Lively, copper-curled Penelope Ellen Purvis has bravely but sadly waved goodbye to her beloved father and mother. Captain Purvis of the sailing ship Mercator has taken his wife on board with him and they will be gone a whole year. Penny is to stay in the New England town of Newburyport, where she has many relatives and is soon to have new friends as well. Ladylike Cressy Pidgeon and her somewhat younger cousin “Thudy” (whose father is also sailing on the Mercator) take impetuous and forthright Penny to their hearts. With Penny as a new element, there is a world of people and experiences to introduce her to. Grandma Pidgeon and likeable, if teasing, neighbor boy Ned Cherry and Theophilus Powlett and the melancholy, beautiful Aunt Lucy Otway are only a few of the folks who make Penny’s early stay in Newburyport so unforgettable.
Against the background of exciting actual happenings of 1840—such as three catastrophic winter storms and later on, the arrival of a railway line to town—the children weave their own adventures. Buoyant Penny and her friends invite us into their hearts, bringing with them an era and local setting sketched in loving detail by author Ethel Parton—who drew many of the incidents from the storytelling of her own forebears.
Original Publishing Date: 1936, Original Book: 300 pages