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

Until the Robin Walks on Snow

by
3.57  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  33 reviews
It is 1922. An immigrant family and their devoted midwife struggle to save a tiny premature baby. Inspired by real events in Norwich, Connecticut, this historical fiction novella about determination, family, faith, and friendship includes a story chapter about the family's Polish and Lithuanian Christmas Eve traditions. Appendices include Author's Notes about the facts, fa ...more
Paperback, 202 pages
Published September 2012 by 3Houses
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 Until the Robin Walks on Snow, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Until the Robin Walks on Snow

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  111 ratings  ·  33 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Cathy Bryant
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As someone who loves genealogical and historical research, I really appreciated this charming story based on Bernice Rocque's family history. The story is rich with detail most likely gained by hours upon hours of research. Besides the fact that it is a very sweet story of a loving family's attempts to save their prematurely born infant son, it is also a look into the past and serves as a wonderful historical resource.
Patricia
Well researched and written, this story is an account of an immigrant family's careful and remarkable nurture of a premature infant at a time when infant mortality was nearly 100 percent among one and a half pound babies. The mother's dedication to warming the tiny child with skin to skin contact, along with many interventions by her friend and midwife, bring about a heartwarming miracle. This story is derived from the author's family history, and her detailed description of the Polish/Lithuania ...more
Elishia
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a beautiful story.
Bookmuseuk
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From the moment I opened my copy of Until the Robin Walks on Snow I was hooked by the author’s eloquent prose, as she creatively marries fact and fiction. The story follows the birth of a premature baby, Antoni in the early twentieth century, “the smallest baby the doctor has ever seen––dead or alive”, and continues with the family's struggle to save this 1.5lb child during an extremely cold winter.

As well as precise details of how the family battles to save the baby, we also learn much about th
...more
Christoph Fischer
“Until the Robin Walks on Snow” by Bernice L. Rocque grabbed my attention on the historical fiction forums on Goodreads and was intrigued by the Eastern European angle of the story, something that I have researched myself for my own books.
I found the relatively short novel had a lot more to it than Eastern European culture. It is a meticulously researched and detailed account of the winter 1922 and 1923 in Norwhich, Connecticut, during which a group of mainly Lithuanian Immigrants fear for the
...more
Christoph Fischer
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“Until the Robin Walks on Snow” by Bernice L. Rocque grabbed my attention on the historical fiction forums on Goodreads and was intrigued by the Eastern European angle of the story, something that I have researched myself for my own books.
I found the relatively short novel had a lot more to it than Eastern European culture. It is a meticulously researched and detailed account of the winter 1922 and 1923 in Norwhich, Connecticut, during which a group of mainly Lithuanian Immigrants fear for the
...more
Natalie
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Until the Robin Walks on Snow was named a Finalist in the Faction category for the 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards – for good reason! Based on a true story, this “factional” novella weaves historical and cultural truths with the moderately-fictionalized story of Antoni’s premature birth to an immigrant family. Bernice L Rocque highlights the difficulties this family faces with ardor: winter weather, numerous chores, the constant terror of losing another child, and the trials of caring f ...more
Shari Larsen
Mar 21, 2014 rated it liked it
In a small Connecticut town, in November 1922, an immigrant family and a devoted midwife struggle to save the life of premature baby, weighing only a pound and a half when he is born. This historical fiction novella is about determination, family, faith and friendship, and includes a chapter about the family's Polish and Lithuanian Christmas Eve traditions.

The story was inspired by true events in the lives of the author's ancestors; the older brother of the premature infant was the author's fath
...more
Jacqueline Masumian
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a charming novella, the story of a close-knit family of immigrants from Lithuania in 1922. The story is based on the author's family history and reflects, I imagine, the lives of many immigrants of the time. The mother, Marianna, has given birth in a Connecticut farmhouse to a tiny premature infant, and the book revolves around the events following the child's birth and efforts to keep him alive. The charm comes from the gentle, supportive family who have great respect for one another an ...more
Gina Ryan
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't miss this novella - nice bit of local history!

Until the Robin Walks on Snow" is a charming novella by Bernice Rocque. Set in a farmhouse in rural Southern Connecticut, it is the imagined story of how a real family of Polish and Lithuanian immigrants braved the harshness of a cold winter to save a tiny premature baby. The heroic mother spent weeks holding the baby to her chest to keep it warm while her closest friend attended to her care as well as doing all of the cooking, laundry and clea
...more
Cathy
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The author has meticulously researched her family history over many years and some of the fascinating details are outlined at the end of the book.
The main part of the book is a fictionalised account of the birth of a premature baby and the struggles the family have to sustain the baby in a hostile environment.
There are references to folk-lore and the family's East European background which add interest and support the narrative. The characters develop strong personalities which shine through the
...more
M.C.V. Egan
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Until the Robin Walks on Snow, by Bernice L. Rocque
The writing and historical aspect of this book is unquestionably wonderful. The book drew me in and made me want to hug and help the Polish, Russian Immigrants in Norwich, Connecticut, as they fought to save a pound and a half baby in the 1920s. Through people I love, I have experienced what this entails today, and how difficult it is with all the modern conveniences.
The clever and resourceful choices, complimented the courage of this family ma
...more
Cindy Eastman
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
From the beginning of the book, I was drawn into this simple story of survival in the early part of the 20th century. Ms. Rocque's novel, a fictionalized account of a true story, is quite simply, charming. Her characters are genuine and believable and the situation, an infant born prematurely at the onset of winter, is tense and compelling. The author bolsters her story with solid facts and research which brings richness to the events. I thoroughly enjoyed reading what could possibly be a fairly ...more
Judith
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
I don't know what I was expecting but it wasn't that!
Briee
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Short, sweet, a tad poetic. I don't feel my time was wasted because of how short it was, but from the description of the book I was feel I was led astray.
Bev
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Survival of premature infant

A very nicely done short story of an immigrant family all devoting themselves to a newborn premature infant in the early 1900's. The ethnic customs and religious holiday traditions all brought together a real warmth to this story. Highly recommend.
Anna Bowen
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
From the moment I opened my copy of Until the Robin Walks on Snow I was drawn to read it. The image on the cover is lovely, the title intriguing, the author’s style of writing makes this novella very accessible and eases the reader, as if a guest, into the home of this immigrant family. The notes at the back of this novella add important information to this meaningful reading experience. As a daughter of Polish immigrants I was brought back to my ethnic history – I smiled at each occasional Poli ...more
John
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Bernice L. Rocque’s novella, Until the Robin Walks on Snow, leaves one charmed by an era in our recent past in which grandparents and grandchildren were each other’s best friends, in which extended families helped one other withstand severe hardships, in which people of all generations appreciated age-old customs for the social glue they provided, and in which simple amusements produced immense joy for all. Author Rocque infuses her touching novella with all these uplifting attributes in such an ...more
Barbara
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Delightful. I really enjoyed this story. I appreciated the insight that reveals how it came to be written. It had the feel of a wonderful close-up view of a resourceful family that had supportive friends and extended family. There was much revealed about immigrants and their traditions. There was much revealed about the customs of that time period. I suppose what I enjoyed most was the unfolding of the rich character of the people the author was sharing with us. I want that "midwife" as my frien ...more
Athena Nagel
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Until the Robin Walks on Snow was a book I really wanted to read due to some of the local history involved. There is so much rich history in this area of Connecticut. At 202 pages I was able to read it comfortably in one sitting. In 1922 families in CT struggled in so many ways. This particular story details how one family and some really dedicated friends helped to keep a premature baby alive, through an entire winter, with all odds against his survival. The story really hit home for me when th ...more
Phyllis
Oct 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Back when little lives were still precious this immigrant family goes to great lengths to save the life of their premature baby who weighed a mere 1 pounds at birth.

It’s a heartwarming story of the life and trials of this family in the 1920’s. It is well researched and told in such a way that makes for easy and enjoyable reading.

After reading the details and all the effort put into helping this infant to survive it’s amazing that with all the technology we have today aborting infants larger t
...more
Melissa
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Well, being that this is a fictional account of something that actually happened in my family, and is written by a member of my own family, this was quite interesting. Left me with a bird's eye view of my early ancestors' lives, and the stories Granny's house would tell if its walls could talk. Left me with a lot of questions too.
Monica
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
An interesting short read on historical fiction about a Russian family and their pre-mature baby. It tells of how mom and midwife slept int he kitchen near the stove through the cold months of December, January and February to save a tiny baby. Brought in Russian customs and the importance of becoming an American.
Liza Perrat
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A lovely novella portraying the courage and love of a family as they try, against all odds, for the survival of a premature baby, in a time before modern medicine. I really enjoyed this story, and didn't want it to end.
Debbie
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
The author hails from Norwich where she was born and grew up. The story is based on her family history here in Norwich in the early 1900's. She shows you how life was simple but yet difficult. Everyone helped each other out and got along.
Janet C.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Janet C. by: n/a
This book is a story of struggle, faith, determination, and how the mother of this tiny baby shows the love of a mother towards her child. I enjoyed this wonderful book and I learned so much about traditions and beliefs of other people.
Debbie
Nov 05, 2012 rated it liked it
I almost wished it would have been a bit longer and continued on with their lives. It sort of stops suddenly and leaves an unfinished feeling.
Irene Stanek
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
excellent book
Julie
Well that was an abrupt ending. Nice little story though.
Laurie
May 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks
Interesting story of baby born at 1.5 lbs in the 1920's that survived.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
  • My Heart is Boundless : Writings of Abigail May Alcott, Louisa's Mother
  • Sykosa
  • Life Goes On
  • Fallacy (Rewritten #1)
  • Game Plan
  • The Bonded
  • How to Survive the End of the World
  • The Mighty Roman
  • Western Kisses
  • Christmas on the Move Out West
  • A Candlelight Courting: A Short Christmas Romance
  • What I Did On My Midlife Crisis Vacation
  • Home by Christmas
  • Testing the Waters: The Unplanned Pregnancy of a Fifteen-Year-Old
  • Bosley Sees the World: A Dual Language Book in Spanish and English
  • Sympathy Between Humans (Sarah Pribek #2)
  • Breeding in Captivity: One Woman's Unusual Path to Motherhood
  • The Memory Box
16 followers
Bernice L. Rocque is a family historian, writer, educator, and avid gardener. In her early career, she worked in 3 library arenas: academic, public (YA/Ref), and corporate. She grew up in Norwich, Connecticut in the surroundings described in her novella, UNTIL THE ROBIN WALKS ON SNOW. Her latest book is THE PONEMAH YEARS: Walking in the Footsteps of My Mother. She has authored numerous business ar ...more