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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
The Cats and the Cradle is the third book in The Ann and Henry Novels by Jane McBride and I think this was probably the best one by far. It was a bit different, there wasn't a mystery to solve, no murders going on, but it was the chaos that Jane McBride created in the Mendez household that made this one a real page-turner. Ann and Kyle are the proud parents of a new baby girl Melanie, so when Ann's 89-year-old aunt Leona falls and breaks her arm, the only answer is for her to move into the Mendez home. Even though it's two months till Thanksgiving, Aunt Gert and her relief driver Penelope Hogwaller are coming home for the holidays. As if all this isn't enough, someone shows up on the Mendez doorstep with shocking news that will alter Ann's world forever. Along with all that, a confirmed bachelor might be getting married, a holy terror might be tamed, and a wild trip to Vegas provides plenty of laughs in Jane McBride's latest novel.
I have been a fan of The Ann and Henry Novels since book one because of the fantastic characters and this book was no different. The Cats and the Cradle allows us to catch up with old characters while introducing us to many new ones as well. A much more emotional read than the last two books in the series, Ms. McBride really knows how to have me laughing one minute and wiping tears from my eyes the next. Each character plays an important role, making for a plot that doesn't quit because there is always something going on, and the author's descriptions make you feel as if you're right in the midst of whatever calamity it might be. While this is the third book in the series, the author provides enough background information that it could be read as a stand-alone. As someone who has read each book, I highly recommend reading the entire series. Anyone looking for a good clean story that provides plenty of laughs, a few somber moments, and a well rounded if sometimes wacky cast of characters that make you feel as if you are a part of their family, then you're in for a treat with The Cats and the Cradle. The ending really leaves me anxious to read the next book in The Ann and Henry Novels.