It was with a happy and satisfied, though wistful, sigh that we finished Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze by Elizabeth Enright as our bedtime read-aloud last week. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I don’t know when we’ve enjoyed a series as much as this one. The saying is trite but true: all good things must come to an end; after all, it’s much better to end a series a bit too soon than too late (because we can all think of a series or two that went on a tad bit longer than it should’ve, right?) I guess you could say that Enright pushed this one a bit past that point by taking the older kids–Mona, Rush, and newcomer Mark–out of their home, the Four-Story Mistake, for their schooling. However, while absent in body, they were somewhat present in spirit thanks to the “maze” that some anonymous person has left the younger Melendys, Randy and Oliver, to complete in the other kids’ absence. It’s a long-running scavenger hunt, and the clues take Randy and Oliver to various locales, from a cemetery to their father’s home office to a neighbor’s home. Randy and Oliver puzzle over the maze’s author(s), naturally assuming it to be Mona, Rush, Mark, or all three. Beyond the fun of reading the clues and trying to deciper them along with the younger Melendys, there are the entertaining and engrossing vignettes that the Melendy’s meanderings bring them to. For example, Father relates a story from his childhood as it relates to one of the clues. There is an interlude in the middle of the book in which all of the Melendys are at home under the Four-Story Mistake’s sheltering roof at Christmas time, and it is the high point in the story as far as I’m concerned. (Not that the story is bad at all, mind you, but it just reminded me of how much I love all the other books because the children are all together. I’m so glad Enright brought them all back together for Christmas!) The story ends happily, with the mystery solved and all the Melendys once again together for the summer.
So, we’re officially through with the Melendys. . .except. . . my girls have made off with the books for their own private enjoyment! In fact, I had some quotes (of course!) from this book that I really, really want to share, but I cannot find the book to save my life. (I already shared one quote here.) Ah, well. It will turn up eventually.
We give The Melendy Quartet a Highly, Highly Recommended. If you haven’t read them, what are you waiting for?
- Book one, The Saturdays–my thoughts and an article from SLJ
- Book two, The Four-Story Mistake–my thoughts , a quote, an article from SLJ. and a lovely tribute by writer Maria De Los Santos
- Book three (my favorite!), Then There Were Five–my thoughts, a quote and another quote