Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Scones and Sensibility

Scones and Sensibility

Lindsay Eland
For ages 9 to 12
Egmont USA, 2009   ISBN: 978-1606840252

Polly is a twelve-year-old girl living in the twenty-first century who feels very strongly that she belongs in the worlds created by Jane Austen and Lucy Maude Montgomery. How much nicer it would be to Elizabeth Bennet or Anne Shirley instead of Polly Madassa. Not being the kind of girl to let a few hundred years get in her way, Polly does her best to live in a manner that she thinks befits a “delicate lady of quality.” She talks and dresses in an old-fashioned way, and she resists using modern conveniences including electric lights and computers. In short, she grasps “on to the skirts of those elegant women before me” and she becomes “at once a young lady of impeccable breeding, diction, and manner.”

Wishing the world was a more genteel and romantic place, Polly decides that it is up to her to make things better. Surely she is the best person in the world to bring romance into the lives of her family members, friends, and neighbors. So Polly sets about trying to find a new boyfriend for her sister (the current one is too uncouth), a new wife for her best friend’s father (his last one ran away), a husband for her neighbor, and a wife for her older friend.

Polly is sure that she, being the sensitive romantic type, knows exactly what everyone needs. Unfortunately, she does not realize that what she thinks is right might not necessarily work for the people whose lives she is trying to romanticize.

Readers who have a soft spot for happy endings are sure to find themselves growing very fond of Polly with her funny ways and her quaint way of expressing herself. They should however prepare themselves for several disasters, for everyone knows that matters of the heart are complicated. At least everyone, other than Polly, knows this.