Rinaldi, Ann. The Family Greene
Harcourt Brace/Houghton Mifflin 2010 250p 17.00
978-0-547-260067-9 elm/ms Historical E-BN
Cornelia is the daughter of General Nathaniel Greene, second in command to George Washington during the Revolution. Since her mother was such a flirt, Cornelia struggles with the rumors concerning her father not being her real father.
The time period of the Revolution and the encampment at Valley Forge were both serious and frivolous times. The wives of various generals did much to raise the spirits of the troops. It was these so called indiscretions that caused Cornelia to wonder about her parentage. She loved her father and siblings, but her mother’s flirtations distressed Cornelia.
The author has written a thought provoking suspenseful story in which Cornelia tries to decide if her father is General Wayne or her father. At one point she confronts the General Wayne and asks about her parentage. He doesn’t respond to her because if he did Cornelia would think less of her mother. And he wanted her to learn that love and trust are important in a family.
Throughout the years Cornelia struggles with the identity of her father. But she also comes to learn that in addition to families have the power of love on their side as well as messy encumbrances.
The novel will be read and appreciated by readers who enjoy historical fiction. They will also appreciate that Cornelia in the end of the story did not really care that she never got an answer from General Wayne. This is a well written book that is recommended as a Books of Note. It would be an excellent addition to any middle school or secondary school library. McNeil, Linda