A Time of Miracles

Anne-Laure Bondoux, trans. from the French by Y. Maudet, Delacorte, $17.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-385-73922-1
"There's nothing wrong with making up stories to make life more bearable," says Gloria, the wise woman who is the soul of Bondoux's (The Killer's Tears) beautifully nuanced novel. As she and seven-year-old Koumaïl flee the Republic of Georgia to escape uprisings and fighting during the Soviet Union's collapse, Gloria soothes the boy with the story of his past. She says she rescued him from a train wreck near her family's orchard after his badly injured mother "begged me with her eyes, and I understood what she expected of me." His real name, she says, is Blaise Fortune and he was born in France, where he and Gloria are headed. The two make a perilous, five-year journey westward through war-torn territory, encountering a memorable entourage of fellow refugees with poignant stories of their own. Continuously embellishing Blaise's life story, Gloria keeps hope alive for the boy, believing it is the "one and only remedy against despair." Years after their sudden, wrenching separation, a reunion brings to light the final, heartrending version of Blaise's past. Though Blaise narrates this splendidly translated novel, Gloria's voice will long resonate. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Library Binding - 180 pages - 978-0-385-90777-4
Ebook - 121 pages - 978-0-375-89726-9
Prebound-Glued - 180 pages - 978-1-61383-406-0
Paperback - 180 pages - 978-0-375-86036-2
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