Somebody PLEASE read this book! It will get under you skin and make you look at 11-year old kids in a whole new way! I LOVE THIS BOOK!
Beautifully written. I couldn't put it down. I won't be reposting this book for a while, as I have been lending it to everyone I know. I've also added everything Alison McGhee has written to my Wish List.
Interesting story told from a child's point of view. It's a short little tale, easily read in a day.
This was a lovely and touching story. A single mom with a vague past and her daughter, an imaginative young girl who befriends an old man for a school assignment. Clara proceeds to find out much about his past, embellishing in the gaps. A simple man, he has much to teach her about how he looks at the world, how people survive amidst hardship. The knowledge he gives her, mostly through example, helps her survive her own very difficult time. A reminder of all there is to learn from everyone we meet, to have deep respect for all the difficult secrets in each persons life. The message in this sweet book will stay with me. I would highly recommend it. Sometimes what seem the simplest lessons, the ones we almost overlook in our hurry through life, are the most profound...
A wonderfully written and touching story. I loved the quirky main character, Clara. A good read!
A touching story - though I had trouble getting into the book and really identifying with the characters.
This was a superb book. Told from the point of view of a precocious eleven yr old girl, but definitely NOT a kids book. Deals with complex human emotions/relationships, written in excellent style. Highly recommend it.
The character in this book reminds me of the girl from "The Lovely Bones"....odd but endearing. Good read!
The unusual plot of this story was a little off putting at first, but as I read I was drawn to the various characters, especially the feisty narrator. A worthwhile read.
This book was a bit hard to get into. The 11 yr old the book was about kept making up stories about her friend the 77 yr. old Georg. I didn't know what to believe. Finally finished it by skipping half the novel.
I found this book to be so sweet. The voice of the main character Clara was interesting and touching, a different perspective on being and thinking like a kid than we're used to seeing. I recommend this book highly.
Quirky characters throughout the book. Not a bad read, but not my favorite either. I liked the last 1/3 of the book better than the rest. That's when the story seemed to come together more.
I enjoyed this book and felt it would be great for a teen read also. It got repetitive at times and I felt myself wanting more details about certain characters but then it all weaves together near the end, of course.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The eleven-year-old narrator was fascinating and very endearing. And though the story itself was quite sad, the manner in which it is told was surprisingly fresh and full of beauty. I really enjoyed Clara's relationship with books, as well as her relationship with the truth. It was a sweet, sad story and one that makes me want to read another book by this author.
I loved the way this writer presented this character. I can truly picture this preteen and all her quirks and lovely ways. Loved her and the book. Loved the way the writer finished the book and all was realized (no loose strings!).
Very unusual tale4 of a single parent child who is very precocious meeting and learning from an old man. Very poignant.
Good read about a mother/daughter relationship. Some eccentric characters thrown in to make it interesting. Very well-written.
Excellent book! Couldn't put it down.
Clara winter is an amazing charachter. The author is a wonder writer. Excellent book!
Quick read and nice story
A young girl is struggling to find the truth about her missing father and twin sister. She interviews an older neighbor man for a school project and the invents a history for him. good read.
This is a very touching and wonderfully written story. I loved the main character, Clara, a quirky eleven year old girl searching for answers about her family.
I enjoyed this book. Clara the 11 year old is a character that put a smile on your face AND a wrinkle in you brow with some of the things she comes up with. Sad and heartwarming at the same time. I think a lot of characters can be true to life. Nothing in this book is a stretch of the imagination....unless you count Clara's imagination.
Wonderfully written story of an unusual friendship between a homeless man and a young girl. Good one for a book club. Ours did it and loved it.
This is a brooding story of a young girl who is troubled by her family life and builds a friendship with an elderly man in her town. They share stories and take care of each other. It's a beautiful and sad story.
Eleven-year old Clara is searching for the truth about her missing father and sister. Her mother isn't revealing anything. Clara interviews and elderly neighbor for a school project and since he isn't talking about his past either, she invents his for him. They develop a friendship and embark on a journey to discover their pasts.
The story of 11 year old Clara winter and her friend with an elderly man. Well written and sad.
Really good and fast read.
I thought this was a very well written book.
The writing is lovely, and I very much enjoyed all of Clara's (the main character) stories - she has a good voice. It's also fun to read a book set in an area you know pretty well, which is true for me of upstate New York. But still I ended up thinking there was probably more here to tell. This is a quick read - maybe a little too quick - and a story very gently told.
Loss, guilt and regret are conquered and transformed in McGhee's graceful second novel (after Rainlight), a poignant tale of family history regained. Events of her past year are narrated by 12 1/2-year-old Clara winter, who spells her surname with a lowercase "w" as "a rejection of winter, an acknowledgment of what winter really is and how it can kill." Though Clara's mother, Tamar, never speaks about the past, refusing even to name the father and grandfather Clara has never met, Clara knows she was born in a blizzard that probably killed her twin sister. Her grandfather, driving her mother to the hospital from their remote North Sterns home in upstate New York, took the wrong road and ran his truck into a ditch. Stranded, Tamar delivered her own babies, and only Clara survived. Obsessed by her mysterious past, Clara tries to create her own world, reading avidly, writing brilliant school reports on imaginary works, creating story lives for real people. When she meets a solitary old man who hangs his beautiful, hand-crafted lanterns in the dark Adirondack woods, she feels she has found a "compadre."
I'm typically an "Oprah's Book Club" sort of reader, and I tried this book based on the fact that it's part of the Today Book Club. I enjoyed this book a lot - at first I was skeptical because it seemed slow, but I stuck with it, fortunately, because the latter half of the book is most touching.
You might be put off at first by the "grown-up" voice seemingly uncharacteristic of the 11-year-old narrator, but the author does a great job of developing this character and you'll soon see that she's wise beyond her years. This story has somewhat of an unfortunate, unforseen twist as well. It's one of those books that you might seem "iffy" about at first, but if you follow it through to the end you will likely appreciate yourself for doing so.
I found the hardest part (or maybe most confusing) is trying to understand the stories the narrator makes up, and being able to seperate them from reality. If you don't pay close attention to every page and piece of the story, I can see where a reader might get confused or irritated by this.
"Shadow Baby" is a treasure. If you are a fan of obscure authors with books of literary merit, give this one a try. It might not be the most epic reading you will ever do, but it will pull at your heartstrings without a doubt.
This book was interesting. I like the stories with the child befriending the old person. I was shocked at the death and the revelation from the child. That was something I really wasn't expecting, but that is what makes a good book. This one was a pretty fast read, something for a day or weekend, so son't take it on a long car ride or flight!
"Eleven year old Clara winter (she prefers the lowercase, and she has her reasons) is struggling to find the truth about her missing father and twin sister, but her mother refuses to reveal any information. When Clara begins interviewing her elderly neighbor Georg Kominsky for a school assignment, she finds that he is equally reticent about his own concealed history. Precocious and imaginative, Clara invents Mr. Kominsky's history just as she invents lives for the people missing from her own shadowy past." From back cover
"Eleven year old Clara winter (she prefers lowercase, and she has her reasons) is struggling to find the truth about her missing father and twin sister, but her mother refuses to reveal any information. When Clara begins interviewing her elderly neighbor George Kominsky for a school assignment, she finds that he is equally reticent about his won concealed history. Precocious and imaginative, Clara invents Mr. Kominsky's history just as she invents for the people missing from her own shadowy past."