After reading this book one feels happiness and a desire for that sort of community neighbourliness that used to be so common once upon a time.
Reading Kate Di Camillo is a joy and like others I found this story to be particularly uplifting and wonderful. There is something about a story that cracks through a bitter heart to release joy.
A mysterious package arrives on the doorstep of the strictly practical Eugenia Lincoln’s home. Although this would likely be a lovely surprise for many, it is not so for the elderly, strict Eugenia. Much as the people who live on Deckham Drive are amazed and want to share the excitement – Eugenia just wants it all to go away. She is cynical.
The fact that the pig from next door wanders in curiously, hovering around her house to see what is in the box is even more aggravating to Eugenia. How “aggravating” and “unpredictable”; how ‘pig-filled'. (p.11)
In the end she opens the package – and this is just more of a bother to her when she finds out it is of all things, a musical instrument – an accordion.
To Eugenia, this is NOT wondrous. This is NOT joyful.
“Whoop-de-doo” Eugenia is way too busy for an oversized, unexpected package that turns out to be a noisy old accordion. She couldn’t care less about it. She determinedly shuts everyone out and tries to return it to its sender – but this doesn’t work. She makes a plan of action to destroy it or give it away, it is mere clutter to her. She retreats to her bedroom shutting the door firmly on the world.
We all have a bit of Eugenia Lincoln in us – that is why I very much enjoyed the humour of watching her try to twist her way out of anything remotely poetic. She is so sullenly determined to keep things as they are. But at night those few notes that someone squeezed out of the accordion come back to play in her memory and soul….could it be breaking through her bitter exterior?
What will happen to the accordion, will it stay with Eugenia or will it be relegated to the clutter heap? Read on to find out what will happen when determination to get rid of the accordion meets magic of sorts on Deckawoo Drive.
A former children's librarian, Jane Fagan is currently a full-time wife and mother of two.