The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
That night, when SanJuanna had cleared the main course and brought dessert in, my mother called for quiet and said, "Boys, I have an announcement to make. Your sister made the apple pies tonight. I'm sure we will all enjoy them very much."
"Can I learn how, ma'am?" said Jim Bowie.
"No, J.B. Boys don't bake pies," Mother said.
"Why not?" he said.
"They have wives who make pies for them."
"But I don't have a wife."
"Darling, I'm sure you will have a very nice one someday when you're older, and she'll make you many pies. Calpurnia, would you care to serve?"
Was there any way I could have a wife, too? I wondered as I cut through the browned C and promptly shattered the entire crust.
Some readers were put off by Calpurnia's lack of enthusiasm for the domestic arts, but I have to say I can relate. There are days when I wish I had a wife. Thankfully, I have so many modern conveniences to hand that I can manage to feed and clothe my family and also spend time outdoors and reading for pleasure. Poor Callie had to knit socks and bake pies, instead of cataloging the plants and animals she found on rambles with her eccentric grandfather. I'd be grumpy, too.
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