Review: Ramona and Her Mother (Ramona Quimby #5) by Beverly Cleary

Ramona and Her Mother - Tracy Dockray, Beverly Cleary

Meh. I got more of the Ramona I loved but Mrs. Quimby was practically a no-show in her own book. Ramona is 7.5 years old and her feelings and thoughts are deeper reaching, yet she still retains her lovely spirit and realism. Beezus is still feeling the chaos that is early puberty, but once again I really like the scenes she was in, especially when she defended Ramona to their parents. Topics included in this installment include: mother-daughter relationships, women in the workforce, frank discussions of household finances, and remembering to turn on the slow-cooker prior to leaving the house for the day.

 

Mrs. Quimby definitely played favorites - Beezus is the favored child for sure. Even Beezus sees it, which is why she felt she needed to defend Ramona. She had little involvement in Ramona's life. We got more from Ramona's sweet and lovely second grade teacher.

 

Mr. Quimby is still a douchebag, but now an unhappily employed man who makes the family as unhappy as he did during his unemployment. One thing that struck me as "whoa nelly!" moment was how Beezus described the parents' relationship: they met in college but both dropped out when they got married (junior year) and Beezus was born a few months later. So am I reading this right as "mommy and daddy had pre-martial sex and being the 1950s/early 1960s, were forced to marry to save face"?

 

This book was published in 1979 and there are still some examples of family life being different from today's version. For one thing, Mrs. Quimby is seen sewing several times; one is her making her own blouse, one where she is letting down the hem of one of Beezus' skirts, etc. Another big example is how Mrs. Quimby cuts the kids hair on a regular basis. Things/services that are just paid for now that the family does in-house. 3 stars for Ramona, Beezus, and the teacher.