Tori lives with her mother in a small apartment running a dressmaking business that doesn’t earn them very much. Then Tori learns that her Great-aunt Muriel has died, leaving her relatives a test to see who can go two weeks living the old Colonial life. The winner of this contest will inherit Great-aunt Muriel’s fortune. Tori and her mother feel like they have nothing to lose by trying, and everything to gain, but they find the Colonial lifestyle is more challenging than they anticipated. Additionally, Tori’s rotten relatives try to make it as hard as possible for her and her mother.

“I took off toward the garden, and judging by the shouts and pounding footfalls behind me, I wasn’t alone. The corn was plentiful enough that I could save it for later. Instead I grabbed half a dozen squashes and handfuls of beans and turned to pluck out some carrots growing to one side.”

Colonial Madness is a fun book that you can easily finish in an afternoon. Author Jo Whittemore seems to have done a lot of research to come up with all the Colonial tasks that Great-aunt Muriel set in this book. Readers will learn a lot about Colonial times, but the really fun part about the book is the contest. Tori and most of her cousins thought it was a fun way to spend the summer, and they grow closer as an extended family. Tori and her mother also develop a better relationship with each other, even though they were already close. Readers who are curious about Colonial times, but still like the current times, will enjoy this adventure.