Synopses & Reviews
Judith Viorst's most adored book is undoubtedly the children's classic Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
. In this new book, fans will recognize and be drawn to the Alexander they know and love—only now he's all grown up, with three kids of his own.
When Judith's son Alexander announces that he, his wife, Marla, their daughter, Olivia (age five), and their two sons, Isaac (age two) and Toby (four months), would be staying with her and her husband for ninety days while their house was being renovated, Judy doesn't know quite how to repond. "I tried to think of it as a magnificent, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not only to strengthen family ties and not only to really get to know the grandchildren, but also to further my personal growth while also achieving marital enrichment." She decides that she'll have to learn to let go of her excessive devotion to domestic neatness and adherence to carefully planned schedules.
As Judith's tightly run home turns into a high-octane madhouse of screaming grandkids, splattered floors, spilled milk, and tripped-over toys, she begins to understand that, despite the chaos, what she's been given truly is an amazing thing, an opportunity to know her children and grandchildren a little better than before, but also to reconnect with her husband as they hold hands, close their eyes, and wait patiently for move-out day.
When the "Alexander Five" make a final departure to their newly refurbished home, Judith realizes that Alexander's wonderful, marvelous, excellent, terrific ninety days might have been the greatest gift her son could have given her—the gift of discovering forgotten memories, making loving families, and a chance to live life a little more deeply.
"Viorst has her house exactly the way she likes it, with all the fine things that she denied herself when raising three rambunctious sons. But that order is delightfully disturbed when her youngest son, Alexander (the inspiration for her famous picture book), his wife and their three young children return to the nest while their house is being renovated. Her account of the three-month stay, replete with disruptions, awkwardness and wonderfully affectionate moments, is a sweet and mildly humorous testament to a family whose loving bonds are powerfully evident. Viorst intersperses familial anecdotes with musings on modern parenting and its problems, including various approaches to accommodating three generations in one house. Merlington's tone matches Viorst's text perfectly, conveying Viorst's defiant defensiveness about and gentle amusement at her own foibles, particularly her penchants for order and her almost complete inability to repress the sharing of 'helpful' advice. This charming minimemoir doesn't break any new ground, but it doesn't have to. Simultaneous release with the Free Press hardcover. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Viorst adds quick reflections on her personal growth, her life, and her marriage.... The stories are delightful enough to stand alone." ---Library Journal
"The irony in Merlington's voice is exquisite as she relates stories of Viorst's long-term marriage and the exuberance and agony of grandparenting." ---AudioFile
When Judith's son Alexander announces that he and his entire family would be staying with her and her husband for ninety days while their house was being renovated, Judy finds it to be a magnificent, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not only to get to know her children and grandchildren a little better than before, but also to reconnect with her husband as they hold hands, close their eyes, and wait patiently for move-out day.
About the Author
Judith Viorst has written many books for children, including the classics "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" and its sequels, and "If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Stories." She is also the author of "Just in Case, " illustrated by Diana Cain Bluthenthal. She lives with her husband, Milton, in Washington D.C.Laural Merlington has performed and directed for 30 years in regional theaters throughout the country. She has recorded over 100 audiobooks, including many by Fern Michaels, and is the recipient of several AudioFile Magazine Earphone Awards. In addition to her extensive theater and voiceover work, Laural teaches college in her home state of Michigan.