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 pitch-perfect emotions that they could easily be the ...
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