Title: Return to Gone-Away
Author: Elizabeth Enright
Major Themes: 20th century, United States, Children’s Fiction
Synopsis: When Portia’s family bought the Villa Caprice, they didn’t know what adventures—and frights—were waiting for them in the house.
I couldn’t review the first book in the series, Gone-Away Lake, without doing the sequel as well. The two books go together like peanut butter and jam. Return to Gone-Away is among my top favorites, and one I can remember reading way back.
Portia and Julian are the same adventurous cousins—but now with their friends Uncle Pindar and Aunt Minnehaha, they encounter even more things to explore. When Portia’s parents decide to buy the Villa Caprice—once owned by Mrs. Brace-Gideon, a millionairess—they find many more things to look at and wonder about. The Villa Caprice is like a slice of cake from over fifty years before. The old house still holds its secrets, though—and Julian is sure that one of them must be a safe full of money, although he can’t figure out where it could be.
Return to Gone-Away is just as good as the first book in the series. It’s the kind of story we love reading and wish we could live through ourselves. I loved learning about the exploits of the different members of the story—such as when Foster, Portia’s brother, got stuck in an old suit of armor. Or when Tom and Julian got stuck in the top story of an old house with Uncle Sam, Uncle Pin’s billy goat. All families will enjoy this book, and especially children over the age of 6 or 7 will love reading the story.
WARNING: Ch 1: Yikes, Great Scott twice. Ch 2: By Jupiter, By Jove. Ch 3: Great Scott twice, “this place looks like a training school for witches,” Heck twice. Ch 4: Yikes, Heck. Ch 5: “some strong language,” “I don’t want it to be a ghost,” Great Scott. Ch 7: “training school for witches,” Holy crow, Yipes. Ch 8: sure as heck. Ch 9: for Pete’s sake. Ch 10: girl wished someone was dead, don’t give a hang, could have sworn. Ch 11: by Jupiter twice, Heck, by Jove twice. Ch 12: Heck. Ch 13: Doggone twice, to heck with, heck.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12