The Great UnexpectedFeatured
In the little town of Blackbird Tree live two orphan girls: one Naomi Deane, brimming with curiosity, and her best friend, Lizzie Scatterding, who could talk the ears off a cornfield. Naomi has a knack for being around when trouble happens. For she knows all the peculiar people in town—like Crazy Cora and Witch Wiggins and Mr. Farley. But then, one day, a boy drops out of a tree. The strangely charming Finn boy. Then the Dingle Dangle man appears, asking all kinds of questions. Curious surprises are revealed—three locked trunks, a pair of rooks, a crooked bridge, and that boy. Soon Naomi and Lizzie find themselves zooming toward a future neither could ever have imagined. Meanwhile, on a grand estate across the ocean, an old lady whose heart has been deceived concocts a plan. . . .
As two very different worlds are woven together, Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech celebrates the gossamer thread that connects us all, and the great and unexpected gifts of love, friendship, and forgiveness.
Right away we are introduced to a magical character, Finn, a sort of Peter-Pan-esque boy that literally drops into Naomi's life and is almost a catalyst to her beginning to experience the familiar emotions of vanity and jealousy in an entirely new way as she comes of age. Though he remained mysterious throughout the rest of the book, and I wished to know more about where he came from and what his purpose was--it became clear by the end of the book that he did, in fact, have a reason for being.
The series of events that happen over the course of this story were at times tragic, at times comical, and many times, both. I appreciated the statement it made about friendship and family, and the way it serves as a starting-off point for contemplating hope and destiny and the things that bring friends together and can bind them to one another for a lifetime. An endearing read.