This book oozes charm and Winifred the tortoise, Audrey (otherwise known as Oddly) and Uncle Throby have it in spades. Audrey and Winifred are perfect foils – one old and wise and the other young and naïve with a world view which is completely irresistible. A first rate book for anyone looking for something a little different.
Winifred is old. She might be three hundred. She came with the apartment. The previous tenant, a rock climber named Cliff, was about to embark on a rock climbing adventure that would not have been much fun for Winifred .... Now Chris was moving out. He said, Would you like a tortoise. I would not say no to a tortoise, I said. I was alone in Portland and the trees were giant. I picked her up and she looked at me with her upside-down eyelids. I felt instantly calm. Her eyes were soft brown. Her skin felt like an old elbow. I will build you a castle, I whispered. With a pool. And I was true to my word.