Thursday, August 15, 2013

Leah Makes a Plan

by Janet Hayward Burnham from the August 12, 2013 issue

Tagline: When one determined little girl decides it was time for her aunt to get married...well, things happen!

In a Nutshell: Four-year-old Leah wants cousins. When she finds out the only way she can get some is if her Aunt Shannon gets married, she embarks on a single-minded quest to find her aunt a husband. Turns out she's quite skilled at picking up single men.

Observations: This was a fabulously cute story. The niece was so perfectly written that I could hear her matter-of-fact voice in my head. A pet peeve of mine is when people have kids talking and behaving unlike real kids. It's a tough thing to do well, but I think Burnham succeeded. Here's an example:

He asked [Leah] if she got paid to be a matchmaker. Leah, of course, asked him what a matchmaker was, and Spencer patiently explained.

"I only want to get some cousins," she said. "I don't think I'm a matchmaker."

 Leah, like most four-year-olds, is very focused on herself. She's not trying to make her Aunt Shannon happy. She just wants to get herself some cousins.

The only complaint I had about this story was, again, like last week, the ending seemed to go on a tad too long. I see the attempt to bring it full circle and loop us back to the beginning of the story, but in my opinion, it focuses on the niece, not the romance and therefore falls a little flat.

Photo by DonkeyHotey (cc)


Deb Noone said...

I loved this story - it was fresh, fast-paced, and like you, I could hear Leah's voice. It helps that I have two gandsons who are four. One is totally sweet and caring and would do it to help the aunt, the other is just friendly to everyone and has a great sense of humor. I saw both my grandsons in Leah. Plus the hero was hero material, patient, a good sense of humor and definitely father material. The heroine showed she was made of strong stuff, by not flipping out on her niece - taking it all in stride. And 1st person was perfect for this story.

Chris said...

This was cute as a button and enjoyable from the word go. Leah is very much like the little girl in a popular sit-com we have in the UK, called Outnumbered. Very sensible, full of curiosity, and always asking the awkward question. I loved that Spencer wasn't fazed by her. I was surprised when the author revealed that Leah was four, though, as I pictured her a few years older. But that's a minor glitch in an otherwise great little story.

majbooks said...

I agree with Chris, a very cute story, with likeable characters. I, too, though, thought that four was just a tad too young for the precociousness of the child. But, all in all, sweet story for Woman's World.

Betsi said...

My granddaughter was very vocal about NOT wanting more cousins when she was 4 -- because she didn't want to share her grandma with them! So I had no problem believing this. I think an older child would know not to ask strangers personal questions. I thought this story was very well done. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it's a bit too much like a Thanksgiving story I submitted!

Mary Hicks said...

I thought I read this story several weeks or months ago?
It seemed so familiar...

Mary Jo said...

Mary, I think that is because little nieces are now the flavor of the day. I wonder how many more we will see blossoming on the Romance page?