Saturday, June 16, 2012


Plot synopsis: While most of the family is at high school band practice, Shirley Partridge (“one groovy mom” according to the cover copy) receives a call from the family band’s manager, Rueben Kincaid, for a gig at the “Larkland Rock Festival by special request by the Governor of the state”. Readers are left in the dark about which state this festival takes place in, but apparently the appearance of the Partridges and movie star, Jerry Jingo, is “the biggest thing the state has had”. The catch is that all hotels and motels are booked and the Partridges must stay in a deserted mansion in the woods. The owner of the mansion, J. Watterson Trumbull, was sent to a sanitarium twenty years ago when he “turned into a firebug of some kind and burned down a lot of buildings”. Rueben doesn’t tell Shirley the mansion is believed to be haunted. ************************************************************************************** Character Development: Son Christopher likes to play with his two pet turtles. The daughters may have been exposed to radiation as it is said of “teen-ager Laurie” that “her lovely face (was) radiant” and “baby of the family, Tracy”had a “pixie face aglow.” Danny was just a “practical, ten year old red head”. Rueben Kincaid says he was raised in a housing project. “Keith (is) the oldest”. Shirley likes time alone to read magazines. ************************************************************************************* Relevant Cultural Issues - "Women's Liberation" Shirley tells Reuben she can't cook and clean AND be a groovy rock star while doing a gig. Reuben agrees to get her a staff at the mansion.*********************************************************************** Hip Slang – “Neat-o” and “Demo” (tape)**************************************************************** Contemporary Pop Culture References – “Simon and Garfunkel” (Chris’ turtles), “John Wayne” (Chris’ favorite movie star), “Red River” (film frequently viewed by Chris on TV), “David McCallum” (Laurie’s favorite TV star), “McCall’s” (one of Shirley’s magazines), “Wall Street Journal” (Danny’s source of financial information), “Pepsi Cola” (one of Danny’s stock trading concerns), “The Beatles” (band the Partridges hope to rival) ************************************************************************************* Favorite Sentences from chapter: “It was the rock fans that had made the Partridges a top singing group attraction.” … “Shirley Partridge had no way of knowing that the Wheel of Life was about to take a weird and terrifying turn for herself and her children: that their stay in the old dark house in the woods was to prove altogether ghostly and ghastly.”

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