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The Four-Story Mistake: 05/15/20
The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright is the second book in the Melendy Family series. The family is saying goodbye to their home in the city to move to a larger house in the country. Think of it as a middle grade equivalent to Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1946).
Like The Saturdays (1941), this one is made up of episodic chapters. The early ones focus on how various family members deal with the move. Later ones focus on moving into the house, along with the ups and downs of buying an old farm house. Then there is the fun of exploring inside and out, including the discovery of a walled off room which brings to mind The Ghost Road by Charis Cotter (2018)
The Four-Story Mistake holds up better for me than the first book does. The siblings are better defined as characters. Their adventures, too, are more defined by the location and the novelty of moving to the country from the city.
Like the first book, this one is settled on the realistic end of the Road Narrative Spectrum. The Melendy family (33) as a whole is the traveler. Their destination is an old house in rural town (33), one reminiscent of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House by Eric Hodgins and illustrated by William Steig (1946). It won't be a proper home until the third book, so the destination is the rural location, not the actual place they purchase. The route they take by car is a Blue Highway (33) as the novel pre-dates the Interstate system. All together then, book two is about a family relocating to a new home via the Blue Highway.
The third book is Then They Were Five (1944).