Shadow Baby

Shadow Baby

by Alison McGhee
4.2 22

Paperback(First Edition)

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Overview

Shadow Baby by Alison McGhee

Eleven-year-old Clara is struggling to find the truth about her missing father and grandfather and her dead twin sister, but her mother refuses to talk. When Clara begins interviewing Georg Kominsky—her elderly neighbor—she finds that he is equally reticent about his own concealed history. Precocious and imaginative, Clara invents versions of Mr. Kominsky's past, just as she invents lives for the people missing from her own shadowy history. Her journey of discovery is at the heart of this beautiful story about unlikely friendship and communion, about discovering what matters most in life, and about the search to find the missing pieces of ourselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312423773
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 08/14/2003
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

Alison McGhee was awarded the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award for her first novel, Rainlight. Born and reared in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, she currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Shadow Baby 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the beautiful things about this book is how highly unique and unusual it is. The writing style is different but totally interesting. The subject matter is not common, but so absorbing and delightful. You need to think while reading this, but it is also very much filled with heart. I'm so glad I read this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think I would have liked her
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Sydney Klapper More than 1 year ago
I love the way the book is miserious
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harstan More than 1 year ago
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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Guest More than 1 year ago
The book started out great, don't get me wrong, but the book ended with so many open strings that it was just frustrating!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Michelle Moore More than 1 year ago