Author: Polly Horvath
When Ratchet’s mom sends her to stay with distant relatives Tilly and Penpen Menuto for the summer, Ratchet is well aware that she’s being gotten rid of. What she doesn’t know is that the visit will change her life. As she spends time with these two eccentric elderly ladies, hearing their stories of the past, Ratchet begins to discover herself and grow into a young lady–someone who might one day be as unusual and strong-willed an individual as the Menuto sisters.
The Canning Season is a moving story, full of heartache but also of inspiration and strength. It parades as a children’s book, but I would consider the themes (and occasionally the language) to be more suited to an adult audience. The story is full of regional flavor, mild hyperbole, and rich, colorful characters. In particular, I though the stories the Menutos told were fascinating and fun (if a bit hard to believe at times). I found The Canning Season to be worthwhile to read, if not what I expected when I first picked it up. Good books are like that sometimes.