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The Family Greene

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  167 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Cornelia Greene is fed up with gossip about her mother. Caty Littlefield Greene was once a beautiful young bride who lifted the troops’ spirits at Valley Forge, but Cornelia knows that rumors of Caty’s past indiscretions hurt Nathanael Greene, Cornelia’s adored father. Yet Caty claims that she’s just a flirt, and that flirting is a female necessity—a woman’s only means of ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 24th 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Spirit Bound by Richelle MeadLast Sacrifice by Richelle MeadClockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsThe Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
YA Novels of 2010
303rd out of 622 books — 2,680 voters
Bright Young Things by Anna GodbersenRevolution by Jennifer DonnellyAnastasia's Secret by Susanne DunlapVixen by Jillian LarkinA Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
New YA historical fiction in 2010-2011
88th out of 102 books — 435 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 493)
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Eh, Ann Rinadi, I may have fallen out of love with your writing. I was excited to see that she had gone back to writing about the Revolutionary Period and the north, but alas the story ends up back in the south and after the war.

The story is separated into two sections. The first section focuses on Caty, who becomes the wife of Nathanael Greene. She's twelve years his junior but they fall in love anyway. She also learns that in a world in which women have limited means of agency she has to use
Anne Osterlund
Katy is a child when she leaves her home to board with her aunt and uncle. In her uncle’s home, protests over taxes and tea are common topics for evening discussion. At least they are when the rebels of the town gather in her uncle’s parlor, including Nathanial Greene, who has aspirations of becoming a rebel officer and who states his interest, with regards to Katy, quickly and with certainty. She isn’t at all opposed to the idea. Though with revolution on the horizon, the future is anything but ...more
The Family Greene is told in two parts: Caty Littlefield's childhood and growing up, and Cornelia Greene's journey of discovery. Caty has always been a flirt, claiming that that was how women executed power over men. Her antics have given her a poor reputation, however. Cornelia now feels the sting of the rumors and begins searching for answers. One thing is dredged up that she wished she never would have known. Nathanael Greene may not be her father. Along her journey, Cornelia discovers what l ...more
Laina SpareTime
I'm going to start to by saying I did not like this book. If that's not your thing, that's fair enough. This also might get a bit spoiler-y. If that bothers you, that's also fair. If you want to, you can totally skip this review. I honestly don't mind at all. Go ahead if either of those bother you.


*whispers* Are they gone?

Okay, to start with, you guys read the blurb/summary, right? Who would you think would be the main character of the book? Cornelia, right?


The book opened with a 3-
The author has used a different approach in that the book is divided allowing the voices of two different protagonists. The first is the voice of young 10-year-old Caty Littlefield as she leaves her beloved on Block Island to live with her aunt in East Greenwich, Rhode Island so that she might be properly tutored and learn the ways of being a young lady. As her uncle was a political leader in Rhode Island, their home was often visited by others interested in breaking away from the tyranny of the ...more
Apr 05, 2012 Carrie added it
Carrie Ackerson
Historical Fiction

Set during Revolutionary times, The Family Greene introduces us first to Caty Littlefield, who eventually marries hero Nathaniel Greene, and then to her daughter Cornelia. Caty’s Aunt Catharine had taught her that flirting gave power to a woman; now Cornelia, who has heard rumors about her mother’s flirting at Valley Forge, wonders whether Nathaniel Greene or General Wayne is her real father.

While this book includes plenty of historical fact, I thought it was no
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

A mother and daughter attempt to find their place in the world and both women struggle with the same issue - the powers of female persuasion.

As a young woman, Caty moves in with her aunt and uncle to become a properly educated young lady. Her aunt displays the art of flirting. Confused, at first Caty dislikes flirting, but as she comes to understand its powers, she herself employs the art.

Years later, her own daughter questions the same issue when
Margo Tanenbaum
Ann Rinaldi is one of our most prolific writers of historical fiction for young people, and her books concentrate on events in American history, usually the Revolutionary War period of the Civil War. Her latest book in that genre, however, was disappointing. Based loosely on the lives of the wife and daughter of Revolutionary War hero Nathaniel Greene, who was second in command to George Washington, the book is told in two parts, the first part tells Katy Greene's story and the second is narrate ...more
This book was ok....first of all the ending is in a way confusing. I couldn't find any clear review on line so I hope this helps. The mother is a tramp, and it's not clear through out the book whether that's good or bad (in the author's perspective)The book wasn't bad. It just had a questionable message. For the most part it said men and women should be faithful in marriage, but occasionally it hinted "as long as there's trust" it's ok to be a bit more loose. I liked the character Cornelia and a ...more
Very dull prose and a plot that drizzled on and ultimately seemed pointless. I often enjoy Ann Rinaldi's historical fiction, but this book fell short in a big way.
In 1764, the year she turns ten years old, Caty Littlefield’s mother dies and her father decides she must leave her home on Block Island to live on the mainland, where she can receive a proper education for a young lady in the home of her aunt and uncle. While living there, she learns of the growing unrest in the colonies that will eventually lead to war. She also meets her future husband, Nathanael Greene. Shortly after their marriage, the American Revolution begins and Caty eventually follows ...more
I love was really disappointed in this book. First, the majority of the plot is based on the author's imagination which might not be THAT big a deal, but it could be damaging to the characters's reputation. So there were rumors about some of these characters? You're really going to base your book on rumors? And also, this book was practically smut, but without all the dirty details. It was just, I mean if I had wanted to read a romance novel, I would've gotten a book from that section. This was ...more
An odd duck of a book. It starts out about the girl who grew up to marry Nathanael Greene, the Revolutionary War general, but then the last two thirds of the book switches to the pov of her daughter from young childhood thru her 20s and her relationship with her family and mother. The book skips over most of the Revolution and focuses on the post-war period. I must say I enjoyed the first third better than the rest of it. Parts dragged and other parts seemed rushed. While much of the story revo ...more
I love me a good Ann Rinaldi book. Why? They're easy but with the depth and soul that makes them fun and inspirational, there is always a "jackass" (when I eventually/hopefully meet Rinaldi I will ask her about this!), and they triangulate a point in history and make it interesting and famous.

This is the story of Nathanael Greene's women, his wife, Caty, who he courted, brought to Valley Forge, then created many women with on his plantation in the south, and then years later, the voice of Corne
Logan (TheBookElves)
This book has given me a new perspective on the revolutionary war. It is from the perspective of the wife of Nathaniel Greene for for the first third of the novel, where the other two thirds based from the perspective off the life of Nathaniel Greene's daughter. The insane twists of the lives of these two revolutionary women and the betrayals and questions these women brought to the table. These are the mysteries of the 18th century that are untold.
This book was dang amazing. I've always been a huge Revolutionary War buff, and geekily knew a lot about Nathanael Greene already.

This book was awesomely feminist, totally absorbing, and just brilliant. I loved everything about the story, and I liked that Rinaldi left it up to you to decide if Caty was right or wrong in her choices. No character was all good or all bad. I also loved the POV switch.

Highly recommended for anybody interested in history, women's rights, or just a good book.

5 Stars
Mini Review: I love historical fiction novels. The Family Greene was a good historical fiction novel. The setting and storyline were awesome. Those were the best two things of this book. However, I found it to be very slow throughout. The plot would be slow, then it would speed up and get exciting, but then it would slow down again. Rinaldi would've had an even better book on her hands if the plot was worked out a little better to make it smoother. I feel like a few of the characters were lackin ...more
I didn't like this book as much as I usually like Rinaldi's. It starts out with the story of Catherine Littlefield--her childhood and marriage--and then switches to the point-of-view of her daughter, Cornelia. Most of the book centers around who Cornelia's real father was.

I felt that Catherine was a very weak character and got tired of Rinaldi's seeming acceptance and excuses of Catherine's promiscuity. However, the book did make me want to learn more about Nathanael Greene, and at least some o
Mahati Gollapudi
This book wasn't the best book i have ever read, but it was interesting. During the 1700's, all you hear about is "this man did this" or "That man did that", but you never hear a women's story. This story is about a girl named Cornelia who learns appalling news that her father isn't her real father! What does thins mean about her mother? Soon her father dies and the idea that another man maybe her father keeps circling in her mind. She tries to find out who this man is and if the rumors about he ...more
This was just a weird book for me. I liked it but I just couldn't get into the characters. First you start reading the book about Caty who later is a secondary character to her daughter Cornelia. I liked Caty in the first part of the book but hated her in the second. I guess that's just perspective and means Rinaldi is an excellent writer. Also besides having 'famous' characters - Nathaniel Greene and his wife. Nothing historical action was present. Just 3 stars for me...
This book has given me a new perspective on the revolutionary war. It is from the perspective of the wife of Nathaniel Greene for for the first third of the novel, where the other two thirds based from the perspective off the life of Nathaniel Greene's daughter. The insane twists of the lives of these two revolutionary women and the betrayals and questions these women brought to the table. These are the mysteries of the 18th century that are untold.
This book was written pretty well, but I was disappointed. There wasn't as much as an emphasis on the Revolutionary War and the French and Indian War. This book also took place in the South, as many of other Miss Rinaldi's books, and I wish more took place in the North, highlighting their lives.
This started out being a great book. Then the topic totally switched and became like a whole different story, with the characters totally changed. Poorly done, and quite disappointing, because this had the potential to be a great book.
Nathaniel Greene is one of my favorite Revolutionary war heroes, and this book presented him as a good and decent man, but the book presents ugly rumors that were never proven to be true about his wife and family.
The mom started out as a lovable little girl, and then she turned into a complete skank. What the fuck dude. This book agitated me.
Carol Hahn
The book kept my interest but it was not one of my favorite Rinaldi books.
Not one of her best.
Heather marked it as to-read
May 15, 2015
Abby Rose
Abby Rose marked it as to-read
May 14, 2015
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May 11, 2015
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Ann Rinaldi (b. August 27, 1934, in New York City) is a young adult fiction author. She is best known for her historical fiction, including In My Father's House, The Last Silk Dress, An Acquaintance with Darkness, A Break with Charity, and Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons. She has written a total of forty novels, eight of which were listed as notable by the ALA. In 2000, Wolf by the Ears was lis ...more
More about Ann Rinaldi...
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