It's 1958 and Joey is long grown and living on his own, as is Mary Alice.
This story is told from Bob, whose family moved to town when his father, Methodist preacher, was assigned to a church in town.
Bob nor either of his sisters is particularly excited about living in this small rural town. Mrs. Dowdell is their strange neighbor, and they don't know what to quite think of her.
But life in interesting in this small town, and Mrs. Dowdel is always involved! Whether she's catching the mean guys who bully Bob, helping his little sister adjust to the move by letting her follow her every move, or sending off trouble-maker Roscoe Burdick to the Army. We have stories of Princess Kickapoo, a ghost living in Mrs. Dowdell's garden, an exciting Thanksgiving where the family car is stolen...and Bob learns to drive at the ripe age of twelve!
With Mrs. Dowdell around, there is never a dull moment!
What I Thought: I loved the other two books about Grandma Dowdell, and have been anxiously awaiting the release of this book ever since I learned of its existence!
At first, I was kind of disappointed that the story revolved around another family. I was worried that Grandma Dowdell wouldn't play as large of a part as she did in A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder.
But thankfully, she did! It was in a slightly different format, since the story is told by Bob, Dowdell's next door neighbor. We don't get to see as much as the "inner workings" of Dowdell, but we still get to experience all of her quirky antics.
This is also the story of love as Bob's family, who doesn't have much as a struggling minister's family, but they always seem to have what they need. Whether it's some food on the doorstep, being rescued from a bully, being a friend to a little girl who needs some distractions, or just some plain excitement...Mrs. Dowdell seems to find a way to provide just about everything this family needs.
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