Dealing with a terrible loss at home and faced with unknown danger in the world of story, Tuesday McGillycuddy has to muster all her resources to survive her most challenging adventure yet.
Angelica Banks is not one writer but two. Heather Rose and Danielle Wood are both award-winning authors of novels for adults. Writing the Tuesday McGillycuddy series together, they chose a pen name to make things easy.
Danielle won the Vogel prize for her first novel, The Alphabet of Light and Dark. She is also the author of two short story collections - Rosie Little's Cautionary Tale for Girls and Mothers Grimm and the non-fiction book Housewife Superstar - The Very Best of Marjorie Bligh.
Heather is the author of three novels, White Heart, The River Wife and The Butterfly Man. Her forthcoming novel is With Marina.
They both live in Tasmania. Between them they have two husbands, six children (including a set of twins), a dog, a cat, six rats, quite a few guinea pigs and countless bees.
As soon as I opened the package I was bursting to read this third and last instalment in the Tuesday McGillycuddy trilogy. And so I did in one sitting, devouring it as easily and happily as Tuesday might her father’s pancakes.
I have lately often spoken of the dearth of original and fresh stories and Angelica Banks, AKA Tasmanian writers Heather Rose and Danielle Wood, provide exactly the antidote to that. This latest is a little darker and deeper than the previous two stories with a terrible sadness impacting on Tuesday and her author mother, Serendipity Smith. A year previous to this adventure, their much loved husband and father Denis died and their lives have become cloistered and cobwebby inside a once sunny and happy home and their shared world of writing, Vivienne Small’s world has become frozen in an endless winter.
The unexpected arrival of Tuesday’s eccentric godmother Colette Baden-Baden heralds the beginning of healing and the start of a fresh and often dangerous adventure. Much to her surprise, Serendipity is once again drawn by a mysterious story thread, and leaving Colette to care for Tuesday, returns to the Library for respite and rousing from the Librarian. Almost immediately Tuesday is also snared by an even stranger story thread and finds herself captured by the weird and rather scary Loddon who seems to think he knows her. As Baxterr and Colette desperately seek out Tuesday, defying all the conventions of the place where only writers are allowed, Tuesday and Vivienne face horrible dangers from the seemingly demented Loddon.
Without her faithful doggo at her side she seems to be in a very frightening situation and the defeat of Loddon seems almost impossible. But strength and help often come from unexpected sources and Tuesday’s own story embraces both past and present intertwining threads. These characters become so real to the reader and the whole premise of the series is so fresh and entrancing that one cannot help but become more and more engaged with their lives. I am a little sad to part with them.
For one who has spent the past fourteen months in intense grief this new story has particular resonance and offers the hope of healing. I cannot help but think that anyone in similar circumstances would also find it so. If you have not yet discovered the magical world of Tuesday I recommend that you rush to buy this series and promote it to your readers who are hungry for a new hero – a girl of resilience, courage and compassion. Highly recommended for readers aged around 8 to 13.
Sue Warren, QLD
As a series progresses sometimes the books following the original lose the essence that made them so enjoyable. Not so with Blueberry Pancakes Forever. The third in the series, Finding Serendipity and A Week Without Tuesday, this book is as powerful, maybe more so that the two proceeding it. The author keeps you on the edge of your seat until the last fifty pages and even then you are unsure how the lives of your favourite characters are going to end up.
While this book could stand alone as a single novel you must read the two proceeding books first. The character development and storyline is richer for having prior knowledge from book one and two. Writers take a risk when they kill off a favoured character. But this time it gives richness to the story and the life messages. The third book is less about the writing process and writers and more about how life affects everyone and shows you that sometimes there is just nothing you can do about what you are dealt. Tuesday sums it up beautifully when she says, ‘It will always be different… But it doesn’t mean there won’t be great days.’
Good readers will thoroughly enjoy this novel but it becomes immediately available to many more readers when used as a read aloud in the classroom. Students quickly grab hold of the characters and their adventures and want to follow them through all three books. Students identify with Tuesday and/or Vivienne. Their journeys and experiences can give words to what students are facing in their own life. Go out today and buy all three books, read them yourself and then take them straight into the classroom. Both you and your students will be richer for it.
Roxanne Steenbergen, New Town Primary, TAS