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Patty’s Pleasure Trip

September 17, 2007

So, Patty’s Pleasure Trip was enjoyable, but having at last found a Patty book that I have problems with, I’m going to concentrate on those.

Problem #1: The Fairfields have spent enough time abroad. It’s time to go home. The last book was supposed to end just before it was time for Patty to go back to America, but then Carolyn Wells changed her mind and sent to Fairfields to Italy. Now they’re finally heading back, but, this book having ended with the Fairfields deciding to sail for home on December 1st, I’m worried that the first half of the next book will be taken up with their trip, or, worse yet, that they’ll change their minds at the last moment and spend Christmas in, I don’t know, Germany or something.

Problem #2: Floyd Austin. Now, I enjoy reading about most of the young men that Patty hangs out with. But I can’t see that there’s any point to Floyd Austin’s existence. He keeps making the same joke over and over again, and while it was funny at first for him to be narrating the actions of himself and his friends, it got old really quickly. And it got old well before they all left England, so there was no reason for him to go following Patty & co. around Italy. She’s already got Peter Homer and Caddy Oram to flirt with, not to mention the horribly named Lank Van Winkle.

That said, problem #3 is Peter Homer. I haven’t said much about the hilariously large number of young men who show signs of falling in love with Patty, but there are plenty. Seven books into a seventeen book series, and only counting the ones show enough signs of becoming dangerously sentimental that Patty begins to worry about them, we’ve got Kenneth Harper, Mr. Hepworth, Roger Farrington, Charlie Roland, Henri Labesse, the Earl of Ruthven, Tom Meredith, and now Peter Homer, who is old enough and smart enough to know better. That averages out to more than one man falling in love with Patty per book — more, if you consider that she was fourteen in the the first book, and there was no romantic stuff at all. On the other hand, one of Patty’s nicest traits is her tactful way of defusing romantic situations.

Problem #4 is that Patty prefers both Rome and Venice to Florence. And okay, I prefer Florence to both Rome and Venice, but that’s not why I’m upset. I’m upset because the only discernible reason for her preference is that Florence’s characteristic sights translate less well into ornaments for her charm bracelet. This is not the kind of thing I’m accustomed to hear from Patty Fairfield, and I trust it will not continue.

By the way, I have found something to distract me from Carolyn Wells for a bit, and it is called Deering of Deal and has two sequels. It’s a school story, and it’s adorable — sort of a turn of the century American version of Tom Brown’s Schooldays. I’m not done with it yet, but I already love Tony Deering’s roommate Reggie Carroll more than I ever loved Scud East.

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