Abby, Anna, and their mom are headed out to the Hamptons for a vacation with Gram Elsie and Grandpa Morris, Mrs, Stevenson's parents. They throw themselves a big anniversary party every year, and this year, the theme is "Alice in Wonderland." Abby is really excited about hanging out on the beach, seeing her grandparents, and helping them get ready for their party. She's also got Kristy coming up for a visit for a week. Right away, though, Abby notices that something isn't right with her grandparents. Grandpa Morris insists on going with Gram Elsie to some appointment she has in town , and then Abby overhears Gram on the phone, confirming that she's going to having something checked out. After that, Abby watches her grandmother much more closely, but no more clues about what might be wrong come to the surface. Then, Gran Elsie sends Abby into the house to get a copy of the party menu. When Abby's looking for it, she finds all sorts of information about breast cancer...and the likely answer to what's wrong with Gram Elsie.
People have started RSVPing for the party, and Gram Elsie has been disappointed with how many aren't coming. Abby decides to give her grandmother a treat, and she starts surreptitiously calling people who've said no and trying to convince them to come. She also decides she needs to find out more about breast cancer, so she heads to the library the first chance she gets. Abby finds quite a bit of scary information, but also lots of information that's encouraging. The comfort that she got from being informed kind of goes out the window when she sees Gram Elsie again. Reading articles and books and statistics is one thing; it's a totally different ball game when it's someone you know. When Gram goes upstairs for a nap, Abby tries to get Grandpa Morris to tell her what's wrong with her grandmother. All she can get out of him is that planning the party is taking a lot out of Elsie.
The day of the party arrives, finally. Everything is going well, and many of the guests that had said they weren't coming show up, thanks to Abby. Then, Gram Elsie and Grandpa Morris give a very touching speech about how much everyone means to them, and how important family and friends are. This is too much for Abby; she runs inside the house, crying. Gram Elsie finds her, and Abby finally confesses that she knows about Gram's cancer. Gram confirms that she does have breast cancer....maybe. The appointment that Abby had heard her talking about on the phone was for a biopsy, and the results haven't come back yet. Gram lets Abby know that even if it IS cancer, she intends to fight it. The books ends without us ever knowing whether or not the lump was cancerous.
Subplot: the Pikes can't afford to go to Sea City, so the kids create their own beach vacation in their own backyard.
Thoughts and Things
- Normally, I like Suzanne Weyn, but this book was so poorly written that it's not even funny.
- This is one of the only books where I actually like the subplot better than the main story.
- Cover: Kristy dressed up as the Mad Hatter for the party, so if that's her talking to the older gentleman in the background...either he's really short or she's suddenly grown about a foot. Also, her feet are freakishly tiny.
- When I first read this book, I remember being surprised that they used the word "breast" so many times in a BSC book, even though it WAS in a technical sense.