It’s been years since I’ve read a Sharon Creech book. Seriously, like since 5th grade. Anyways, in 5th grade we read Walk Two Moons and then I went to the library and read all the Sharon Creech they have available. When The Great Unexpected arrived totally unexpectedly in my mailbox, I absolutely knew I was going to set aside time to read it, as I just loved her books so much as a kid. Y’all, I ended up reading this book during one of those 24 hour marathons and this was one of my later/early AM reads so my brain is kind of fuzzy. Alas.
Naomi Deane and Lizzie Scatterding are orphans who live in the town of Blackbird Tree. Of course, they are best friends. Of the two, Lizzie is the talker and is the more vivacious one. Naomi is a bit more quiet, but she’s also ends up getting in trouble more often. She also knows all the local weirdos. One day when the pair are hanging out this mysterious boy named Finn pretty much drops out of a tree. Unfortunately he causes some drama between the two girls, you know how it is. On the heels of Finn’s arrival comes Mr. Dingle, a mysterious man from across the sea. Interwoven with Naomi’s story – because she’s the main player is that of an old lady over in Ireland who is coming up with a plan for revenge.
I’m going to keep this review of The Great Unexpected short, as it’s been over six months since I read it. So here’s what I thought – I did genuinely like this book. However, having read Creech’s previous works I didn’t quite think it was in the same league as Chasing Redbird or Walk Two Moons. Yet, you should also consider that I read those books when I was a kid and now I have read The Great Unexpected as an adult, so perhaps if I were to read those books as an adult I might not love them quite as much. Anyways, I enjoyed the emphasis on friendship within Creech’s book. The friendship of Naomi and Lizzie is definitely tested and as a reader, I couldn’t help but hope Finn would just go away so the two could be a fabulous duo again. I really enjoyed reading about Naomi’s guardians as well, even through some of the sadder scenes. ALSO! This is totally a one sitting, stay up late sort of book and did keep my attention the whole time. It’s not my favorite by a long shot, but it wasn’t half bad either. I’d recommend this book to people who like magical realism and books about young friendship.
Disclosure: Received copy for review from publisher