Jane is 12 years old, and she is ready for adventures, to move beyond the world of her siblings and single mother and their house by the sea, and step into the know-not what. And, over the summer, adventures do seem to find Jane, whether its a thrilling ride in a hot-air balloon, the appearances of a slew of possible fathers, or a weird new friendship with a preacher and psychic wannabe. Most important, theres Janes discovery of what lies at the heart of all great adventures: that its not what happens to you that matters, but what you learn about yourself.
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All summers take me back to the sea. There in the long eelgrass, like birds' eggs waiting to be hatched, my brothers and sister and I sit, grasses higher than our heads, arms and legs like thicker versions of the grass waving in the wind, looking up at the blue washed sky. My mother is gathering food for dinner: clams and mussels and the sharply salty greens that grow by the shore. It is warm enough to lie here in the little silty puddles like bathwater left in the tub after the plug has been pulled. It is the beginning of July and we have two months to live out the long, nurturing days, watching the geese and the saltwater swans and the tides as they are today, slipping out, out, out as the moon pulls the other three seasons far away wherever it takes things. Out past the planets, far away from Uranus and the edge of our solar system, into the brilliantly lit dark where the things we don't know about yet reside. Out...
Lovely, fresh, ambitious, subversive, sharp and generous, My One Hundred Adventures is a splendid novel for wise children; world-weary teens; and adults, young and old. Reading Horvath is good for the mind, the body and the heart.
(Reviewed by Jo Perry).
Full Review (1054 words).
Preserving the Sweetness of Summer
Jane Fielding's home and family are the center of My One Hundred Adventures. Her mother's inventive, fresh cooking, the gathering of fresh sea food, berries and greens, and the calm fellowship the Fieldings enjoy at mealtimes sustain and fortify Jane as she greets each new adventure. Jane's mother preserves the sweetness of summer with her perfect strawberry jam (much like the elderly sisters who preserve Maine blueberries in Horvath's award-winning The Canning Season). Old-fashioned horehound candy also figures prominently in the novel.
No Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam
1¾ quarts fully ripe strawberries
1¾ cups sugar
1 package Sure-Jell ...
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