Well, Grandma Dowdel is back... I never knew an old lady who cooked a turtle or went bird hunting. But growing up in a small town, I knew plenty of women that reminded me of Grandma Dowdel (canning produce, gathering walnuts, etc.).
In this book, she's standing up for Poor Bob as he is bullied beyond belief and helps his father grow his congregation. As we read, we know that Mrs. Dowdel is a good-hearted soul. She's a good neighbor to all of the Barnharts.
How does Richard Peck do it? Capture the most tragic things in the most intriguing and endearing ways? A Season of Gifts is more a book for 'tween readers and one I'd recommend for older readers based on the concepts in the text. But...
It's nice to see Grandma Dowdel back... a bit older and a bit more eccentric that she was in A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way from Chicago. She's a bit calmer in this book, but I think she might just remind you of the little old lady that lived down the street when you were growing up!