Donut Week 2: Gone Away Lake

March 18, 2009 at 10:38 pm 1 comment

goneawayGone Away Lake, Elizabeth Enright (1957, reprinted by Sandpiper, 2000)

Enright is a master of the small-town life, and this is her masterpiece. It was 1957’s Newbery winner, and tells the tale of adventurous siblings Portia and Foster who have come to spend the summer  (summer is always an essential element of this type of tale) with their cousin in a small midwestern town. In their inevitable wanderings through the surrounding areas, the siblings stumble upon an old Victorian resort slowing sinking into a swamp. This book transcends its genre with the artful contrast of two different Americas, separated by decades: the American summer leisure life in 1957 versus in 1907. Reading this book in 2009 becomes weirdly meta. You revel in the nostalgia of reveling in nostalgia.

The book is exuberant, escapist, and wonderful. The unexpected plot skips along, bouncing with Portia and Foster’s believable sibling relationship and touches of delightful Enright academia (Latin inscriptions on rocks? Check.) Gone-Away Lake‘s perfect outdoor summer is American childhood at its brightest and liveliest.

(PS: How great are the typefaces on this original cover?)


Entry filed under: Uncategorized, Weekly Themes. Tags: , , , , .

Gaiman, buried Connections

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sarah  |  March 18, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Don’t forget “The Great Brain”

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he sailed off through night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to where the wild things are.

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