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Friday, December 18, 2009

Book Review: Scones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland

Hardcover 320 Pages
Purchase: Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble

Polly Madassa is convinced she was born for a more romantic time. A time when Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables walked along the moors and beaches of the beautiful land, a time where a distinguished gentleman called upon a lady of quality and true love was born in the locked eyes of two young lovers.But alas, she was not.

This, however, does not stop our young heroine from finding romance wherever she can conjure it up. So while Polly is burdened with a summer job of delivering baked goods from her parents bakery (how quaint!) to the people in her small beach town, she finds a way to force…um…encourage romance to blossom. She is determined to bring lovers, young and old, together…whether they want to be or not.

In Scones and Sensibility, Polly Madassa reads authors like Jane Austen and Lucy Maud Montgomery and wishes she were born in a more romantic time. A time when noble gentlemen roamed the moors, searching for intelligent women of beauty and charm. Like the heroines she idolizes in Pride & Prejudice or Anne of Green Gables, Polly longs to be swept away in old fashioned tales of true love and romance. Our heroine prefers good old fashioned wooing to internet dating, ink quills to typewriters and horse drawn carriages to cars. But alas, poor Polly is a fish out of water in the coarse, unrefined twenty-first century in which she must reside.

With a flair for the dramatic and a misguided enthusiasm to be helpful, Polly decides to use her summer job delivering baked goods to conjure up romantic affection throughout town. Unsuspecting townsfolk ordering up delicious baked goods are suddenly unwitting pawns in Polly’s elaborate matchmaking ruses. Like Jane Austen’s Emma, Polly’s forays into the affairs of the heart don’t always work out exactly as she plans either. But when Polly gets the idea into her head to bring couples together, the fun keeps on rolling, with hilarious and often disastrously charming results!

From the moment I opened this novel, I couldn’t stop smiling. Polly Madassa was one of the most unique, humorous twelve year old girls I’ve ever come across in a work of fiction.
Caught up in the great novels of Jane Austen, Polly Madassa couldn’t help but imagine a more civilized and romantic era to escape into. Time and time again Polly had me laughing out loud with her elaborate antics and dramatic mannerisms of speaking. My favorite moments though were the ones when she accidentally slipped up and inserted a modern girl’s slang into her carefully chosen Victorian vocabulary. This helped to remind me that for all her painstaking efforts to mimic heroines like Elizabeth Bennett, Polly really was just a modern girl trying to escape from the humdrum of daily life. And who doesn’t feel that way from time to time? For all her foibles, the end did produce one satisfying match and I was happy to see all hope was not lost for our heroine’s matchmaking endeavors. Polly’s own romantic suitor added an extra layer of sweetness to the novel and I kept hoping she would really come around to seeing him as more than just a pest.

What is not to love about a sweet, screwball comedy like Scones & Sensibility ? One can almost smell the delicious baked goods wafting throughout the air, and feel the cool breeze of summer as Polly leaves a wake of romantic snafus in the midst of her bakery deliveries. This is a book to sit back and savor, perhaps with your own favorite bakery indulgence and a steaming cup of coffee.

Lindsay Eland knew she wanted to be a writer ever since fifth grade, when she won an honorable mention for her book "What Can You Learn From a Giflyaroo." The book received rave reviews and was highly acclaimed among her family members. Sadly, with only ten hard-bound copies produced, the book is now out of print. (Skip tumultuous adolescence when she aspired to be an actress on Broadway, a ballerina, a singer, a nurse, and a dental hygienist.) After getting hitched to a wonderful guy she met in college and having four kids in four years, she decided she didn't have enough to do, so she began to write again with the passion and determination that always marked her character. You can visit her at official website and blog.

Interview with Lindsay Eland where we discussed Scones & Sensibility.
Polly Madassa's Top Ten List on "Why Books Are Better Than Real Life"


choco (In Which a Girl Reads) said...

Great review!

I want to read this book so badly--it sounds like such a fun middle grade read. I think I'm putting it on my Christmas wishlist now :)

Thao said...

I'm in the middle of reading this book and I agree, Polly is just a unique character :D

Precious said...

Great review! I am so looking forward to this book! :D

I want Scones and Sensibility for Christmas!

Becky said...

This book sounds so sweet. Great review.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oh a sweet screwball comedy sounds like fun :) nice review :)

Nina said...

Great Review, this cover is so cute and I like the description of it. I need to read this! :)

Lenore said...

Sounds sweet. Unique characters are few and far between!

stargirlreads said...

I just found your blog and it looks super cool :) Just wanted to let you know

Laura said...

I loved Anne of Green Gables first, but I love this book too, http://lauramitolife.blogspot.com/2010/04/scones-and-sensibility.html