'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Review: Bernice Takes a Plunge

Bernice Takes a Plunge has fast-paced action, a strong, independent female leading character, mystery and a lot happening all the time. It is a novel full of tension and surprise.

Bernice Peppercorn is imaginative, undaunted by challenges, and has a mind of her own. Strong and independent, her idol is Crystal Bell, a local celebrity who lives three blocks away. 

Bernice knows all about her life, films and activity.

She carries a notebook with her everywhere, so she can record daily observations that can be used to build the stories that she imagines, then writes.

This often gets her into trouble, as what she sees and interprets, is seldom what is actually going on. These misinterpretations happen so frequently that her reports to the local policeman, result in a smile and shake of the head.

While Crystal Bell is away oversea filming, her home is robbed and her jewellery stolen. Bernice loves a mystery! She’s determined to solve the crime and find the jewellery. 

With her friend Maggie house-bound with chickenpox, she befriends the peg-legged Ike whose boat is docked at the marina. She finds him interesting and truthful. A friendship is forged.

No one takes Bernice seriously, especially her brother Jake. So, the police ignore her report of lights flashing from the cave area at Thumbtip across the sea. She has always wanted to go there. After asking Ike to take her and getting a refusal, she steals his small boat and rows towards the cave.

Bad weather finds her in deep water, literally. Ike goes after her and they find themselves fighting for their lives after smashing against the rocks.

What follows will strengthen friendships and make any doubts about Bernice’s actions fade away.

I loved this book. It is non-stop entertainment filled with tension and tiny sub-stories that build interest in all the characters, even those with an enter-and-exit role. Fantastic descriptions of the settings in a coastal town dragged me right into the scene.

Title: Bernice Takes a Plunge
Author: Ann Harth
Publisher: Odyssey Books, $14.99
Publication Date: 5 March 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925652918
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Fiction