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WENDY Karen Wallace. 2004. Read by Jan Francis. 2003/2004. 4 tapes. 5 hrs. BBC Audiobooks America. 0-7540-9963-6. $32.95. Vinyl; plot, reader notes. JS

This is Wendy and the Darling family as they might have been before Peter Pan was written. Mr. Darling is having a fling with Mrs. Cunningham, a family friend; experiencing financial difficulties: and tearing up the road like Mr. Toad. Mrs. Darling is pawning jewelry and heirlooms to pay household expenses. Wendy, Michael, and John are laboring under the heavy hand of Nanny Holborn. Nana, the nursery dog with whom Wendy holds internal conversations, has been banished to the garden. The bright spot in the children's lives are Uncle Arthur's country estate and the mysterious, not-quite-right 15-year-old Thomas, who is bereft when Wendy is not there.

Considering the Edwardian times in which children were to be seen (rarely), never heard and certainly never informed, it is remarkable that Wendy finds her way through all the perplexities she does not comprehend. Francis has a lovely, light, cultured British voice, perfect for all the children and the adults. She tells the story easily and gracefully. Fortunately, all ends well for all the Darlings. Many adults and teens may overlook this because Wendy is so young; but they shouldn't. Mary Purucker, Beverly Hills PL., Beverly Hills, CA

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescent and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.
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Author:Purucker, Mary
Article Type:Audiobook Review
Date:Mar 1, 2005
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