Our bedtime read-aloud book right now is the fourth of Elizabeth Enright’s Melendy Quartet, Then There Were Five. We love those Melendys so much! I love that each chapter is stand-alone, which means no cliffhanger endings (and thus fewer cries of “Just one more chapter!”) and, I confess, less for my tired brain to remember from night to night. One of my favorite things about Enright’s writing, though, is her ability to paint captivating word pictures. Here’s one:
The barn was splendid. That was the only word for it. It was huge and crimson, and its ridgepole was ornamented with lightning rods, weather vanes, dovecots, and ventilators shaped like medieval pavilions [. . .]
What a place it was! Lofty as a cathedral; full of the gold of hay, and its golden, heady smell. High in the dusky shadows of the roof barn swallows twittered and darted. Still above, from the ridgepole came the soft stutterings of pigeons. Straw was scattered on the floor and among it stepped a rooster with a quivering comb. (26)
Of course, I could go on, but I won’t. 🙂 These stories are just completely delightful. I’ve shared a bit about the Melendys before for WWW here, and I’ve shared my thoughts on The Saturdays here and The Four-Story Mistake here.