Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo

This the latest and last book about the characters introduced in Raymie Nightingale. This time it’s spiky Beverly who gets a book to herself and, like Louisiana’s Way Home, it involves a bit of a journey. Things aren’t great for Beverly-her mother is the same as always and her beloved dog, Buddy, has died. Obviously this is a very sad, if necessary, part of the story and the part that broke my heart the most. Beverly runs away from home and (as can only happen in charming stories set decades ago) ends up in a little seaside town connecting with an elderly lady, driving her to bingo, living in her trailer and eating her tuna melt sandwiches. And also finding a job busing tables in an inexplicably busy restaurant (with very little staff.) If a lot of this sounds improbable, I assure that not only does it not feel that way in the story, it actually feels as if it couldn’t be anything but that. It all just feels right for Beverly. A break from reality. A break to heal and grow and think and connect.
This isn’t the wordiest book in the world, but the sentences that are there are really so beautifully written that sometimes you just have to stop and reread them and savor them. There are so many small moments in the story that feel deeply important. Every place and person in this story was crystal clear in my imagination, which I think is a reflection of how well this is written.

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo

Immediately after we finished Raymie Nightingale we were able to get the audiobook of Louisiana’s Way Home and start that. Since I had not read this one it was an especially nice choice. The reader was different, but as Tabby immediately pointed out to me, “of course because this book is told from Louisian’s point of view. Also the other book was in 3rd person but this one is in 1st person.” Good point, Tab.
Anyway, we did like this reader and we really liked this story. It had us on an emotional roller coaster.

Louisiana has left Florida with her Granny quite abruptly and driven them to Georgia. A dramatic teeth removal situation has them unexpectedly staying in a motel and interacting with people. Family secrets are revealed and Louisiana has much to come to terms with, including the Flying Elephantes (having listened to it I don’t know if that’s how it’s spelled, but that’s how I saw it in my head) and the curse of “sundering.”

We especially enjoyed the references to Raymie and Beverly and felt the ending was satisfying. And now we can’t wait for the Beverly book this fall!