Until the Robin Walks on Snow

Until the Robin Walks on Snow

by Bernice L. Rocque

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Overview

Until the Robin Walks on Snow by Bernice L. Rocque

It is 1922. The midwife and an immigrant family struggle to save an extremely small premature baby. Inspired by true events, this novella about determination, family, faith, and friendship includes a story chapter about the family's Polish and Lithuanian Christmas Eve traditions. Appendices include a List of Sources Consulted and Author's Notes about the facts, family history, and research behind the story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985682217
Publisher: Three Houses Consulting LLC
Publication date: 09/29/2012
Pages: 204
Sales rank: 1,100,279
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.47(d)

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Until the Robin Walks on Snow 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
JohnGodges More than 1 year ago
Charming Portrayal of Multigenerational Family Life Bernice L. Rocque’s novella, Until the Robin Walks on Snow, leaves one charmed by an era in our recent past in which grandparents and grandchildren were each other’s best friends, in which extended families helped one other withstand severe hardships, in which people of all generations appreciated age-old customs for the social glue they provided, and in which simple amusements produced immense joy for all. Author Rocque infuses her touching novella with all these uplifting attributes in such an endearing fashion that one is left to ponder—no matter how much one embraces everything that is right and good about modern social progress—just how much has been lost and, more to the point, just how much can still be retained. One chapter in the novella masterfully illustrates the excitement, cooking, decorating, toasting, celebrating, story sharing, and various forms of communion associated with a traditional Eastern European Christmas Eve in a New England immigrant enclave of the 1920s. The scenes are replete with rich and fascinating cultural details interwoven with action and dialogue. This isn’t a ritualized family gathering; there is plenty of genuine heartache. But almost anyone reading this story would love to be part of this family because of its resilience under duress. One especially enchanting feature of this novella is its portrayal of a grandfather’s tender relationship with his granddaughter. This novella could be uniquely meaningful for middle school readers, because it could spark their interest in their own grandparents and encourage the young to cultivate their relationships with the old while they still have the chance. If this novella could inspire that to happen, then it will have not only painted a vivid picture of multigenerational family life, but it will have helped to rekindle it.
Cathy01 More than 1 year ago
As someone who loves genealogical and historical research, I really appreciated this charming story based on Bernice Rocque's family history. The story is rich with detail most likely gained by hours upon hours of research. Besides the fact that it is a very sweet story of a loving family's attempts to save their prematurely born infant son, it is also a look into the past and serves as a wonderful historical resource.
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
Until The Robin Walks On Snow is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom’s Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS’s Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author and; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books. Parents and educators look for the Mom’s Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.
PaulettePM More than 1 year ago
Bernice Rocque’s novella, Until the Robin Walks on Snow is a lovely read, crafted in beautiful metaphors and poetic prose to paint a family history of what it was to be an immigrant family in the early twentieth century. The story focus is on an extremely premature baby son and the efforts the entire community of family go to, to keep him warm, fed and alive. The reader never loses sight of this effort under the umbrella of love in a backdrop of extreme weather, challenging methods to offer heat and sustenance to the baby, while dividing up the duties of the mother so she can tend to her child. This is a heartwarming story of tenderness and compassion, that depicts the best of the human condition. A charming read.
ChristophFischer More than 1 year ago
“Until the Robin Walks on Snow” by Bernice L. Rocque grabbed my attention on the historical fiction forums on Goodreads and was intrigued by the Eastern European angle of the story, something that I have researched myself for my own books.  I found the relatively short novel had a lot more to it than Eastern European culture. It is a meticulously researched and detailed account of the winter 1922 and 1923 in Norwhich, Connecticut, during which a group of mainly Lithuanian Immigrants fear for the live of a fragile baby. Antoni is the smallest baby the doctor has ever seen – dead or alive – and his survival is in serious question. The author describes precisely which steps the family and the doctors take to help the baby survive in the same way as she adds great detail and authenticity to the cultural background of that group: The house they live in, the cooking implements they use, the clothes and fabrics, the religious habits and celebrations – all of this creates an amazing insight and allows the reader to become part of the community and the times. It is a great challenge to write about one small subject matter such as the birth of a fragile baby. Some authors might have been tempted to fill the book with lots of side plots to keep the reader’s attention but Rocque manages easily to hold the interest and the suspense up. As a plot driven writer and reader I was surprised to find myself so comfortable in the slow pace which this close up of the family and the surrounding community kept. The Wigilia, a Polish Christmas Eve dinner, the fables told and so much more that is mentioned makes this a well-illustrated and rich feast for the historian and culturally interested. Right from the beginning when the author gives an introduction, background and her acknowledgements, the writing was already so fascinating and captivating that I was surprised when the actual novel began. This is well crafted from research to the composition. If you have an interest in this field then “Until the Robin Walks on Snow” is a must read.
AnnaBowen More than 1 year ago
From the moment I opened my copy of Until the Robin Walks on Snow I was drawn to read it. The image on the cover is lovely, the title intriguing, the author’s style of writing makes this novella very accessible, and eases the reader as if a guest into the home of this immigrant family. The notes at the back of this novella add important information to this meaningful reading experience. As a daughter of Polish immigrants I was brought back to my ethnic history – I smiled at each occasional Polish word, the chapter abut Christmas Eve (Wigilia) was heart warming – especially at this time of year - and even some of the formality in the way the characters communicated with each other brought back memories. Interestingly one would think in a story addressing an intense situation there would be greater expression of emotion. Yet I feel that the author’s writing style purposely and effectively portrays the formality and emotional distance with which some Eastern European families communicate. This novella offers a captivating account about faith, hope, and the unwavering determination of an immigrant family’s struggle to sustain life. Ms Rocque’s eloquent writing creatively and mindfully manages facts and fiction. Focused on the events following the birth of a premature infant, the author’s attention to detail exemplifies the many ways this family loved and lived their life in America while maintaining a deep connection to their religion, traditions, and heritage. To me the birth of Antoni and the family’s focus to save the child during an especially harsh winter is symbolic of the often unpredictable tenuous journey that immigrants face when beginning a new life in an unfamiliar environment. Considering that the format of a novella is limited in length, the author manages to deliver an appealing story that relays a compelling description about how determination and the willingness of a small group of individuals working together made a difference not just in one child’s life but in all of their lives. There are stories in Until the Robin Walks on Snow waiting to be shared in greater detail including the friendship between the midwife and the mother, what became of the premature infant, and the potentially dangerous journey of the bootlegging grandfather. I hope that Ms Rocque takes this masterful beginning of a novella and considers expanding it into a collection of short stories or a novel.
TheStuffofSuccess More than 1 year ago
Until the Robin Walks on Snow was a book I really wanted to read due to some of the local history involved. There is so much rich history in this area of Connecticut. At 202 pages I was able to read it comfortably in one sitting. In 1922 families in CT struggled in so many ways. This particular story details how one family and some really dedicated friends helped to keep a premature baby alive, through an entire winter, with all odds against his survival. The story really hit home for me when they were struggling to try and get Antoni baptized. Tiny and fragile they still needed to trek through the winter streets just to try to get to St Josephs' Church. By the time the Robin walked on the snow it was clear that their faith, actions and struggles were in fact enough to keep Antoni alive. This was a really good story of the strength of faith, family and friends.