1. I would have gotten around to reading Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells a lot sooner if I’d known how strongly it would remind me of Mockingbird. No, not Mockingjay, Mockingbird, the one by Sean Stewart. Only it’s a bit cheerier and only the house (well the garden really) is a character, not the whole city.
2. Do other people spend half their workout trying to figure out characters in books they haven’t even read recently or is that only me?
Well, anyway, the mother in Swallows and Amazons. Seems to me she has all the disadvantages of a single parent and then she still has to get her husband to make the big decisions. What’s that about? (I’m thinking, here, of the BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WONT DROWN telegram.) I could see it if the kids had done all their sailing with their father and she needed his opinion of their capabilities, but the book specifically says she’s a good sailor – she spent her childhood sailing around Sydney Harbor, which is much bigger than I think that lake was and is tidal. And it has sharks.
The only thing I can figure is that, since he’s obviously a loving father, she knew he missed being in on the kids lives and that he’d get a kick out of their idea.