The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls - Claire Legrand

For me, the best part of The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls was the protagonist herself, Victoria. Victoria Wright is literally the best--she is the top of her class, has bouncy blonde curls, and keeps her room immaculately clean. My favorite things about Victoria, however, are her flaws. She may be polite and courteous, but otherwise she is pretty terrible at socializing, even though she personally finds it a waste of time as it is a distraction from her studies. For example, one day she decides that Lawrence needs her friendship, so just tells him that he is her friend now, without caring that he initially doesn't want to be her friend, and oftentimes she fails to realize the difference between constructive criticism and just being mean. When Lawrence expresses how much her friendship means to him, she freaks out and avoids him. Then a few weeks later Lawrence disappears, and when Victoria is the only one who remembers he is gone she finally, though begrudgingly, accepts how much his friendship means to her. Luckily for Lawrence, Victoria has another flaw: extreme stubbornness. It is this stubbornness which helps Victoria recognize that other kids are missing, that many people in town smile like someone is pulling back their lips, and that nobody ever talks about the local orphanage down the street, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls. While I am of the opinion that the book lost some of its appeal once the gophers showed up(the grotesque isn't really my thing), overall I really enjoyed reading this. The most remarkable thing about this book is not the mystery, but that Legrand dared to write a protagonist who can be rude and selfish, but as reader you still wanted to root for her with every page turn. 4.5 stars