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The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech
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The Great Unexpected (edition 2012)

by Sharon Creech

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1831664,645 (3.74)5
Member:ccostakis
Title:The Great Unexpected
Authors:Sharon Creech
Info:Andersen Press Ltd (2012), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:magical, Ireland, mystery, ghosts, family

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The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
This is the fourth book that my daughter and I have read this summer. We thoroughly enjoyed every word in this book. The author has a very lyrical, almost poetical style of writing. She has a beautiful way sf phrasing things that makes the reader want to absorb each word.
Also,, the pacing is flawless. The story is a mystery that floats back and forth between characters in America and characters in Ireland. The mystery unfolds gradually throughout the story which keeps the reader engaged and entertained (thus the perfect pacing). Each chapter either adds plot elements or reveals important elements.
The story really revolves around three sets of sisters. All three sets have argued over a boy (Finn). The result of this competition over a boy is what drives the mystery. There are also several smaller mysteries (the ravens, the strangers in town, the four old people) that interconnect throughout the story. The lines connect and unravel as the various stories are solved.
The end of the story is very satisfying. The resolution of the mystery speaks to the interconnectedness of life (the butlers brother is the grumpy older "unfortunate" one armed man in town who once received a letter from Naomi which he treasured for always). All the characters share strange unlooked for connections. This adds a warmth that is not immediately apparent but blossoms between all the characters. The world at the beginning of the story is a cold, rather unfeeling place for the characters. By the end, we discover a community and a home for all of them.
Now for the characters - Naomi is the heart and the main line of the story. We follow her through to the conclusion of all the mysteries.The story and the other characters reactions are perceived through her viewpoint. Her emotions and reactions feel very authentic for a young person. A good example of this is her jealousy regarding that Finn Boy. Her emotions are most vivid though at the death of her foster father, Joe. They felt so raw and real. The reader is completely immersed in her shock, pain, and then gradually feeling him still with her.. My daughter had said that Naomi was a person of few words because she had experienced so much pain in her life. She carried a heavy burden that kept her quiet. I felt that this was true. She loved that at the end of the story, Naomi's burden was beginning to lessen and she was able to feel more joy.
The other characters came across as more flat. For instance - Lizzy (a character affected by the story deeply) never really grows or changes. By the end, we see her content finally. She has a home, plenty to eat, a future, and a sister in Naomi. Yet, we do t see this contentment or happiness change her at all. She talks too much and annoyed me a bit. My daughter loved this character. She said that Lizzy was unique and quirky - her own person.
Nula (foster mom) comes across more as a narrator voice than an actual participant in the story. She tells the stories (in a beautiful way) but strangely seems unmoved by the "unexpected" events. She just seems to go along with whatever happens in the story.
In conclusion, this is Naomi's story and was mesmerizing. ( )
  pammycats | Jul 1, 2014 |
A friend let me borrow his (signed!) copy of this delightful book, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I wasn't really sure what to to expect from this story, and it kept me engaged all the way through with its twists and turns and the lovely characters. It had a very "fairy tale" feeling, with characters that weren't necessarily completely fleshed out, but they didn't need to be -- they needed to be a little bit larger than life to make this work.

The two girls at the center of the story were so charming, I especially loved the stories and phrases from Joe, one of the girls' guardian. My especial favorite was "That girl could talk the ears off a cornfield." ( )
  srearley | Sep 21, 2013 |
Great new book from Sharon Creech. Loved the strong girl characters and the magical tone of the plot. ( )
  dmiller70 | Jul 2, 2013 |
Loved the characters. Loved the settings. Loved the mild suspense. Love Sharon Creech's way with words. ( )
  MontLancLibrary | May 8, 2013 |
I love Sharon Creech's ability to create quirky characters but this cast was a little over the top and distracted me from the story itself. Pleasant reading, but far from her best. ( )
  KimJD | Apr 8, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
This is "...an enchanting page-turner filled with secrets, humor, decisions, "coincidences," and deeper meanings."
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061892327, Hardcover)

I had big thoughts to match the big wind. I wondered if we find the people we need when we need them. I wondered if we attract our future by some sort of invisible force, or if we are drawn to it by a similar force. I felt I was turning a corner and that change was afoot.

In the little town of Blackbird Tree live two orphan girls: one Naomi Deane, brimming with curiosity, and her best friend, Lizzie Scatterding, who could talk the ears off a cornfield. Naomi has a knack for being around when trouble happens. For she knows all the peculiar people in town—like Crazy Cora and Witch Wiggins and Mr. Farley. But then, one day, a boy drops out of a tree. The strangely charming Finn boy. Then the Dingle Dangle man appears, asking all kinds of questions. Curious surprises are revealed—three locked trunks, a pair of rooks, a crooked bridge, and that boy. Soon Naomi and Lizzie find themselves zooming toward a future neither could ever have imagined. Meanwhile, on a grand estate across the ocean, an old lady whose heart has been deceived concocts a plan. . . .

As two very different worlds are woven together, Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech celebrates the gossamer thread that connects us all, and the great and unexpected gifts of love, friendship, and forgiveness.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:12 -0400)

"In the little town of Blackbird Tree live two orphan girls: one Naomi Deane, brimming with curiosity, and her best friend, Lizzie Scatterding, who could talk the ears off a cornfield. Naomi has a knack for being around when trouble happens. For she knows all the peculiar people in town--like Crazy Cora and Witch Wiggins and Mr. Farley. But then, one day, a boy drops out of a tree. The strangely charming Finn boy. Then the Dingle Dangle man appears, asking all kinds of questions. Curious surprises are revealed--three locked trunks, a pair of rooks, a crooked bridge, and that boy. Soon Naomi and Lizzie find themselves zooming toward a future neither could ever have imagined. Meanwhile, on a grand estate across the ocean, an old lady whose heart has been deceived concocts a plan. . . "--Publisher.… (more)

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