Second time around, Part 2

The Sweetness at the Bottom of
the Pie
by
Alan Bradley

Assigned
reading saves the day.

I’d
started this book once before, and I bailed on about page 2. (I do this a lot.)

In
this case, it was because the main character, an 11-year-old girl, was being
held captive. And I just didn’t buy it.

Of
course, when I read the book for a genre study, I discovered that her horrible
older sisters had locked her up somewhere in their big old pile of an English country
house. And that just made sense.

But I
discovered, as I continued to read, that suspension of disbelief remained a strict
requirement for reading this book.

I
mean, seriously: How many 11-year-old genius chemists with a penchant for murder-solving
do you really know? And, as the series continues, what is the likelihood that
she’ll continue to stumble upon poisoning deaths in her little village?

So you
see what I mean.

However,
I just might end up reading more of this series, and here’s why:

The
voice of the character is just plain delightful. Here’s a sample sentence:

“As I
was making my way up the stairs, Dogger materialized suddenly above me on the
landing with a candleholder that might have been snapped up at an estate sale
at Manderley.” (p. 224)

So
here’s my coping mechanism: I pretend Flavia is actually a genius 15-year-old.
It’s still a stretch, but it works a bit better for me.

Bradley’s
writing style—and his creation of the very odd de Luce family—are probably
going to keep me coming back for more.

 

by

Reader, librarian, & happy little geek

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