The Canning Season: A Book Review


The Canning Season

The Canning Season by Polly Horvath

Summary: One night out of the blue, Ratchet Clark’s ill-natured mother uproots her from Florida without a second thought. Ratchet is on a train to Maine for a summer with relatives within the blink of an eye. But these aren’t just any relatives. Ratchet’s ninety-two-year old great-aunts, twins Penpen and Tilly, live life in their secluded home on their own terms. They were born together, they grew up together, they live together, and they plan to die together. Through thick wilderness, down forgotten, bear-ridden roads, a plethora of strange family history, and a slew of unwelcome guests, Ratchet may just learn what a family can be after all. Unwelcome guests might just bring the greatest gifts of all.

{kindly taken from Goodreads}

My Thoughts: A few years ago, I read and enjoyed Polly Horvath’s Everything on Top a Waffle. Then, I read My One Hundred Adventures, but, after that, I haven’t really read any other Horvath books. Anyhoo, you can imagine my surprise when I found The Canning Season at the library. It won an award, so I figured it must be okay, at the very least :) Polly Horvath is known for her odd characters and story lines, and The Canning Season was bountiful with both. Ratchet was a bit strange for a teenager, but she grew up in a rather odd home, so that might explain it. Penpen and Tilly were hands-down the best characters in the book! :) They were hilarious, and I loved all of their strange ways. Harper, an orphan child that Penpen and Tilly took in, was a bit gruff at first, but I think as you learned more about her, you would realize that her heart is in the right place. The characters were all developed, no problems there, but I think the challenge was that the characters were so peculiar that it masked the main point of the story. It’s one thing to have ONE eccentric character, but to have them all be so bizarre, it’s challenging to create a story that flows nicely. It’s even harder when there’s no plot at all! The story had bits and pieces carried throughout the book, but there was no central conflict. All the characters did was ramble on! I don’t think that the intended audience {kids} would continue to read. The book was well-written, I will admit that. The epilogue wrapped the story up nicely, and I liked how the author told us where Harper and Ratchet ended up. I always wonder that with other books! Finally, there were some dark moments, so I wouldn’t exactly call this a “children’s” book. Teens and adults will be sure to fly through it!

Pros: Developed characters.

Cons: No plot.

Heads Up: Language and lots and lots of talk of death.

Overall: I give it 3-ish stars {***} and I recommend it for ages 13 and up.

One Year in Coal Harbor

Since I enjoyed Everything on a Waffle so much, I hope to read One Year in Coal Harbor, the sequel released this past summer!

Have a delightful day!
Bella :)


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