they had with each other.  The story would alternate between the early years when they all lived together in the family home, to the later years when each sibling would tell their adult part of the story.  This technique worked really well and kept me interested in the plot.  The story was different in that the father was the involved and loving parent while the mother was distant and cold.  Normally in novels, it is the other way around.  All and all a very satisfying read.

Who Should Read It:   If you have read Ann Packer's other novels, then I'm sure you will enjoy this story.  She is a great writer and tells thoughtful and meaningful stories.  Adult readers of fiction would also be a great audience of this particular book.  Happy Reading!

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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