The Penderwicks At Last {Book Review}

ATTENTION: This Post Has Some Spoilers In It, Read At Your Own Risk!

Hello everyone! A few weeks ago the last Penderwick book came out: The Penderwicks At Last. I’ve really enjoyed all of the other Penderwick books before, and actually did a review of one here. So as you might have guessed, I was super excited to find out what eventually happened to the girls, and though I was a bit disappointed, this book had a great ending! 😀

The Penderwicks At Last


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(via the publisher)

The finale you’ve all been waiting for: The Penderwicks at Last is the final, flawless installment in the modern classic series from National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Jeanne Birdsall!

Nine years, five older siblings, a few beloved dogs, and an endless array of adventures–these are the things that have shaped Lydia’s journey since readers first met her in The Penderwicks in Spring.

Now it’s summertime, and eleven-year-old Lydia is dancing at the bus stop, waiting for big sister Batty to get home from college.

This is a very important dance and a very important wait because the two youngest sisters are about to arrive home to find out that the Penderwicks will all be returning to Arundel this summer, the place where it all began. And better still is the occasion: a good old-fashioned, homemade-by-Penderwicks wedding.

Bursting with heart and brimming with charm, this is a joyful, hilarious ode to the family we love best. And oh my MOPS–Meeting of Penderwick Siblings–does Jeanne Birdsall’s The Penderwicks at Last crescendo to one perfect Penderwick finale.


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Honestly I was kind of disappointed. I loved how the POV was from Lydia (the youngest sibling) and how she became friends with Alice, and how she organized the wedding. But I think that this book altogether should have been more about the older Penderwick sisters.

Another thing that I was really, really disappointed in was who was getting married. I knew that Skye and Jeffery wouldn’t be getting married. But I was really, really, really hoping that Batty and Jeffery would get married even though it was hinted that the two would get married later. So the sister and her fiancé who were originally planning on getting married were Rosalind and her long time love 😛 Tommy Geiger. Like what? Tommy’s never been to Arundel before! They are like 27, they should have been married a couple of years ago, and perhaps have a kid. Skye should be off studying the stars. It should be Batty and Jeffery getting married.

Then there was the whole ordeal with Skye and her Czech boyfriend Dušek. WHAT??? Is this a modern day copycat of Little Women? RIDICOULOUS! They just decide to get married? The author was just trying too hard.

And then the double wedding business. Personally I wouldn’t want to have a double wedding with my sister (we are 14 months apart) but the idea actually made the book interesting, even though the Skye and Dušek part was just ridiculous. XD

The wedding. I mean seriously, their was no detail whatsoever about the wedding. Ok, I mean there was all the preparations and such, but then the wedding was literally skipped.

Ben, sweet Ben, is now a snooty teenager, who only cares about making movies, and making Lydia the “bad guy” (or rather girl) XD in them. I also think that Lydia was a little immature for 11, I think she should have been 9 or so.

After reading this horribly long explanation you might not want to read this book, or maybe you do, out of sheer curiosity. So to calm your mind I’ll give you some facts about what I DID like. 🙂

  • I liked how Jane was in the book, and how she was dreaming of becoming a published author and wasn’t getting married until she did.
  • The POV of Lydia was very interesting to read, and I liked (as I said above) how she becomes friends with Alice. Cagney’s daughter.
  • I loved how Mrs. Tifton kept showing up at random times during the preparations and how she was so set on having Jeffery marry a girl name Marlene, and strictly not any of the Penderwick girls. XD 😛
  • The whole Wesley part was interesting.
  • I liked how the author started the series in Arundel and ended it in Arundel 15 years later.

Hopefully that convinced you to read this book, because even though I was rather disappointed with it, I still really enjoyed it, and would recommend it! 🙂


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Overall I thought the plot was a little slow. Sometimes (especially when Lydia was out exploring) it felt like you had to keep taking breaks to stay interested. However, the preparations for the wedding and when Mrs. Tifton showed up, were interesting! 😀

This book was also shorter than The Penderwicks In Spring, but to me it felt long enough and detailed enough without the extra length.


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Book Review5While this wasn’t my favorite Penderwick book I enjoyed it, and would recommend it if you have read the other books in this series! I rate it 3 out of 5 stars, because it was pretty good, but not the best.


 Would you guys like to see more book reviews on here in the future? Have a wonderful day my friends!

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Book cover image by amazon.com.

P.S. Here is a great image for pinning on Pinterest 😀

The Penderwicks At Last

 

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21 thoughts on “The Penderwicks At Last {Book Review}

    1. That sounds like fun, but no unfortunately I have other camps all of July and can’t do it, sorry. I hope you will find a lot of great cabin mates!!! Good luck with your story as well! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes! I totally agree with your review! I really wish she hadn’t skipped the wedding too! And the Little Women plot was disappointing! When I was reading it, Lydia seemed kind of off, and you really nailed it in the sense that she seemed immature! I totally agree. Just wonding, which Penderwick book is your favorite? Also why did you ship Batty and Jeffery? I always shipped Skye and Jeffery. Amazing review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. #penderwickfans Well, when I read that the Penderwick series sort of supposed to be like Little Women, I figured that the author wouldn’t put Skye and Jeffery together. Besides I think Batty and Jeffery together is cute. XD
      Probably my favorite Penderwick book is The Penderwicks on Gardam Street!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, actually, I consider the relationship between Batty and Jeffrey as Beth and Mr. Laurence. That’s why I never expected them as a couple. I could see Jane and Skye as a mixture of Amy and Jo. And Dusek is no Bhaer for me. Did anyone realize that Skye returns like Amy as a bride in a chapter called “Surprises”?
    For me, Skye and Jeffrey would be the Little Women plot because Jeffrey started the friendship first with Jane (as Jo).
    And I thought that Pearson would be also Laurie, the Laurie who is turned down.
    By the way, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street is also my favorite book. And because Jane is my favorite character and I spent so much time with figuring out, who could be the love interest for Jane, I’m very, very disappointed. I’m rereading Birdsall’s book all the time just to find a hint for Jane’s future. I’m also considering Wesley because he’s the only remaining possible character in the book. Jane writes in the end a romance with a painter and Wesley predicts Jane’s success (and then she can marry!).
    As long as I can’t hope for Jane, I won’t be able to enjoy the book. In 7-8 years, Batty will marry Jeffrey, Lydia will see Mrs. Tifton again (a hint for Arundel!), also Jack (she’ll be 19 years like Batty!), and Jane could join in a surprising double wedding. I wrote a fanfic, but I think I’ll work more on the Wesley idea. I could also imagine Artie (Jane’s old school friend…could happen similar to Birdsall’s own life) or Pearson (Little Women purposes). But those aren’t mentioned and somebody someday isn’t satisfying. I was always expecting Jane and Jeffrey, and I did ship Skye and Jeffrey mostly because of my Little Women theory and because Skye seemed rather hate marriage than Jeffrey.
    Actually, I still can’t see Batty as Amy. I know I’m quite alone with my theory, but in the first three books are so many similarities between Batty and Beth.
    What do you think? This book is having me anxious for sixth months and I can’t rest until the case is settled. Birdsall doesn’t answer fan letters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! 🙂 I agree that I can’t see Batty as Amy! I think that something like that could happen with Jane, because I know that one day she’ll get married. I don’t really see the whole Wesley thing happening though. I think the book was trying to portray that he had to learn to accept. Even though I was disappointed with this book, I still liked it and thought it was a lot like real life! AND YES #BATTY+JEFFERY4EVER! XD

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  3. Actually, yes, i think that Wesley did really like Batty. But why would he be an artist? Since Jane is interestest in art, he could match. And she calls him “adorable”. I’m not quite sure how old Wesley is, but he seems to be older than Batty. Actually, one day and somebody isn’t …a closure.
    If you want, you can read what I’ve written as an end (Birdsall may forgive me).

    Epilogue – 7 years later

    Arundel was in its finest boom, when the family returned. The birds sang even happier, and the meadows were full of daisies, clover and other wildflowers, and the cherry trees were rich of dainty blossoms. It was a good time to visit Blossom the sheep and the chicken. This time not secretly or in waves, but the whole family stayed at the estate. And it happened by its former owner’s permission. Mrs. Tifton fought some time, but then she decided to make peace with her son and her future daughter-in-law. And she contacted Alec McGrath. So Rosalind baked the wedding cakes together with her best friend Anna, Jane cared for the dresses and Batty for the wedding concert. And even good, old Churchie returned! After her stay at Hawaii, she moved back to her home in Boston, and was greeted happily by all Penderwicks and Jeffrey at Arundel. Another good news was the day, when Mrs. Tifton surprised everyone that she had found and bought some artefacts from the attic back, like her mother’s wedding dress. Now the older Penderwicks could share some good, old memories.

    “It’s not my good influence.” protested Lydia, when she was waiting with Alice for the brides. The family was gathered on chairs and in the middle was a little aisle. The garden of Arundel was used for this special event and no sister cared for a “spoilt” place…because this time Mrs. Tifton was a real, invented wedding guest. “I’m very surprised that Jane would decide to marry.” Lydia admitted. “Yeah, Penderwicks are very keen on double weddings.” Alice snickered. “It’s like Sleeping Beauty’s wedding at her castle. We have Aurora and Florimund, Florina and her bluebird and Asimov could be Pussy in Boots.” Lydia said. “Wait, aren’t you talking about the Disney movie?” Alice asked confused. Of course, Alice wouldn’t know Tchaikovsky’s ballet, Lydia realized. Both were bridemaids – Lydia wore a pale lilac dress and Alice a comfortable, yellow dress – like a bouncing sunflower. Each girl was accompanied by two maids of honor. On Lydia’s side were two women in a purple and blue dress: Skye’s school frenemy Melissa and Rosalind’s friend Anna. On Alice’s side, there were standing two more young women, dressed in the color of peaches, Batty’s friend Keiko and Mercedes Orne, a friend from Point Mouette. The first triplet was lead by Skye. “Are you glad that you are married. Did you decide for the right one?” asked Alice, as mischievous as ever. “Of course, I am glad. It took time and tears, but I survived it.” said Skye. On the other side, Nick was chatting with Lydia. “Princess Dandelion Fire, I can’t believe that you are so big now! Do you focus on sports?” Lydia sighed. “Nick, dance is different from sports.” She was glad when Nick’s wife Laura rescued her from him. Ben appeared and checked the camera for the wedding video, accompanied by Marty and Enam. Mr. Penderwicks was very nervous and tried to fix his tie. “Lydia, you are amazing” said Iantha and nodded into the direction, where Mrs. Tifton was sitting, with Alec. “It’s not me. It’s not my fault that I met her in New York.” Lydia told her mother. “Didn’t you tell me that she went with you into a Broadway musical?” Iantha asked, but luckily, some music filled the air and the grooms turned around. It was almost a miracle that Wesley had returned and would be like Jeffrey a member of the Penderwicks. Two brides with the beautiful bridal veils entered the aisle. Lydia gasped. The brides wore beautiful white dresses, and each bride had a pretty bouquet. One was made of pink roses, primroses and lilies, the other one of lilac, violets and bellflowers. “They’re looking like twins!” exclaimed Nick’s daughter Georgia and was so exited that the blossoms in her basket got spilt and spread. Indeed, Jane and Batty looked like Rosalind, with their dark hair and eyes, and bright joy. But then the dogs Feldspar and Sonata rushed to one of the brides and this bride started to sing some tunes from Gershwin’s Summertime. “It’s Batty! The bride with the roses is Batty!” everyone shouted. Lydia smiled. “I think we should establish double weddings as Penderwick tradition.” “Come one, Lydia, please don’t tell me that you want to marry my brother-” Alice replied with a sour face. “It’s bad enough that he’ll go to prom with you. The crash at the hedge had probably damaged your brain. I don’t want to see you as a loser!” “Who’s a loser?” asked Jack, who returned from the group around Ben. “Who can’t join the wedding dance!” answered Lydia and cleared her throat. “Okay, everyone ready? One, two, three, let’s dance!” This time she didn’t need Alice help. It was time to be her own spotlight. Everyone got up and Lydia announced the movements. She had improved her wedding choreography, and decided for more circles and twirls. The wedding guests would move through the rows and clap and stomp and the couples were supposed to twirl. Also six dogs, several hens and a sheep tried to follow the rhythm. Lydia twirled with Jack, getting closer and closer to the grooms, feeling as the embodiment of dance, watching the brides, how they were walking down the aisle. She realized that Jack was watching her. “Lydia, you are incredible!” he whispered into her ear. Lydia smiled. “I think, apart from climbing a tree with skates, you could be really smart” Lydia replied. “Ouch, and I thought that an ice hockey player is always cool and sexy.” Jack said, sheepishly. “A dancer with a coat and a skirt isn’t better.” said Lydia, when the brides arrived finally to join their grooms. Lydia watched the ceremony with tears in her eyes and sighed, when the couples kissed, finally. But to her surprise, also Jack kissed her. Just then, the fireworks started, and all guests clapped, and Lydia felt that the whole day was the best day in her life “Ad meum fatum salto.” Lydia whispered, still dancing with Jack. The beautiful spring day was filled with the most delicate blossoms and the most colorful butterflies one can imagine. Aunt Claire cried, and the Penderwicks had their happily ever after. It was like a promising bud that would have a rich harvest in the future and Lydia liked all the prospects of it.

    (my fanfic… (: )

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you! I won’t bother your review any longer. It was just the ending for (the only) Lydia-fanfic “The Penderwicks at Christmas” (it’s on Wattpad). I wrote all possible time lines as multiple choice (:

    Liked by 1 person

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