Wednesday, April 19, 2017
The Warden's Daughter
Anytime you see a new book by a Newbery winner or honor winner you go in with high expectations. There must be a lot of pressure. I had this reaction when opening this book - it must be good because it's by Jerry Spinelli. Don't get me wrong - it was good. But not great...
Cammie is living in the late 50s. Her father is the prison warden and she is the warden's daughter. But she is not a happy girl. Her mother died when she was a baby and what she really wants is someone to be her mother. Her dad is distant and busy. She decides to turn to her trustee, a prisoner who has been hired to take care of things in their house. But, Eloda, is distant as well. Cammie struggles through the summer with identity, friendships with girls her own age and with one of the women in the prison, and with her anger and grief. Ultimately, Cammie learns valuable lessons about herself.
My issues are mainly with the pacing and then the ending. The book was pretty decent in the first half - Cammie was a good narrator and the writing was decent. But, it wasn't until about halfway through - when Cammie told us it was going to get good - that things started moving. The ending of events in the main narrative was enough... Ugh, then we had Eloda's diary which really didn't add much more to the story. Finally, we had Cammie in 2017 and again I didn't find it necessary. A decent book but it had some flaws.