Skinner Getaway

Stephanie S. Tolan

The Great Skinner Getaway

Four Winds Press, 1987

When Michael Skinner, head of the Skinner clan, leaps to his feet, waving the newspaper and shouting "I've found it!  I've found it!" the family is pleased but not overwhelmed.  They assume he found a nice job - a nice, normal one.  After surviving one nationally publicized strike (The Great Skinner Strike) and one exhaustingly successful home business (The Great Skinner Enterprise), the Skinners are glad to be returning to ordinary middle-class life.

But as readers of the previous Skinner stories know, the Skinners will never be ordinary middle-class Americans again.  What Michael has found is not a job, but a slightly used thirty-five-foot motor home, quickly dubbed Brunhilda, the family's ticket to an out-of-the-ordinary trip across the country to explore the wilderness, meet real people in small-town America, and take the pulse of the nation.

Soon the Skinners are off - Michael, Ellie, 15-year-old Jennie (the official narrator of the Skinner chronicles), Marcia, Rick, a surly, recalcitrant Ben, one dog, and two cats (one comatose, one hysterical) - all crammed into Brunhilda's tight quarters, leading life single file on the high road to adventure.   Calamities abound for the disaster-prone Skinners. The Great Camping Community proves a dud, and small-town America nearly does the family in.  What with exploding appliances, a cat crazed with blood lust, a diet of wild foods, and unremitting togetherness, their idyllic vacation more closely resembles a hell on wheels.  But the indefatigable Skinners weather the storms of life - and their own eccentricities - in fine style in this uproarious domestic comedy.

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Last modified: March 05, 2007