Rather grudgingly, Teaspoon allows her teacher to sign her up for a mentoring program called the Sunshine Sisters, which pairs young girls with older role models in the town. Teaspoon is claimed by town sweetheart Brenda Bloom after an unconventional meeting in the town's movie theater, a place beloved by Teaspoon and owned by Brenda's mother. The summer and their mentoring meetings are taken up by preparations for a revue to re-open the renovated and expanded theater. Teaspoon and Brenda are central to these plans and the events that happen in the lead up. Through it all Teaspoon doesn't stop wishing for her mom to come home and take up with Teddy again, she befriends Charlie, the neighbor's great-grandson whom she earlier disdained, and she dreams of her own big singing break.
Teaspoon narrates the entire novel so the reader is treated to her misunderstanding of people and events and charmed by her naivete even when certain things are perfectly clear to the adult reader. Certainly there are times that Teaspoon can be irritating and persistent and the other characters acknowledge this but it just makes her voice as a 10 year old girl that much more authentic. Sometimes she is world weary as only young who have seen more than their far share can be. And it is these variations in her character that make her such a delight to read. The storyline isn't precisely filled with surprises but that's easy to forgive in such a hopeful and endearing novel. I enjoyed every page of this adventure with Teaspoon and found myself smiling at the smallest of things as I read: her fierce crush on the older neighbor, learning to consider and honor Charlie's feelings about her mother's piano, her proprietary air toward Brenda when sparring with Brenda's mother, and her solution to the scuffed up new shoes she's supposed to wear for the revue. I could go on and on mentioning these little instances that create her character out of lovely whole cloth but I'll refrain. Instead, I will say that this is a wonderful book and I'm infinitely happy to have had the chance to read it.
My thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy of the novel.