Review: The Secrets of Eastcliff-by-the-Sea by Eileen Beha and Sarah Jane Wright

the secrets of eastcliff-by-the-sea by eileen beha

A charming sock monkey reunites a fractured family in this simply remarkable novel in the tradition of The Velveteen Rabbit and The Penderwicks.

Meet Throckmorton S. Monkey. He’s everything a sock monkey is supposed to be: Loving. Loyal. A very good listener. And he never, ever, not even once, stopped smiling. Yet Throckmorton has been long forgotten by his keeper Annaliese Easterling, and he seems doomed to live out his days lost and lonely among other abandoned stuffed animals.

But then one day Great Grand Mama Easterling sends engraved invitations to forty-nine sock monkeys to attend her ninetieth birthday along with their human keepers. Throckmorton is thrilled! The arrival of his invitation brings him back together with Annaliese. And he vows to do something so remarkable, so amazing, she will never want to be separated from him again.

Indeed, over just a few days, Throckmorton will survive being buried in a blizzard. He’ll be spared from a vicious attacker. But best of all, he’ll find a way to reunite Annaliese with the one person she most longs to know. Not bad for a stuffed toy, if you’re willing to believe that’s all Throckmorton S. Monkey really is.

Description taken from Goodreads.

Think Toy Story meets sock monkeys set in 1930s Londonish.

It’s as charming as it sounds. The only thing I had against this book was that I’m not sure how many kids would want to read about sock monkeys. If they are willing to give it a try though, those kids are in for a ride.

EASTCLIFF, as I’ll call it in this review (because that title really is too long), is well-written, has a great ending and a unique plot that kept me entertained. I loved Throckmorton’s refusal to give up, but also his struggles with the idea that Annaliese may have forgotten about him. He’s a great little character, and an overall awesome protagonist. I felt a little detached from him throughout the story, but was overall a very rounded character.

I would recommend this to fans of TOY STORY who are looking for a bookish version and don’t mind the old-style setting, but it’s not a book I would recommend to all kids. It’s not bad, it’s just not something I think everyone will be interested in. Really loved this story myself, and is a well-paced, good read for a day inside. 4 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 288


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