Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Review: The Rope Walk by Carrie Brown

Read for book club (11/2010) at Crystal Lake Public Library. I found this book to be touching, sweet, and introspective. I really enjoyed it!

The main character is Alice, and the novel takes place around Memorial day, her 10th birthday. She is the lone girl in a house with her father, a Shakespeare professor, and 5 older brothers. She is a bit of a tomboy but quite smart and kind. During the summer she meets and becomes friends with a few special people. The first is Theo, a mixed-race boy from NYC, who ends up becoming a good friend of hers after a little time. The second is Kenneth, a "cool" artist who makes nifty mobiles (reminded me of Alexander Calder a bit) and is unfortunately sick and has lost his site.

This brings the three of them together because Alice and Theo end up visiting Kenneth daily to read to him from books, which begins a great friendship and a love for Lewis and Clarke. The two children end up creating a rope walk for Kenneth so he would be able to go for a walk in the woods and not get too close to a dangerous waterfall (where the book title comes from).

You definitely feel a sense of childhood wonder and innocence while reading this book (like Alice dreamily looking at the beautiful mobile in the library). Eventually you see some of the realities of life creep in and how the children have to deal with the mistakes of adults. It is endearing and hopeful though, and I would certainly recommend it to those who enjoy a good story!

And so it goes...
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