Parnassus on Wheels

 Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

The delightful tale of Helen McGill, who, tired of keeping house for her older brother, Andrew, buys a book wagon called Parnassus, and takes to driving about the countryside selling books. The previous owner, Ralph Mifflin, rides with her for a few days, showing her the ropes and giving her the first opportunity she's had in years to talk about something other than farm life.  

When Andrew finds out what she's done, he goes to the police and  accuses Mr. Mifflin of defrauding Helen. Ralph ends up in jail, Helen is furious with Andrew and now has to convince the authorities it's all a misunderstanding.   

The beating heart of this book is Helen McGill, an endearing soul, full of practical wisdom and eager to see the positive in everyone. It's not a long story but it's memorable, funny and sweet, and pleasingly scattered with literary references. 

I listened to an audio version narrated by a Wanda McCadden, who did it so well that it felt like she was sitting at my kitchen table telling the story to me personally. I seldom recommend audio over the printed word, but I have to this time. If you can find this one (I got it through Chirp) do try it. It's pure joy. 


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