I wasn’t sure how the back and forth chapters between one girl in 1942 and a different woman in 2002 were going to work for me, but this story is so wI wasn’t sure how the back and forth chapters between one girl in 1942 and a different woman in 2002 were going to work for me, but this story is so well told.
I thought I’d be interested in the 1942 story but wasn’t sure how much I’d become involved with the 2002 story, but much to my relief I enjoyed both stories, although I did think Sarah’s 1942 story was slightly stronger than Julia’s 2002 story. However, I do think my favorite character might be Zoe from the 2002 story.
Reading this was chilling, suspenseful, devastating, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. It’s about loss and the destructive power of secrets, both of which are subjects close to my heart, so it was very emotionally powerful for me.
I thought that the author created perfect cadence in her writing style; I loved it. I read it in two days as I was loathe to put it down.
The tale seemed mostly authentic, occasionally something rang slightly off but I didn’t take note and those moments were ones I forgot because the story as a whole rang true. It’s one of those tales made as vivid by fiction as by a non-fiction account, not diluted at all by the parallel story lines.
There were a couple of plot points that I think were meant to be subtle mysteries and that were glaringly obvious to me ahead of the reveal but, even though I noticed them and could tell the author was not being as clever as she meant to be, they did not really diminish my enjoyment of the book, but they did almost cause me to deduct a star from my rating.
I was ignorant of the specific event that took place in Paris in Nazi occupied France that’s the center of this story and I’ve read a lot of non-fiction and fiction holocaust books; I really appreciated this one because I do always enjoy learning new things, however disturbing.
The back of this paperback (advance readers’) edition has an author interview, historical perspective notes, recommended reading (many of the listed books will now go on my to-read shelf) and reading group questions.
This is now one of my treasured books. I am so grateful that I won it at Goodreads’ First Reads program. As soon as I saw it listed there, it went on my to-read list, but given the length of that list I’m not sure when I’d have actually read it; I am so glad that I did. ...more
Thanks to a generous cross country Godoreads friend, I got the opportunity to read a lovely edition of this difficult to find 1910 ya/children’s novelThanks to a generous cross country Godoreads friend, I got the opportunity to read a lovely edition of this difficult to find 1910 ya/children’s novel.
The story seemed so familiar that for the first two thirds of the book I actually wondered if I’d read it when I was younger, but I determined that I hadn’t read it previously, but the story contained so many elements common in other books.
The story is old fashioned, with dated ideas about class, and with language and pastimes that are obviously from an earlier time. It’s a fine period piece and I could recommend it as such. The story is terrific and it’s compelling because of the characters, particularly the main character Audrey. The human emotions, thoughts, and actions shown are so universal and hence pertinent to the young people and adults of today.
I enjoyed the poems and quotes that appeared at the beginning of every chapter.
I found it a bit amusing that even some of the so called poorer people have a servant and can attend private school and own their own cottages, although tenants of the upper classes were not described as having these advantages.
I understood Audrey’s priorities of a wish for belonging over prestige. Her “habit of silence” on this heroine’s part did not annoy me as it might have; I knew this story depended on it, and it made for a suspenseful story that was rather funny at times, as well as poignant. ...more
This review is from my rereading this book in June 2009, about 45 ½ years after I first read it. I found it on my Goodreads friend Constance’s shelf aThis review is from my rereading this book in June 2009, about 45 ½ years after I first read it. I found it on my Goodreads friend Constance’s shelf and only then remembered it at all. Oh, I so wish I’d kept track over the years of all of the books that I’ve read. This one was so great and I know there are many others like it, many that I no longer remember at all. (When I was reminded of it I remembered this one well enough to assign it four stars, which is what I’d assign it now too, so I did get that right, but I didn’t remember it well enough to review it until this rereading.) This finding of a long ago book both makes me happy (I got to enjoy it again) and sad (I lost so many family and personal books growing up and the majority of my read books were always borrowed books and I wish I remembered them all and had some sort of record such as that which we can keep at Goodreads.)
I immediately recognized the illustrations that begin each chapter and remembered the story right away too, but I didn’t remember the exact details of the ending, so it was really fun to read this again.
This book is well written book and it is a wonderful, tame adventure story. There’s an orphan and Scotland and the sea, so much of interest.
It’s about Cathy, who’s spunky, resourceful, somewhat self reliant, clever, altruistic, and good-hearted. I love how she takes matters into her own hands and takes a risk in order to get what she wants so desperately. However, she’s very real, far from perfect; she has a temper, she’ll lie, borrow without permission, and break rules. I love the parts with just Cathy on her own, but enjoyed even more her adventures with Sovra and Ian. The three children together are very appealing.
I did and do understand Cathy’s longing for family. I’m sure at the time I first read it the surname Kennedy held some attraction for me. It must have been shortly after J.F.K.’s assassination and he was the first politician I’d ever had any interest in, especially after his death.
Well, this book is nowhere near as bad as Heidi re food, with that one causing me to crave cheese and bread every time I read it, but this book made me hungry: all that outdoor eating, and it especially made me want bread and butter, so I went out and bought some Earth Balance spread (a vegan margarine that tastes almost exactly like butter) which is something I normally buy only for the November/December holidays.
Goodreads is a wonderful place: I am so grateful to Constance, who allowed me to reconnect with this very worthwhile book. Thank you Constance!
I’m pleased to see that this deserving book is back in print. ...more
This is a wonderful novel. It’s reminiscent of other Southern coming of age novels such as Bastard Out of Carolina, but it’s definitely original. TheThis is a wonderful novel. It’s reminiscent of other Southern coming of age novels such as Bastard Out of Carolina, but it’s definitely original. The writing was excellent and there are many beautifully written passages, and the tale is so vivid that as I read I was easily wrapped up in Ellie’s life.
This is in the end a hopeful story, but it’s a very emotionally wrenching book to read. Abandonment is a central theme. Even though the protagonist is eleven, this book is very dark and I would never recommend this book to anyone under the age of twelve, and many readers might argue that this book is for adults and possibly older young adults only.
To me, Ellie sometimes seemed too mature/worldly and sometimes too immature/naïve for an eleven year old, but given her brutal life situation, having those contrasting aspects to her character makes perfect sense.
The story details show psychological astuteness, and they confirmed my belief that most children (and adults) can get through the most unbelievably horrifying circumstances if adequate support is available. The story is told first person by eleven year old Ellie, and she is terrific and worth rooting for. Most of the characters are tremendously interesting, whether they are sympathetic characters or those depicted as less likeable.
On a side note: I got an upside down library copy of this book, something I’d never seen before. In order to read it I had to look at the back cover upside down and start from there. I guess the cover was upside down during the book assembly process. I never got used to it and always opened the book to upside down text first. But I’m easily entertained and enjoyed the anomaly. ...more
I enjoyed this book even more than the author’s book Hearts and Coronets. They’re both wonderful books that are sadly long out of print. They deserveI enjoyed this book even more than the author’s book Hearts and Coronets. They’re both wonderful books that are sadly long out of print. They deserve to survive and have a wide readership in my opinion. Unfortunately, it shows its age and bigotry with comments about gypsies and other groups of people. These parts are no more prevalent here than in many classic books that remain popular today.
I love the quotes from other books that begin each chapter and give a hint of what is to come.
I love orphan books and this one has an orphan as the main character and a lot of what she experiences include some storylines that I thoroughly enjoyed, and have enjoyed in other books. Those readers who enjoy the traveling part of the book might enjoy one of my favorite books from my childhood: A Long Way to Go by Borden Deal; in some ways it’s very different but I was reminded of it while I was reading this one.
Even though it’s obvious how this book will end, I felt genuine suspense and a bit of fear during many portions throughout the book.
I enjoyed the character of Sydney, at the beginning of the story as well as in the middle and at the end; she does undergo some transformations. I really understood what Sydney meant when she said being with her country family was not exactly the same as being fully part of the family where she is placed. The way her growth is shown is very believable given the environmental changes she experiences.
My mother’s mother was Welsh and I really enjoyed the many Welsh words and phrases in this book, and the English translation is given within the text, for which I was very grateful given the significant differences between Welsh and English.
Readers who appreciate books by Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and other similar authors should enjoy this book and other books by Fox. ...more
Especially in the initial descriptions of the characters’ appearances, this reminded me of the other “Laura Lee Hope” books I read when I was very youEspecially in the initial descriptions of the characters’ appearances, this reminded me of the other “Laura Lee Hope” books I read when I was very young: the Bobbsey Twins books.
I found myself thinking about my mother as I read this. It was published in 1925 when my mother would have been about ten and wonder if these were the types of books she read when she was young; I wish I could ask her and discuss books with her adult to adult. Like Rose, my mother went to work as a clerk in a store when she was 16.
I enjoyed this book much more than I’d anticipated. The three main characters are very likeable and I cared about what happened to them and could identify with aspects of each of them. This is a very old-fashioned story though with some incredibly dated attitudes, so I wouldn’t recommend this to just anyone. This is a hard to find book and I’m very glad that I was given a chance to read it. This is the first in a series of five books about these characters. ...more