Twelve-year-old Fern is named after Wilber's first friend in Charlotte's Web
. Fern's older sister, Sara, is named after the Sarah in A Little Princess
. Her older brother is named after Holden from The Catcher in the Rye
, and her three-year-old brother after Charlie in the eponymous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
. Not exactly conventional parents, Fern's mother spends as much time as she can meditating in the office above the family restaurant, and her father spends just as much time brainstorming nutty advertising schemes that inevitably involve embarrassing the kids--all but Charlie who is game for anything.
Even though Fern and her siblings are named after fictional characters, and they, in turn, are
fictional characters, it's tough to remember that they aren't real. Knowles imagines each one with such resonant details and...
Beyond the Book
BookBrowse's own Tamara Smith talks with Jo Knowles about her childhood experiences growing up in the restaurant business that inspired See You at Harry's
Much of See You at Harry's centers around the family restaurant. Do you have experience with such a place?
Yes, my family owned a series of restaurants when I was a kid, starting with Kellers' Ice-Cream, which was a family-style place as well as an ice cream factory. Later they opened a second restaurant, and a tiny sandwich place called The Hole in The Wall. Later, they sold these businesses and bought a beautiful old Victorian home which they...