Then There Were Five

Then There Were Five

Melendy Quartet #3
by Elizabeth Enright
Hardcover, 272 pages
List Price: $9.99 Sale Price: $8.49

Then There Were Five (1944) is a children's novel by award-winning author Elizabeth Enright. The third of her four books about the Melendy family, it is preceded by The Saturdays and The Four-Story Mistake, and followed by Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze. Then There Were Five takes place in the summer immediately following The Four-Story Mistake.

The four Melendy children live with their father, a widowed professor of economics, and Cuffy, their beloved housekeeper, in an old house in the countryside of New York. Their father has been hired by the government for a secret, World War II related job, and the children venture into their new neighborhood with the intention of helping their country. They end up making new friends collecting scrap metal, and also brush up against some local scoundrels. The most notable of their new friends is Mark, a boy about Rush's age, who is under the care of his abusive adult cousin Oren Meeker. The Melendy children want to help Mark, but don't know how.

Meanwhile, there are adventures to be had: Rush composes his Opus 3, Miranda "Randy" and Mona try their hand at canning, and Oliver is entranced by the possibilities presented by fish and caterpillars. But when Cuffy, their housekeeper, goes away to visit a sick cousin in Ithaca, the unexpected occurs. A fire brings Mark to live at The Four-Story Mistake, where he becomes a permanent member of their family.

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