mrs frankweiler

After a crazy week, Molly and I spent Sunday evening reading From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler. I had last read it in — oh, say, 1982?

If you don’t know it (which is an excusable state of affairs only for British readers), it is the story of two young children who run away to (‘run away to? how can you run away to?’) the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. They sleep in fancy beds, bathe in fountains and befriend a Michelangelo statue without ever getting caught.

There’s a lovely bit I’d forgotten near the end, when the elderly Mrs Frankweiler is assessing the mood of young Claudia just before sending her home:

I could tell that she felt happy. Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place, but there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around.

Not an elegant sentence, perhaps; but an elegant image nonetheless.

6 thoughts on “mrs frankweiler”

  1. Molly and I must have some kind of psychic link – I was just thinking about that book yesterday! Claudia’s ‘aha’ moment was always one that pleased me.

    That was one of my sister’s favorite books and was one of the many that she read aloud to me. I liked it, but preferred ‘Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth, William McKinley and me, Elizabeth’. I checked that book out of the library over and over! ‘The toad will cause you pain’! Wonderful.

  2. I love that book! It’s been years since I’ve read it. Perhaps I will have a visit to the young adult section of the library next time I have a vacation.

    I don’t know the “Jennifer, Hecate…” book. Author?

  3. The same, E. L Konisgburg, it’s about two girls ‘learning’ to be witches. Hence the importance of MacBeth, toads, etc. It’s wonderful!

  4. That is beginning to ring bells. Do you suppose there are transferable skills from ‘learning to be witches’ to ‘growing in discipleship’?

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