Monday, December 15, 2014

Belles on Their Toes, Frank Gilbreth & Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

Belles on Their Toes

Frank B. Gilbreth & Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

Category: Nonfiction: Memoir; Parenting & Families

Synopsis: Reeling after the death of their husband and father, the Gilbreth clan moves on with humor and grace.

Date finished: 14 October 2014

Rating: *****

How I wish there were more than two of these Gilbreth family books.* They’re hilarious. And they’re full of family values from another era—which a lot of us still practice in this era.

Belles on Their Toes is the follow-up to Cheaper by the Dozen, which inspired a movie decades ago but bears little resemblance to the Steve Martin/Bonnie Hunt movies. Cheaper by the Dozen ends with the death of Mr. Gilbreth. This book picks up where it leaves off. Raising 11 kids (one of the 12 died years before but it isn’t really mentioned in the original book) in the early 1900s isn’t going to be easy for Mrs. Gilbreth. She continues on with the efficiency work she and her husband did before his death. In an era where women didn’t hold jobs out of the home, she had a lot to prove—and a lot to juggle. The family, already very close, really pulls together.

This book was just as funny and full of heart as the original. It follows the kids into adulthood with a number of humorous family stories throughout the years. This would be a great book for tweens who are into more traditional literature (the Anne of Green Gables and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn crowd). While some of the references are so outdated I don’t know what they’re talking about, there’s never anything objectionable.

*These are written by the children when they are adults.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

You might also enjoy:
Cheaper by the Dozen

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