by Jeanne Birdsall
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
Lydia, the youngest of the Penderwick siblings, is now ten and poised for her first visit to Arundel, the summer vacation setting of the first Penderwick book, for her sister’s wedding. There she meets Cagney’s daughter, Alice, who’s her age, and they become fast friends. There’s some drama with the older sisters, and with Mrs. Tifton (Jeffrey’s mother), but in general this one is more good, clean fun – and even lower drama than the other books in the series. I was still pulled in by the same kinds of funny scenarios as the rest of the series.
With words like “at last” in the title, I was expecting this book to feel like a final book in a series, but it didn’t, for a few reasons. One is that you don’t get to experience the wedding, which was a weird letdown. Another is that there’s no closure to the Batty/Jeffrey situation. Lydia’s parents are largely absent, which seemed odd. It all just makes me wonder if this really is the final installment. One thing I really loved was that at one point they’re talking about how Mrs. Tifton thinks one of the Penderwicks wants to marry Jeffrey, and 16-year-old Ben says “I didn’t think any of us wanted to marry Jeffrey”! LOVE.