Thursday, August 25, 2011
Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
I have to say, this has been an incredibly enjoyable book to listen to. The narrator, in particular really captivated me. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is told through the eyes of a precocious eleven year old girl, and the woman who narrated my audio book managed to capture her essence entirely.
As for the book itself, it reminded me in all the best ways of my childhood. It was like Nancy Drew, Matilda, and the Series of Unfortunate Events rolled up into one thoroughly delightful story. I've always been a fan of mystery books and movies, particularly ones I can predict the ending to halfway through (which may explain why Monkey and I spent our Sunday night watching two horrible movies on Lifetime, but that's beside the point). This book managed to keep me captivated while making me feel intelligent for figuring out the mystery well before Flavia did. By making each turn of the mystery easy to suss out, it also emphasized Flavia's lack of maturity, which added to the believability overall. However, the book had a sufficient amount of twists and turns to maintain my interest throughout.
Flavia's character was entirely believable. From her determination to torture her sisters to her obsession with learning, I demonstrated the same things in my childhood. I can remember hatching numerous schemes when I was a kid, as well as investigating the thesaurus for the most impressive vocabulary to spring on others. The best part of this book, however, is that I would feel comfortable letting a child of that age read it. While Flavia's gruesome imagination runs rampant, the author manages to reign in the gore to an appropriate level without dumbing it down for kids.
Like I said, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I actually applied for an additional library card in my University's town, just so I can download the sequel on overdrive. I'm thinking that I'll probably annoy my sister into giving the audio book a bit of a listen the next time I'm home as well. Two thumbs up on my part!