Amandine was sent to a convent as a baby because her mother dallied with a brother of the woman who was mistress to her grandmother's husband. Since her husband and his mistress committed suicide together the grandmother wants to avoid any hint of scandal. Furthermore, the child has a heart condition which gradually heals with time and care.
The baby has no history so she is called Amandine by Solange, the woman engaged to care for her. She grows to be cherished by almost all the sisters who love her unconditionally but when she starts school, the children tease her without mercy. Solange has told her that she has a real mother who loves her. Amandine wonders why she doesn't come see her and where she is.
Longing for her real mother, she dreams of what she looks like and pretends that the beautiful women she sees may be her mother. The other school children taunt her because she has none. She endures the teasing until Mater Paul sends Solange from the dining area ridiculing her before all the sisters. At this point, Amadine rebels and stands firm telling Paul that she is cruel. The students rally behind her. When scarlet fever invades the convent and the school, Amadine is isolated because of her heart condition. She almost dies due to a sister's misguided belief that she must make certain that she does.
Solange and Amandine leave the convent to travel through war torn France to return to Solange's home. For the most part, the war seems removed from their travels. As I read this novel I was reminded of Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky. This book, too, dwells on the people in a country caught in the chaos of war and occupation.
The author provides a good little read but not an outstanding one. However, the characters of Solange and Amandine are well done even if they seem a bit remote and dreamlike from the reader at times.
a very good book... I would definatly reccomend it.