Lesley M.M. Blume is fast becoming one of my new favorite authors. Her books are all so different, but all amazing. I was excited to have Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters on my reading pile for the 48 Hour Book Challenge because I knew I just had to read it. I was not disappointed and it may well be my favorite book of the challenge so far!
Cornelia is a lonely little girl, the daughter of two famous concert pianists, whose father abandoned the family when she was a baby and whose mother spends all her time traveling the world and giving concerts. Cornelia spends all her time reading. Her favorite books are dictionaries and words are her first line of defense against her classmates, adults who want to use her to get to her mother, and her annoying housekeeper. However, everything changes when her elusive new neighbor moves in next door. Cornelia sees exotic belongings being moved in, items that are rarely seen in Greenwich Village apartments. When her new neighbor’s French bulldog escapes and Cornelia is able to coral him with Magnolia cupcakes, she is invited in and meets Virginia Somerset.
Virginia is the last of the Audacious Somerset sisters, the family of four who traveled the world in search of adventure. Cornelia quickly grows to love her and even Mr. Kinyatta, the crazy bulldog. Virginia shares her adventures with Cornelia, all while writing a secret book. This friendship with Virginia and her “butler”, Patel, helps Cornelia to open up and begin seeing her life in a new light.
This was a wonderful book, which I will highly recommend. I loved all of the characters, and Blume does a wonderful job of making the setting, Greenwich Village, into a character, it seems. I didn’t want to put this book down! It captures the bookish 11-year old girl perfectly (I should know, I was one!), and the adventures of the Somerset sisters had me laughing out loud! A beautiful book, and Blume is a new favorite of mine!