Hardcover: 320 pages
Release Date: December 22, 2009
Release Date: December 22, 2009
Synopsis: Seek tirelessly and you shall not find a contemporary heroine of middle-grade literature as refined and romantic as Miss Polly Madassa. Still swooning over the romantic conclusions of Pride & Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables, twelve-year-old Polly decides her purpose in life: helping along lonely hearts in search of love. Polly's only task this summer is to make deliveries for her parents' bakery, leaving ample time for this young cupid to find hearts to mend--beginning with the kite-store owner, Mr. Nightquist, who will pair perfectly with Miss Wiskerton (the unfairly labeled town curmudgeon). Polly's best friend Fran Fisk is in desperate need of a mother ever since hers ran off with a man she met on the Internet; Polly must find a match for Mr. Fisk. And while she's at it, it wouldn't hurt to find Clementine, Polly's teenaged sister, a beau worthy of her (so she can shed that brute, Clint). Polly's plans are in full swing, so she definitely cannot be bothered by the advances of classmate Brad Barker. But maybe Polly should have turned her attention to Miss Austen's Emma next, because she quickly learns the pitfalls of playing matchmaker. How will Polly patch up her own relationships, while ensuring that destined love can take its course?
Some might find Polly's narration to be irksome and exaggerated but I thought it was cute-her penchant for speaking old-fashioned English (using terms like "bosom friend", for example) showed how appealing she found the classical worlds of Pride & Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables. Her inclination towards romanticism quickly gets the best of her as she becomes convinced that it is her responsibility to become a match-maker, uniting lonely hearts in search of true love. She uses her family's bakery and her "knowledge" of romance from her books to aid her in this quest. She meddles in many people's lives, including her older sister (who has an odious brute of a boyfriend) and her best friend's father (who's heart was broken after his wife left him) all in the sake of her "mission"; her good intentions, however, lead her to make disastrous mistakes and at the same time our little match-maker is dealing with with her own romantic problems.
Polly's antics had me smiling, wincing and shaking my head as the novel progressed. Her intentions were good-she wanted to help people but her dogged determination made Polly see things her way and that frustrated me to no end! She wouldn't listen to anyone until she realized that she messed up big-time and then she decided to fix the problems she created. This is, I think, what draws the line between people that like/dislike the book. However, once I got used to Polly's stubborn streak I found myself wondering how things would end up for her, her best friend Fran and everyone else that Polly tried to "help". Luckily, things end on a happy (and slightly predictable) note. Overall, Lindsay Eland's Scones & Sensibility was a charming, enjoyable read with a main character that's sure to entertain those of the middle-grade audience. (My inner tween certainly liked Polly!)