Book Review: Skylark

Skylark
Sarah, Plain and Tall
#2

by Patricia MacLachlan

My rating: 5 / 5
Genre: Children’s historical classic

While Sarah settles into her new home, the looming drought makes her miss her home in Maine more and more. The children, especially little Caleb, worry that this means Sarah won’t be happy with them. The drought eventually poses enough danger, not just due to lack of water, but also due to fire outbreaks and thirsty coyotes, that Jacob sends his new wife and 2 children to Sarah’s family in Maine while he stays to try to take care of the land.

After how much we both enjoyed the first book and subsequent movie-watching, my daughter and I both listened to the audiobook for the 2nd installment in the series, since it was narrated by Glenn Close, who played Sarah in the movies. I liked the second book as much as the first—it’s sweet and emotional, and I’m surprised how attached I can get to characters in such a short story. The author’s style of short, simple sentences makes the reading even quicker, but I never felt like it was lacking.

Caleb remains an incredibly curious and insightful little kid, as shown through the POV of his big sister. And I loved the juxtaposition of the Midwest and New England area, seen a little through Sarah’s explanations in the first book, but shown more fully in this one. My daughter (age 11) and I really enjoyed listening to this book and look forward to watching the movie.

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If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!

Book Review: Sarah, Plain and Tall

Sarah, Plain and Tall
Book #1
by Patricia MacLachlan

My rating: 5 / 5
Genre: Children’s historical classic

Anna and Caleb have had no mother for 6 years, as theirs died the day after Caleb was born. When their father decides to place an advertisement for a wife and mother, Sarah Wheaton answers it, coming from her home in Maine to visit the Whittings in Kansas to see if they’re a good fit.

I remember watching the movies with Christopher Walken and Glen Close when I was younger and liking them. I was surprised to see how short the book is, and I wondered how much depth it could really have. When my daughter read it recently and pushed me to read it too, so we could then watch the movie together, I was really glad I did. For being so short, it’s very charming and sweet. Because it’s so short, there is little in the way of character development, but I still felt like I got a good enough feel for them.

As the kids grew more and more attached to Sarah, Anna worried that she wouldn’t stay, and Caleb kept looking for clues that she would. I loved how he’d say things like, “Sarah said ‘later.’ That means she’ll stay.” The worry about her missing the sea too much to stay, and the culmination of that along with Caleb hoping she’d bring the sea with her from Maine, made for a great ending to the book. I loved it and look forward to reading the next book.

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If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!