As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

October 14, 2010

LOVE AMONG THE WALNUTS by Jean Ferris, 1998

Love among the WalnutsSandy Huntington-Ackerman's life becomes increasingly complicated when his bungling, moneygrubbing uncles try to shanghai the family fortune by poisoning a birthday cake. Luckily, those conniving uncles prove yet again that they can't do anything right. Instead of bumping off the whole family, they put Sandy's mom and dad and their pet chicken into mysterious comas. Sandy joins forces with his loyal butler and a wise and wacky nurse to save his parents and squelch his uncles' felonious high jinks. (Amazon Product Description)

Review by Kristen Landon: wife, mother, author

This book is utterly charming. It almost feels like it was written fifty years ago—it has that sense of innocence about it. I think I loved it so much because lately I’ve felt like I was drowning in books featuring sexy monsters or people with magical powers. This book was such a breath of fresh air.

It is also hilarious. We’ve got our hero, Sandy, who has never stepped foot off his billionaire parent’s estate. We’ve got the two evil uncles who want to kill everyone so they can inherit the money. We’ve got the loony-house next door full of interesting characters. The butler, cook, cat and chicken round out the cast of characters.

The real action begins when the uncles attempt to poison everyone on the estate. They blow it though. The poison only causes comas, not death. Sandy, the butler, and the cat escape the poisoning, but they can’t care for the others alone. They hire the beautiful—at least in Sandy’s eyes—Nurse Sunnie, but even her services are not enough. They have to move the unconscious group into the asylum next door. There are all sorts of interesting subplots involving the small group of staff and patients of the asylum and the blossoming romance between Sandy and Sunnie, but don’t count the uncles out yet! Their continued attempts to kill off Sandy’s family is what keeps the reader turning page after page of this delightful book.  

Market: Officially, Young Adult—but I think adults would love it too
Language: English (Just kidding!) None
Sensuality: There’s a pretty hot romance between a cat and a chicken, but the chicken is unconscious for most of the book so it doesn’t really go anywhere
Violence: Attempted murder all over the place—but it’s humorous, not gory attempted murder
Mature Themes: None

To learn more about the author, visit: Jean Ferris

To learn more about the reviewer and her books for young adult and middle grade readers, go here. Or her Amazon Author page: Kristen Landon

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