Recently I realized that my son has not heard many of the novels I read to the two girls when they were his age and a little older. So we are revisiting them. One which we enjoyed years ago was Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan. There are now four books about Sarah and her family: Sarah, Plain and Tall, Skylark, Caleb’s Story and More Perfect Than the Moon.
The library has them all on cd, read by Glenn Close, who plays Sarah in the movie versions of Sarah, Plain and Tall and Skylark. Each book tells the story of the family Sarah marries into, but from the perspective of a different family member. When Sarah joins the Witting family she becomes the stepmother to Anna and Caleb. Anna writes about all the family’s experiences in her journal and before moving to town urges Caleb to do the same.
More Perfect than the Moon is told by Cassie the youngest child and her approach is a little different to Anna’s and Caleb’s. She has been told to write about what she sees and about what is going on. In order to do that she lurks and spies and listens in on other people’s conversations. Her behaviour does not go unnoticed however and her family members reprimand her.
Cassie decides that it is just as valid to create her own stories of what is going on. The characters are her family, but the plot is definitely her own. Her stories are very amusing and had all of us laughing and repeating lines to each other. Her desire to create fantastic tales about her family is borne out of fears that Sarah’s pregnancy will end in tragedy. Her journal entries contain promises of happiness and gifts “more perfect than the moon”.
The story is somewhat predictable but this did not spoil it for us. Cassie does find something “more perfect than the moon” but it was not what she had expected. We did feel that Patricia MacLachlan might not be finished telling the tale of Sarah and the Witting family, so we will be looking out for a new journal keeper’s story.