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Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the…
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Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters

by Lesley M. M. Blume

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3662029,640 (3.91)16
  1. 00
    From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (amysisson)
    amysisson: Similar flavor, with a child / tween making the acquaintance of an older, fascinating person.
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
I thought the first Harry Potter book would be the one I'd love above all others, but this book was life-changing for me. The characters are unforgettable and so perfectly scripted. I'll love this book for the rest of my life. ( )
  writercity | Aug 13, 2014 |
I'm on Ch.3 make that another Summer read.
I loved it! I almost cried at the end, I wish there was a series of this but without Virginia it wouldn't be the same ....
I like the cover of Cornelia walking instead of the cover I got. ( )
  lmeza | Feb 6, 2014 |
Initially I was a little skeptical of Cornelia. The writing is a bit choppy and awkward, and Cornelia herself is a little too stereotypical for me. Misunderstood, bookishly weird, friendless, etc. But as I read more, I started to become charmed by Cornelia S. Englehart and Virginia Somerset. I discovered depth in Cornelia's character, though by no means a startlingly large amount.

Normally I don't really like books about a person telling a story (there's a word for that kind of story and I can't remember what it is), but Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters turned out to be rather charming. Lesley M.M. Blume does a good job of blending the historic stories of Virginia with Cornelia's modern struggles.

The ending is also pretty sad, but pretty good at the same time.

It's a cute little book I would give to people who enjoy touching children's adventure novels, and definitely one I'd give to an eleven-year-old girl. ( )
  BrynDahlquis | Dec 27, 2013 |
Withdrawing into a world of words, eleven-year-old Cornelia S. Englehart keeps the hurtful elements of her life - an absent father and a distant mother (both world-famous pianists), an interfering housekeeper/child-minder, classmates whose only interest in her was for the sake of her famous parents - at bay in this debut children's novel from Lesley M.M. Blume. But when seventy-something Virginia Somerset, together with her companion Patel, and her French bulldog Mister Kinyatta, moves into the apartment next door, the young New York girl finds herself drawn, through the very medium that she had used to isolate herself, into the wider world. For Virginia, a noted author and international bon vivant, begins to relate some of the many escapades into which she and her three sisters were drawn, as young women touring the world. Through these tales, and through Virginia's entrance into her life, Cornelia comes to see that words are meant to connect people, rather than to shut them out...

Chosen as our April selection, over in The Children's Fiction Book Club to which I belong, Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters is a book that I have struggled to rate, vacillating between a two and three stars. All the elements for an engaging tale are there - disaffected young heroine, quirky secondary characters, adorable animal, a plot-line involving the power of words - but somehow the end product, through most of the course of my reading, was irritating, rather than charming. I felt as if Blume were simply trying too hard, and the result was somewhat forced, as if the narrator were shouting at me: "Hey kiddies, look! Look how super-special, cosmopolitan, and quirky I am!!!" If you're going to write a "poor little rich girl" story, than you have to get past that obnoxious aroma of privilege and self-entitlement that it evokes, and I never felt that Blume quite succeeded. On the other hand, I did care enough about the characters that, the (completely foreseeable) ending having come, I was moved. So, in sum: a low three stars. I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped to, although there were some elements that had promise. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 29, 2013 |
Two stories are told in alternating chapters in Cornelia: the story of Cornelia S. Englehart and her search for friends is the first and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters is the second. Cornelia is the eleven-year-old daughter of two piano prodigies and, despite the fascinating New York world surrounding her, she is very lonely. Her father has never been in her life and her mother is always on tour. Cornelia is left with the nosy French housekeeper Madame Desjardins who can only be kept at bay with the long, complicated words Cornelia loves. When Virginia Somerset and her dog Mister Kinyatta move in next door, Cornelia's finds a kindred spirit as Virginia is a writer who also loves words. Soon Virginia begins to recount the amazing adventures she and her three sisters had all over the world during the mid-20th century and Cornelia's present-day world slowly comes alive. ( )
  JenJ. | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Book description
Eleven-year-old Cornelia S. Englehart lives in New York City and is the daughter of world-famous pianists. Her legacy should feel fabulous, but instead it feels just plain lonely.

In a world where privacy is as rare as diamonds, Cornelia isolates herself inside a fortress of books full of long and complicated words. But when a glamorous writer named Virginia Somerset moves next door with her servant Patel and her mischievous French bulldog, Cornelia discovers that the world is a much more exciting place than she had originally thought.

With a cast of unforgettable characters -- from the ghost of King Arthur to Pablo Picasso to Virginia's three winsome and irrepressible sisters -- and deliciously imaginative storytelling that takes the reader around the world and back again. Lesley M. M. Blume makes a dazzling literary debut with this magical story of friendship and adventure.

(From the paperback edition)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440421101, Paperback)

Eleven-year-old Cornelia is the daughter of two world-famous pianists—a legacy that should feel fabulous, but instead feels just plain lonely. She surrounds herself with dictionaries and other books to isolate herself from the outside world. But when a glamorous neighbor named Virginia Somerset moves next door with her servant Patel and a mischievous French bulldog named Mister Kinyatta, Cornelia discovers that the world is a much more exciting place than she had originally thought.

An unforgettable story of friendship and adventure that takes readers around the world and back again, Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters is a dazzling first novel by Lesley M. M. Blume.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:19 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Eleven-year-old Cornelia lives in New York City and is the daughter of world-famous pianists--a legacy that should feel fabulous, but instead feels just plain lonely. She surrounds herself with dictionaries and other books to isolate herself from the outside world. But when a glamorous writer named Virginia Somerset moves next door with her servant Patel and mischievous French bulldog named Mister Kinyatta, Cornelia discovers that the world is a much more exciting place than she had originally thought.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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