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2023 Bookish Books Reading Challenge

My Progress:

6 / 30 books. 20% done!

2023 Literary Escapes Challenge

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My Progress:

17 / 51 books. 33% done!

2023 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

11 / 25 books. 44% done!

2023 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

25 / 50 books. 50% done!

Booklist Queen's 2023 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

31 / 52 books. 60% done!

2023 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

33 / 52 books. 63% done!

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

20 / 40 books. 50% done!

2023 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

12 / 40 books. 30% done!

2023 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

5 / 25 books. 20% done!

2023 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Book Bingo Reading Challenge

19 / 25 books. 76% done!

2023 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

43 / 109 books. 39% done!

Children's Book Reading Challenge...For Adults!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Another Spunky Kagen Narrator = Another Series to Love

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

With their daddy recently deceased, it's Tess and Birdie against the world.  Or, at least against their mother.  Beautiful, bitter Louise has never quite understood her daughters, whom the neighbors have labeled the "Finley ghouls."  If she gets wind of Birdie's newest quirk—believing her father is not dead at all, just living it up in Boca Raton—Louise is sure to lock her younger, slower daughter up in the insane asylum for good.  Which is why Tess has to convince Birdie of the truth.  Their lighthearted, jokester of a dad is dead.  No one knows that better than Tess; after all, she's the one who killed him.  

Filled with grief and fear, young Tess must use all her (considerable) pluck and grit to save her aggravating, but beloved little sister.  She believes she's on her own until help comes along in the most unlikely of forms ...

With her warm prose and spunky characters, Lesley Kagen has quickly written her way into my heart.  I've loved all of the books I've read by her.  So, really, it's no surprise that I adored The Undertaking of Tess as well.  Although it's just a novella, the story overflows with bright, vivid life.  Tess is my favorite kind of child narrator—not only is she funny, brave, and loyal (at least to her sister), but she is authentically so.  Seen through her innocent eyes, her story rings ever more true, ever more heart-wrenching, ever more hopeful.

I missed the Finley sisters the minute I finished this novella.  Thankfully, Kagen continues their story in her new novel, The Resurrection of Tess Blessing.  I seriously can't wait to see what happens to Tess next!

(Readalikes:  The Resurrection of Tess Blessing as well as Whistling in the Dark and Good Graces, all by Lesley Kagen)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs) and sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a finished copy of The Undertaking of Tess with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.  


  1. I'm touring The Resurrection of Tess Blessing next month. Now I'm even more excited about it!

  2. I should try this author. I could use some spunk.


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