October 02, 2003

Belles On Their Toes, by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr., and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

Belles On Their Toes, by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr., and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

This is the sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen, which I reviewed some years ago. If you aren't familiar with that wonderful book, go read the review now. I'll wait.

Cheaper by the Dozen ends with the death of Frank Gilbreth, motion studies expert and patriarch of a large family. His wife Lillian, an equal partner in her husband's motion studies work, must decide whether to take the family to California, where the children can be parceled out to various relatives, or to stay in New Jersey and try to make her own way as a motion studies expert. She (with encouragement from her children) chooses the latter. And just as the prior novel is the story of Frank Gilbreth, Belles on their Toes is the story of Lillian Gilbreth.

It's as funny and heartwarming as its predecessor--I enjoyed it thoroughly--though possibly a bit lighter weight, especially toward the end. The two authors are the oldest boy and the next-to-oldest girl, and both went off to college within a few years of their father's death. Consequently we cover just a few years in the first half of the book, and a couple of decades in the second half.

Anyway, you should read it; it's a classic.

Posted by Will Duquette at October 2, 2003 05:03 PM