Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My One Hundred Adventures

My One Hundred Adventures; Polly Horvath; New York: Schwartz & Wade, 2008. 260pp. Fiction.

Polly Horvath's new book is neck and neck with Trolls as her best book ever. Jane Fielding lives with her poet mother, brothers and sister, year round somewhere on the New England coast. For most of her life the sea, nature, and her family have been enough for her, but now she wants adventures. She decides to have 100 of them, and makes a good start in this book when her experiences range from trying to figure out if the Coat Hanger Man is her real father, to dropping Bibles out of a hot-air balloon, to being blackmailed into tending the horrible little Gourd children. She goes to church with her family, helps her mother make her remarkable berry jams, prays for Mrs. Park's health but forgets Mrs. Naster's, and feels guilty when Mrs. Naster has cancer and Mrs. Park gets well. As always, Horvath's text is laugh-aloud funny, but My One Hundred Adventures is also a warm and tender tale of growing up in a beautiful place with interesting (not to say crackpot) neighbors.

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