The four Melendy children live with their father and Cuffy, their beloved housekeeper, in a worn but comfortable brownstone in New York City. There's thirteen-year-old Mona, who has decided to become an actress; twelve-year-old mischievous Rush; ten-year-old Randy who loves to dance and paint; and thoughtful Oliver, who is just six-years-old.
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Following up on the classic children's novel The Saturdays, Elizabeth Enright continues the engaging tale of the Melendy family (Mona, Rush, Randy, Oliver, Father, and Cuffy, the housekeeper) and their move from an old brownstone in New York City to a charming house in the country. Called the Four-Story Mistake for its odd look and confused architectural history, the house offers the Melendys wonderful quirks and surprises.
With Father in Washington and Cuffy away visiting a sick cousin, almost anything might happen to the Melendys left behind at the Four-Story Mistake. In the Melendy family, adventures are inevitable: Mr. Titus and the catfish; the villainy of the DeLacey brothers; Rush's composition of Opus Three; Mona's first rhubarb pie and all the canning; Randy's arrowhead; the auction and fair for the Red Cross.
Randy and Oliver Melendy awake one morning full of gloom. Their brothers and sisters are away, the house seems forlorn and empty, and even Cuffy, their adored housekeeper, can't pick up their spirits. Will they have to face a long and lonely winter?