Tag Archives: Poland



Author:  Marlena de Blasi

Publisher: Random House, May 2010

Summary: Amandine is the first novel written by Marlena de Blasi, an author known for her memoir writing. The story is captivating and the author’s writing is simply beautiful, filled with sense details and unforgettable characters. Amandine is born out of wedlock into an aristocratic family in Krakow, Poland in 1931. She is born with a heart defect and not expected to survive. Under the pretext of bringing her to a hospital in Switzerland, Amandine’s  grandmother brings her to a remote convent in France. The Countess arranges to leave the child at the convent with a large sum of money and in the care of a governess, Solange Jouffroi. As a young child, Amandine is doted on by the nuns, Pere Philippe and Solange, but suffers cruelty and humiliation at the hands of the Abbess Mother Paul and the other children attending school at the convent. This cruelty, compounded by the abandonment by her mother, causes Amandine to believe there is something wrong with her. After a tragedy involving Amandine is barely averted, Solange takes her on a harrowing journey north through occupied France toward the governess’s home. Leaving their sheltered life in the convent, the pair discovers the horrors of war all around them. Meanwhile, Amandine’s birth mother, having just recently discovered that her child did not die at the hospital in Switzerland, has begun her own journey to find her. This is a story that will stay with you long after you’ve read it.

Who will like this book? Fans of historical fiction.

Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator

Skeletons at the Feast

TitleSkeletons at the Feast

Author:  Chris Bohjalian

Summary:  Skeletons at the Feast, the newest novel by Chris Bohjalian, is the story of an aristocratic Prussian family during the final months of World War II. Eighteen year old Anna Emmerich, her younger brother and their mother are desperately trying to reach the American and/or British forces who are advancing from the West. The Russians are advancing from the East and tales of rape, torture and murder by the Russian soldiers have been advancing ahead of them. Traveling with Anna and her family is Callum, a Scottish POW with whom Anna has fallen in love, and Uri, an escaped Jew who has disguised himself as a German soldier.

Throughout their journey, the refugees hear stories of the atrocities committed by their soldiers, and see first-hand the committed by their enemies. The tragedies endured by the innocent people on both sides of the war is heartbreaking. The resilience of the characters throughout the story, to the very end, is amazing. Chris Bohjalian is a wonderful author and a master at character development.

Who will like this book?  Anyone who likes historical fiction.

If you like this try: Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian

Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator