Sunday, January 9, 2011


deBlasi, Marlena. Amadine
Ballantine see Random 2010 319p 25.00
978-0-345-50734-1 hs/adult Historical E
Amadine grows up in a French convent in the 1930s, left there by her grandmother to be raised as an orphan. Amadine makes the lives of many richer while struggling to define herself. Food and aromas of nature make this a delectable read. Grades 10+.
At only a few months of age, Amadine is cruelly left at a French convent by her aristocratic grandmother who cannot bear to look at her. Amadine’s 16-year-old mother is told that she should move on and never mention the birth and that the baby died. Throughout the book, perspective shifts between Amadine and her convent life to the life of the Polish aristocracy and the fate of the 16-year-old mother. As Amadine charms all who come to know her, she also struggles with being an orphan and wondering who her mother is. As World War II begins, Amadine and Solange, her caregiver, set out for northern France only to be caught up in the war. Resistance workers help them in their journey and as always Amadine charms those she meets. Pervasive throughout the novel are the aromas of flowers and herbs and the depiction of food fresh from the garden, the smells of the kitchen and the wonderful delectable meals in the convent. As the war goes on, the sparsity of food is in stark contrast to former meals. All women in the novel have been tainted by cruelty or deception and that impacts their actions toward Amadine who often is on the receiving end of cruelty. Gripping reading. An adult novel with young adult appeal due to the age of the characters. Grades 10+.
Outstanding look at life in Europe from 1930-1945 focusing on women, aromas and food. Amadine, an orphan, must come to grips with who she is and longs to know her ancestry. Cruelty and deception affect all females and impact their actions. Grade 10+. McNicol(3),Lois
World War II and Orphans - Fiction

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