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The year is 1879. Beautiful and headstrong orphan Aurelia Sandborn has no family to call her own. Fleeing from her sinister guardian, Aurelia finds herself in a Massachusetts village, where the townsfolk seem all too curious about her mysterious background. When Aurelia meets a charming boy named ...
The year is 1879. Beautiful and headstrong orphan Aurelia Sandborn has no family to call her own. Fleeing from her sinister guardian, Aurelia finds herself in a Massachusetts village, where the townsfolk seem all too curious about her mysterious background. When Aurelia meets a charming boy named Wayland, she would like nto open her heart to him, but feels she cannot. Surprisingly she finds herself confiding the artist Winslow Homer, who is painting her portrait. And Homer himself may hold the key to the very truth about Aurelia's past...and future.
\\\\\\\\Kirwan, Anna. Of Flowers and Shadows. 2005. 182p. Scholastic, $9.99 (0-439-71010-3).
Gr. 46. This new entry in the Portraits series creates a fictionalized story surrounding the young girl who posed for Winslow Homer's Girl and Laurel in 1879. Aurelia is a shipwrecked orphan and servant girl for a family who lives across the street from the Homers of Townsend, Massachusetts. She catches the eye of painter Winslow Homer and agrees to pose for a portrait. Kirwan's strength lies in her attention to setting and historic details and she paints a fascinating picture of late-nineteenth-century New England preoccupations including romantic poetry, séances, patriotic holidays, and parlor games. Homer is portrayed as taciturn but gentlemanly and a personal enigma. Although the happily-ever-after ending (in which, among other things, Aurelia is reunited with a wealthy and loving family) feels a bit contrived, this is an appealing story that evokes the feel of the painting. Kay Weisman
Janis Flint-Ferguson (KLIATT Review, November 2005 (Vol. 39, No. 6))
Aurelia Sandborn is the young housemaid for the Sinclair family in Boston. She is an orphan, found after the shipwreck of the Aspiration on the famous reef at Norman’s Woe. When the cook is sent into retirement by Mrs. Sinclair’s lecherous son, Aurelia senses trouble and runs away, becoming the housemaid for the Ellicott family in Townsend, Massachusetts. Through a series of intertwining events, she becomes a model for Winslow Homer’s painting, Girl and Laurel. Through that portrait and through her friends in Townsend, Aurelia is reunited with her family, who have been looking for her since the shipwreck Aurelia’s story is fictional, but it is set in the real history of 1870s Massachusetts and is interwoven with what we know of the life of Massachusetts painter Winslow Homer, his brother Arthur and Arthur’s wife Mattie. The novel is part of the new Portraits series. Each volume intermingles the history of a famous painting (the cover art of each novel), its artist, and the fictional lives of the people represented in the portrait. In this story of family identity and lost loves, we are treated to a creative look at Homer’s Massachusetts. Category: Hardcover Fiction. KLIATT Codes: J--Recommended for junior