Corinne's Reviews > Where The Flame Trees Bloom

Where The Flame Trees Bloom by Alma Flor Ada
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Apr 21, 08

bookshelves: novella-challenge, orbis-terrarum-challenge
Read in April, 2008

I feel like the world is a more beautiful place, having read this charming book. Alma Flor Ada takes us to the Cuba of her childhood, and reading her stories, I felt like I was sitting at the feet of a beloved Gramother, listening to her tell me of the life she knew. The stories feel that intimate and familiar. We meet people, both relatives and friends, who show compassion and a zest for life - from the blind great grandmother who can sew rag dolls by touch and the hired man who plays the accordian at night. The text was so lyrical, I truly felt like I was living amongst the trees and the memories of those people who made Alma into the woman she is.

The novella is a series of vingettes, with each chapter as a titled story - I think my favorites were "Mathematics" and "The Rag Dolls," both of which are about her beloved great grandmother. Because of their elegant simplicty, I think all these stories could be read with pleasure to (or by) children as young as 8 or 9, but appriciated on a different level by adults. Highly reommended.
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