Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Amandine” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  469 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
Betrayal and a double suicide are among the legacies bequeathed by an aristocratic Polish family to a frail baby girl, illegitimately born in 1931. Ostensibly to protect her young daughter from shame, but at least as much to vindicate her own unhealed anguish, the child's grandmother, the countess Valeska, abandons the infant in a convent in the south of France, convincing ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 2010 by Allen & Unwin (first published May 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Amandine, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Amandine

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,092)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 15, 2012 Sheri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I won on GR's give-a-ways and was a bit disappointed. The synopsis was interesting, the book was not. It was a bit hard to follow, since the narrator changed often, and it was a bit confusing as to who was thinking and when someone was speaking.

This is the story of Amandine, a girl who was taken to a convent to be raised. Amandine at age 5 finds that she is an orphan and wants to find her mother. Set in 1930-1940's during World War II, there is some wartime details and how it must have been to l
Tara Chevrestt
I was so looking forward to this novel and it is with much disappointment that I write this.. It stank. I do have one good thing to say about it before I start my litany of complaints tho. The heroine, Amandine, is endearing and likeable. The story begins with her as a baby with a heart problem and follows her as she grows up in a nunnery wondering who her parents were and living way past everyone's expectations.

However, the writing style is terrible. First of all, it is written in present tense
Book Concierge
In Krakow in 1931, a baby girl is conceived out of wedlock. The child’s grandmother, a countess, believes that she is protecting her daughter when she claims that the baby didn’t survive. In truth, the countess deposits the infant at a remote convent in the French countryside, leaving her with a great sum of money and in the care of a young governess named Solange. Solange names the baby Amandine, and they form a special bond. But even Solange’s love cannot protect Amandine from the disdain of t ...more
May 13, 2010 Suzanne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2010 Chrissie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, hf
It was hard to get into this book, but I really did like it at the end! The beginning is confusing because the author expresses thoughts of individuals in italics. Whan you begin you don't know whose thoughts you are following. When you come to know the different characters there is no difficulty knowing whose thoughts are being projected. I wasn't until the last 3/4 of the book that I could understand why the author chose to use this technique. It is the thoughts of the characters that play a c ...more
Jul 04, 2010 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed a friend's advance uncorrected proof that she won here on Firstreads. Despite a lot of dark content, the story is just beautiful. I loved Amandine and the relationship between her and Solange. The author's writing style fit so nicely with the story, too. The prose is lovely, and somehow the whole story seems a little distant to the reader, almost surreal, which helped me get through some of the tougher moments. If not for that distance, I surely would have been crying at several diffe ...more
Jun 10, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amandine is a rather sweeping, almost epic (without the length) tale of the aforementioned young girl’s life and journey through World War II France. It is more than that, though, and Amandine becomes a thoroughly enticing tale that interweaves, almost seamlessly, three very intriguing plotlines/character interfaces.[return][return]The first plotline is that of Contessa Valeska Czartoryski and her daughter, Andzelika, from whom Amandine the child is born. The countess is a well-rounded character ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Grace rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book started out nicely and was fairly interesting. However, while the second half of this book is realistic (with war time issues) it fails to give us the same details as provided in the first half as time speeds up and the characters cross the countryside over a 10 month period of time- without much detail or interaction with the reader. I felt that I lost connection with Amandine and Solange as they crossed the countryside. I wanted to know how they felt at being so completely ...more
Jul 07, 2011 Debra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Debra by: Cindy
At first the book was very hard to read. It was confusing as to which person was speaking and there was a lot of background information about the characters. After about 70 pages the story became interesting and I was glad I kept with it. Heartwarming story about an infant girl who is sent to a convent to be raised and wants to find her Mother.
This book had many of the components I desire in a book...a foreign location, mystery, WWII time period and unconditional love. It only lacked a romantic angle, and I didn't even miss that. This author, Marlena de Blasi, has written several books about her own experiences as a chef who visited Italy many years ago, fell in love with an Italian, and stayed there. Any book by her I eagerly read.
The plot starts in Poland in 1931, when a baby, born out-of-wedlock to a young woman of inheritance and
May 26, 2011 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This historical fiction was a surprise... I liked it! Based on true people/events, it's a sad, yet endearing story. I won this copy from Goodreads, and am glad I did. I might not have read it otherwise.
Charlotte Wallace
This was a sweet story with some interesting characters and a hapoy ending with room for a sequel.
Sep 04, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
if you love France, you'll enjoy this novel - a "can't put it down once you start" book! Set in Poland and France from early 1900s through post WWII, it's a good insight into how the French people lived under the Vichy regime and Gestapo/SS. A love story of loss of her mother due to "class differences", a domineering grandmother and resultant search for her mother. A good summer read! Novel is by Marlena deBlasi, author of "A Thousand Days in Venice, Tuscany" - both non-fiction books on her life ...more
Jul 14, 2010 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amandine de Crecy, a motherless girl being raised in a convent in the south of France, is the central character in this novel set on the cusp of the Second World War. Abandoned at the convent by her birth family, Amandine is raised by the nuns and a former novitiate, Solange Jouffroi. Amandine dreams of finding her mother, and as France capitulates to the Nazis, she and Solange take to the road in search of information about Amandine's mother. Along the way they face the dangers of Nazi occupati ...more
Susan Bright
Jul 17, 2010 Susan Bright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading an advance copy of Amandine, which I recieved from Ballantine Books. When a short lived love affair results in the birth of a girl with a weak heart, the child’s grandmother, a countess decides to take matters into her own hands. Thinking she is protecting her unwed daughter, she tells her the child has died and takes her to a remote convent to be raised by a young Governess named Solange. The Countess arrange for the child’s financial needs to be met and in return is ass ...more
May 31, 2010 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ultimately, I really enjoyed this book, but it took me a little while to get into it. However, once I got about 100 pages in, I couldn't put it down.

I loved the characters and could completely feel for them. I actually gasped at one point and was mentally pleading, "no, no, no!" in a couple of different spots in the story. I love when I can get that wrapped up in a story!

What kept me from rating this 5 stars, is that the beginning was hard to follow with the internal monologues. I didn't know th
Evie Maiolo
Aug 06, 2011 Evie Maiolo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A touching story that was hard to put down, yet written in a way that keeps you at a distance, thus not allowing the reader to emotionally relate to the characters. This was my only disappointment in this book.

From the innocent Amandine who seems to have maturity beyond her years; her heroic and loyal guardian Solange; to the ruthless and hard hearted Mater Paul, the story is full of so much tragedy and hope that it could have evoked a much more emotional response if written perhaps a little les
Amandine is born to a noble/aristocratic Polish family's young unwed daughter. The grandmother takes Amandine to a convent in France and sets up her care and then tells her daughter that the baby died of heart complications. After spending almost her entire childhood being raised and educated in the convent, Amandine's caretaker, Solange, decides to leave and bring Amandine with her to her family in the country. WWII is underway, and with the German occupation of France, Amandine and Solange str ...more
Oct 31, 2010 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 21, 2010 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the fall of 1916, Count Antoni Czaritoski shoots his mistress, the Baroness Urszula Droutzky, and then shoots himself. Fortuitously Andzelika, the Count’s daughter and Pitor, the late Baroness’ brother meet in 1920 and produce a little girl. When the Countess Valeska Czaritoski learns Pitor’s true lineage she attempts to convince Andzelika to end the pregnancy. Unable to convince Andzelika the Countess arranges a guardian for the child and fakes the child’s death. Likewise, the Countess purc ...more
Jun 14, 2010 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amandine is the first novel written by Marlena de Blasi, an author known for her memoir writing. The story is captivating and the author’s writing is simply beautiful, filled with sense details and unforgettable characters. Amandine is born out of wedlock into an aristocratic family in Krakow, Poland in 1931. She is born with a heart defect and not expected to survive. Under the pretext of bringing her to a hospital in Switzerland, Amandine’s grandmother brings her to a remote convent in France ...more
Aug 04, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you, Goodreads, for this giveaway.
I just read (and re-read) the last page of this book and was left with chills... This was a lovely story written in beautiful prose. Unlike others who reviewed this book, I didn't mind the switch from 1st to 3rd person and felt that it enhanced and contributed to the overall feeling of hope (with a big dose of melancholy) that was prominent in all of the characters. I found myself empathizing constantly with the child, Amandine, and believed in her will,
Oct 05, 2010 Tonya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. I struggled a little bit but last night was the right night to read it I guess because I finished it, with about 150 pages!

Basically we have a story of a girl gets pregnant by a young man, unknown to either one of them that he is the brother of the lady her father had an affair with and died over. Her mother knows though and takes revenge by telling her that the baby was sick and didn't make it.

However, the mother has lied. Shocker! She took the baby to a convent to have he
May 25, 2010 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This was a First Reads win for me, and I received a copy of the "advance uncorrected proofs." Let me first say that I really liked this book. Whatever criticisms I have about it could have been addressed in the final product, but I don't know that they were. My only complaints are regarding the switching from third person to first person. Usually, when the author switches to first person, the text is in italics (this took some time to get used to, as early on one is not always sure exactly which ...more
Amandine was sent to a convent as a baby because her mother dallied with a brother of the woman who was mistress to her grandmother's husband. Since her husband and his mistress committed suicide together the grandmother wants to avoid any hint of scandal. Furthermore, the child has a heart condition which gradually heals with time and care.

The baby has no history so she is called Amandine by Solange, the woman engaged to care for her. She grows to be cherished by almost all the sisters who lov
Jun 15, 2010 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amandine was a novel full of magical words in an unsettling time in Europe's history. The story centers around a baby left at a French convent with no trace left of her past. Raised as an orphan, she has to surpass a childhood full of trials all the while longing for the mother she never had the chance to get to know. Though World War 2's effects rage through France, she sets out on a journey with her caretaker to find her family, but this itself is no easy task. This part of the novel takes th ...more
Jun 07, 2010 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free advance uncorrected proof through Goodreads giveaways. The author has a wonderful way with descriptions - objects, scenery, character movements, and especially food. It is poetry. I can see why she is a bestselling author in memoirs. I especially liked Solange's first person POV chapter, maybe because the writing seemed more comfortable and natural. I wouldn't call it epic, but several interesting and unexpected things happen along the way. I liked seeing how different people h ...more
The opening of this story still makes me think how on earth was this allowed to happen? How can a mother tell her daughter her baby did not survive and then shift that baby off for a potentially lifelong lie? And then I think to myself, I know this is a fictional story but these things have happened in reality in the past and will more than likely happen again in the future, although it may be harder to carry out these days. It’s sad. It leaves me feeling very sad for all of those concerned, for ...more
Lauren Murphy
Jul 08, 2011 Lauren Murphy rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
This review was first posted @ The Australian Bookshelf

Amandine is Marlena De Blasi’s first novel following much success with her travel memoirs that tell a tale of her falling in love with a Venetian man and moving to Italy where she moves from Venice to the countryside. I really quite enjoy De Blasi’s writing style which is full of rich pose and poetic descriptions of sceneries, cultures and cuisine. See my reviews for A Thousands Days in Venice and Tuscan Secrets.

Amandine is a baby girl who i
Linda C
Jan 18, 2016 Linda C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
I thought this was a lovely little book. While it was initially somewhat difficult to get into, I liked it very much by the end. The writing was lovely; the author managed to convey both the horrors of WWII and the fact that life did go on during the war. So many books set in WWII Europe or England basically hit you over the head with bad things happening. This book was incredibly subtle; the many deaths/disasters were written so softly, that the power came from the internal monologues or from t ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 36 37 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Band of Angels
  • Thornfield Hall
  • Mom Still Likes You Best: The Unfinished Business Between Siblings
  • Oleander, Jacaranda: A Childhood Perceived
  • Evil, Inc. (Hardy Boys: Casefiles, #2)
  • Flowers for Elvis
  • Tuesday Tells it Slant
  • The Seven Year Bitch
  • Freeze Line
  • Eleganta: A Novel of Fairykind
  • When Angels Cry
  • A Flower Blooms on Charlotte Street
  • Lady Polly (Suffolk, #2)
  • The Queen and the Courtesan
  • Finding Emilie
  • Savage Sun (Savage #34)
  • Try to Remember
  • The Case of the Golddigger's Purse

Share This Book