Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Reading For The Fun Of It

Kirkus Reviews wrote about THE MISADVENTURES OF MAUDE MARCH, "What a pleasure to read something just for the sheer fun of the storytelling."

So what made Maude March fun? First of all, it's the way the author handles tragedy. Maude and Sally are orphaned when their aunt is hit by a stray bullet. The way out of their predicament seems to be for Maude to marry an old coot old enough to be her grandpa. But Maude is having none of it. Little sister Sally tells us, "I was sorry to have to be the one to say it, but Maude didn't have all that many charms. Not the kind men are said to go for." What follows is a hilarious description of stick thin Maude.

Author Audrey Couloumbis also makes effective use of potty humor. The girls run away with Sally riding Goldie the pooting pony. "'That horse has a digestive problem,' Maude said, showing some delicacy."

And then adventure kicks in. Through no fault of their own, the girls take up with an outlaw, stumble into a bank robbery, and are involved in a shootout. All the while, Sallie who is a fan of western adventure novels called "dimers" remembers some tidbit from the books to save them from disaster.

Then the newspapers get hold of the story about Maude March, and reporters embellish the truth until Maude is almost as famous as Jesse James. The newspaper stories are laugh out loud funny because they are gross exaggerations of what really happened.

Sally said of her sister Maude, "She does grow on you." And Sally is right. I enjoyed Maude March, and plan to read the sequel.

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