Carol Saller's Reviews > No Name Baby

No Name Baby by Nancy Bo Flood
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Mar 31, 12

Read in March, 2012

No Name Baby is my favorite kind of book, in that it presents us with a realistic teenager, throws some pretty awful situations at her, shows us her worst, and makes us love her and ache for her in spite of her flaws.

Nancy Bo Flood knows how to blend the historical and the personal very effectively. In Warriors in the Crossfire, we’re right there in the fighting at times; in No Name Baby, even though we’re in rural Illinois, far from an actual war, we see the devastating effect World War I had on Sophie’s extended family and—as the tale unfolds—the consequences for Sophie herself.

That said, this is not a book about war; rather it’s a coming-of-age story. The farm life and family life are depicted realistically and with great sensitivity. Throughout, I loved the way the author showed Sophie’s personal relationships, each one unique (and bringing out either the best or the worst in Sophie): with the warm Italian grandmother, the brittle Aunt Rae, the earnest boy who meets Sophie in the orchard.

Although the central revelation in the book has the potential to take a very dark turn, the author instead uses it to show us the potential in characters she believed in, and ultimately the book is uplifting and moving in the best kind of way. It made me cry! (In a good way.)
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