The BSC has yet another new family to sit for: the Brookes. Stacey is the first one to sit for them, and the job is pretty easy. There are two kids; Joni is nine, and Ewan is five, and they don't give Stacey any trouble at all. It's an especially easy job because Mr. Brooke is home the entire time. He's a mystery writer, and he wanted a sitter around to look after the kids so he could concentrate on his latest novel. Mrs. Brooke isn't in the picture anymore; she's in Atlanta, hosting some tv show. At the end of the evening, Mrs. McGill comes to pick up Stacey. It's pretty clear that she and Mr. Brooke are into each other, which couldn't make Stacey happier. She's been concerned lately that her mom doesn't have enough of a social life, and dating someone as nice as Mr. Brooke would be perfect. The next time Stacey sits for Joni and Ewan, her mom insists on driving her over there. Mrs. McGill spends an awful lot of time talking to Mr. Brooke before leaving, and that doesn't exactly make the kids happy. Joni in particular seems upset by her dad's attraction to Stacey's mom, and she's a lot colder to Stacey than she was before. She's even more unhappy when Mr. Brooke asks Mrs. McGill to go with him to the premiere of a play he wrote. Stacey isn't able to sit for the kids that night, so Kristy gets the job instead. Joni is really difficult; she tries her hardest to make her dad late for the date, and she's doing her best to convince Ewan that he's going to marry Mrs. McGill, and that Mrs. McGill will turn into the typical evil stepmother.
Meanwhile, Stacey waits up at home to hear all about the date. It went pretty well, and Mrs. McGill is in a great mood for the rest of the weekend. The Brooke kids, on the other hand, are miserable. Joni is really cold to Stacey the next time she sits, and Ewan just goes along with her. Stacey pulls Mr. Brooke aside after the job is over and lets him know how upset the kids are that he's going out with her mom, and he agrees to talk to them. He does it before Stacey sits there next, but it doesn't really sink in. Joni is still pretty frosty, but Ewan is a bit friendlier. Mr. Brooke is full of praise for Mrs. McGill, which makes Stacey pretty glad, but her mom isn't quite as enthusiastic about the relationship. Some of the themes in his books disturb her, and she doesn't like the way he snaps at Joni for her rude behavior when the families go out to dinner together. Even so, when Mr. Brooke suggests that they all have Thanksgiving dinner together at the McGills', Mrs. McGill agrees. It's a disaster; Joni won't eat anything that her dad didn't bring, and she's rude about the music that Mrs. McGill chose. Mr. Brooke finally loses his temper, causing Joni to run from the room in tears. Stacey has a talk with her, and things settle down a bit after that. It's still a pretty tense dinner, though.
After the Brookes leave, Mrs. McGill tells Stacey that she going to break it off with Mr. Brooke. Stacey doesn't see all the negative things that her mom does, and she's furious that Mrs. McGill would just end what could be a great relationship. She cools off during a weekend in New York (and a talk with Ethan about the subject) and she realizes that she can't make decisions like that for her mom. Plus, Stacey knows that she owes her own mother more loyalty that she does to Mr. Brooke. Oddly enough, the kids had gotten used to the idea of their dad dating Stacey's mom, and they're upset by the breakup. They think it's their fault for being difficult, until Stacey straightens them out.
No real subplot in this one; just the Mallory looking into other schools to get away from her Spaz Girl reputation.
Thoughts and Things
- I was so indifferent to this book; I didn't love and I didn't hate it. It was just sort of...there. I DID like that Mrs. McGill didn't go and marry the first guy she dated after her divorce like everyone else in the BSC world.
- I wonder if Suzanne Weyn (or someone else invovled with the series) was a fan of Little Women? I mean, they could have given Mr. Brooke any first name in the world, but they made him John (another John in Stoneybrook!!!!). At least the kids weren't named Daisy and Demi. ;)
- I sort of had a bookcrush on the LW John Brooke when I was younger. :D
- So...another famous author calls Stoneybrook home. Lovely.
- How do you guys think Joni's name is pronounced? Is it "Johnny" or "Joanie?"