Customer Reviews for

Shadow Baby

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2011

    Great book

    I love the way the book is miserious

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  • Posted September 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is a terrific tale of lost souls finding one another

    During a blizzard in Upstate New York, Tamar Winter's father rushes his pregnant daughter to the hospital. However, he makes a wrong turn in the extremely poor driving conditions and ends up in a ditch. Tamar gives birth to twins by herself, but one dies.

    Twelve plus years later the surviving twin Clara winter, with a small w surname because she loathes the season of her birth, wonders whether her dead sister could have lived if they made it to the hospital and who her father and grandfather are; her mom refuses to talk about that incident or anything related to the past. Feeling isolated and perhaps a bit guilty for surviving, Clara makes up stories about people she knows. When she meets lonely elderly immigrant metalworker Georg Kominsky as he hangs up his hand-crafted lanterns in the woods, she feels they are soulmates. He too knows the power of winter when the lantern he gave his younger brother failed during a snowstorm leading to his death. Georg mentors Clara on turning throwaways into beautiful objects and to welcome her grandfather into her life; in turn the tweener hopes to reconcile her mother and her grandfather.

    This is a terrific tale of lost souls finding one another with tragedies leaving survivors mentally fractured. Character driven with a strong lead youngster and solid support from her mom, her new BFF and her grandfather make for a fully developed well written story line as the key players bring angst, sadness and a need to help one another move on especially past the blame, regret and remorse.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2007

    Another one for the top ten

    The main character was entirely engaging. The plot was intriguing and had just enough of the unreliable narrator to keep me wondering what was real and what was not. Mcghee's control of voice was excellent. She never stepped out of character and made me remember that this was an adult writing as an adolescent. This book doesn't bump my all time top favorites, but it did head the list for 2006. It definitely made the Christmas gift list for those with whom I share the good ones.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2006

    Candle light blowing

    This is a lovely story, that I think every one can relate to, and every one loves and adores. I'm only still young, so my spelling might not be correct, but I do know a good book when I see it. Clara isn't faced with problems and questions that she wont find the answers to. This is splendidly writen, and captures you and you don't let go of it untill you finish it. It captures your heart, and is so vibrant of love, hatred, and passion, you can't not read it! ~Brittany

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2004

    Loved this book

    The author has a unique ability to create poignancy while maintaining humor. I love books that speak from a child's point of view without being cliche. McGhee is an artist at the top of her form in this book. Very endearing and moving without too much sappiness.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2004

    Not my typical book...

    I wasn't expecting to like this book. My mother loaned it to me thinking I would appreciate it's narrative style, more so than it's story and characters. Both of us were wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, once I started I couldn't put it down and read it over two slow days at work. Stylistically the book is handled well. Allison McGhee is an accomplished writer. The story she crafts, however, is something entirely astounding. It is heartfelt, sincere, never overwrought or sentimental, and yet it is a sad, charming and sweet tale that took me completely by surprise.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2004

    A Wonderful Book

    A beautifully written and poignant novel. The character of Clara will stay with me for a long, long time. That is what I believe to be true.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2003

    3 Cheers for Clara winter!

    I bought this book when it was picked for the Today Show book club. I loved it! The writing is beautiful and the characters are hilarious and touching too. I highly recommend this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2002

    Brilliance in a Feared Snowflake: Metaphysics at Eleven

    A year after the main few but significant, events of "Shadow Baby," narrator Clara "winter" turns twelve and tells her story. So little of the epic here: an old-man befriended, a mother struggling, poverty everywhere. Clara has so little, yet sees so much, the reader doesn't think how poor she is until two-thirds through this splendid second novel, with a third listed online. So little, yet so much grandeur. Clara sees (like Joseph Conrad) so much and tells real stories and imagined ones, without ever confusing the two. McGhee evokes a snow-diamond brilliance: from the unpromising woods of upstate New York. That brilliance reflected in and through the funny and oh-so-smart mind of her remarkable character. Eschewing, or rendering without capital letters, those without last names, but caught up with them (as in twinsister, or father, or grandpa the hermit), Clara creates complexity in a feared snowflake. The simple compulsion of the story moves ahead, from joy and expectation to metaphysics and existentialism (why are we here?). Clara's answer, as learned during her eleventh year: to take the next step, approach the next possibility. "You only need one," Georg, the Immigrant," --as she titles her book report--says. "With two, you're lucky, indeed." Readers get a basketfull. Clara's simply a dream, a "real" dream: everything about her to love and want to know more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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