Reading The Fledgling has been a great experience. The characters are deep, believable and quirky and the settings are beautiful and rich. Jane Langton did a great job. I have a definite connection to a character in the story, Georgie: I've always wanted to fly like a bird too. I know this is a Just Right book because I got some of the deepest connections, but I don't think all, though I wouldn't know 'cause I haven't gotten them! Also, there was one word I didn't know, "piebald" which I now know and have mastered use of via the all-powerful college dictionary.
The book starts out with Goergie trying to fly down the stairs. She, in the beginning of the story, can only think about one thing. I think she is a very straight-minded and a "one thing at a time that should be at this time now" kind of person. She really is very delicate but her wanting to fly really over-powers how serious she takes things. Then she meets the mysterious goose who can talk to her. In exchange for friendship, she starts flying, leaving out the window every night and flying with what she calls the "Goose Prince." He (I can't say it) is a really nice person and she learns a lot from him. He is very special to her and she becomes more happy since she really wished she could fly and found she couldn't. But now, she learns how to fly from him. But the plot twisted here. Two specific neighbors are getting suspicious. They are Madam Prawn and her boss, Mr. Preek. The devout and hard-working Prawn thinks she is either a devil or a saint, and is always cautious but trying to find out which, and Preek, only seeing her at night while flying, thinks she is a duck. Eventually he injures her arm with birdshot and her family makes sure that she is not going to go out flying again. Then something terrible happens that changes Goergie completely. Mr. Preek the bank manager kills the Goose Prince. The only thing left to Goergie is a little glittering thing. And she loses it in the confusion.
The solution of this story takes place in a bush. Actually, I find this setting quite satisfying, because in fact she first saw the geese in this very same bush. While playing dols in the little hollow area under the bush she finds a little glittering ball. She immediately knows it's the Goose's 'present' that she never got to see very clearly before. Then at night she looks at it and it turns into a little image of the earth. The book ends with Goergie remembering the last words of the dying Goose Prince. I think I should end my reading response with them too.
"Take care of it..."