Elizabeth Choate Spykman (1896-1965) was born and raised in Southborough, Massachusetts, and was the fourth child in a family of four boys and two girls. Following her graduation from the Westover School in 1914, she traveled widely and adventurously, spending a year in Germany and another in England. In the 1920s, she wrote for The Atlantic Monthly, describing a journey to the South Seas by tramp steamer and life in small-town New England, among other subjects, but it was not until 1955 that she published a book, A Lemon and a Star, the first of four novels about the Cares family, which include The Wild Angel (1957), Terrible, Horrible Edie (1960), and Edie on the Warpath (1966). Elizabeth Choate Spykman was married to the co-founder of Yale’s Department of International Relations, Nicholas J. Spykman, with whom she had two daughters.
Ten-year-old Edie Cares is not really horrible or terrible, she just has a lot to contend with this summer, including two snooty brothers, a fancy-pants sister, and two stepsisters who are no better than babies. But when it comes to getting out of scrapes—never mind getting into them—Edie can more than hold her own.