Cornelia's parents are both world-famous pianists. Most people would envy that fame and that talent, but not Cornelia. She has no desire to play piano herself and wishes that her jet-setting mother were home more often. Her father is not in the picture; Cornelia has never known him. Though she has every (material) thing she could need, Cornelia is lonely.
That is, until new neighbors move in across the hall. Who would have thought that an elderly woman would become a little girl's best friend? The dazzling Virginia Somerset shares Cornelia's love for stories and big words. The self-proclaimed Scheherazade tells Cornelia amazing tales that star Virginia and her three sisters as they travel all over the world, meeting famous artists and leaders.
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume is absolutely adorable. What a delightful book! I loved the story-within-a-story format and the descriptive writing. I could almost see Virginia's eyes sparkle as she related her adventures to Cornelia. If it had been released fifteen years ago and I had found it at my local library, it would have become one of the titles checked it out and read repeatedly.
Want to learn more about the real-life New York eateries and pug dog featured in the book? Watch this video from Scholastic with Lesley.
Read my 2006 interview with the author.
Read my 2008 interview with the author.
(Review of her second novel, The Rising Star of Rusty Nail, to come.)
Read my review of Lesley's third novel, Tennyson.