SKYLARK by Patricia MacLachlan


Age Range: 8 - 12
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 The eagerly awaited sequel to Sarah, Plain and Tall, which has already appeared on TV with a script by MacLachlan. Papa and Sarah are now married, but a drought intrudes on the family's new happiness. They struggle to haul water, watch their discouraged neighbors depart, then lose their barn to a prairie fire. Determined to hang on, Papa stays behind to rebuild while Sarah (pregnant, downhearted, and longing for her birthplace) takes the children back to Maine to visit. The coast's different beauty fascinates the children, but they're homesick--and so is Sarah; but in time the rains return out west, and Papa comes to bring them home. As sequel and companion to the film, this does well enough; MacLachlan's prose is dependably graceful and evocative. Still, it's a disappointment: she has little that's new to say about these beloved characters, and for once she's written a book that isn't particularly innovative or insightful; like other film-first fiction, it consists of dialogue, visual descriptions, and scenes echoing their earlier incarnation, while logic is elided for the drama of the moment (How could Papa rebuild the barn alone? What did he do about water for the stock, once the creek was dry?). Not outstanding, but amiable; fans will rejoice, and there'll be no trouble selling the first printing of 50,000. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 30th, 1994
ISBN: 0-06-023328-1
Page count: 88pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1994


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