Come a Stranger (The Tillerman Cycle, Book 5) by Cynthia Voigt

By Cynthia Voigt

Mina Smiths, whom many readers will take note from Dicey's music (Atheneum, 1982), takes heart degree during this addition to the Tillerman saga and holds it with power and spirit. the tale takes her from age 10 to fifteen, following her from a younger dancer, jam-packed with herself and her goals, to a sensible and real looking younger lady. the major to her progress is Tamer Shipp, a tender pastor who drives her domestic from the station as soon as she leaves the dance camp from which she has been brushed off, might be simply because puberty has harmed her abilities, possibly simply because she is black. whilst Tamer's honesty and realizing aid her throughout the first discomfort, she starts to like him, forming a dating in order to be important to her perceptions of the area round her for the resultant 3 summers. there's little plot the following, however the tale strikes good, with the topic, Mina's altering view of the realm and her position in it as a tender black girl, sporting it in a wealthy present. The occasions are noticeable via Mina's eyes, as are the characters who, still, emerge with robust identities in their personal. within the final 3rd of the booklet, the Tillermans come into concentration as Mina learns approximately Bullet (The Runner Atheneum, 1985) from Tamer, who enjoyed and hated him. it really is her dating with the Tillermans and with Tamer which brings the tale to its climax, as Mina unearths how to entire the circle, bringing a degree of peace to all. Voigt tells her tale easily, getting within Mina's perceptions simply and believably. To seize the resonance of the tale, it might be important to have learn the sooner books concerning the Tillermans, even supposing, apart from minor lapses in personality description and incident, this does stand good by itself.

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But she was ugly and old and burdened with the awful responsibility of saving others by her drawing. In the glass he shone; he was like a magazine photograph. Marie was at one stage imprisoned and prepared for the guillotine. She shared a dank miserable cell with twenty other women, among whom were her mother and aunt, and the widow Josephine Beauharnais, who would later, as Napoleon’s Empress, commission expensive wax portraits. A woman appeared one day to cut their hair. She was melancholy and aged, and wielded large-bladed scissors with casual disregard.

Tumbrils rolled daily down Rue Saint Honoré. Screams ricocheted off the stones of the Panthéon. Blades were everywhere. Moving swiftly. And in the sharp eyes of the sans-culottes, a mise en abyme of reflections. So it was that Marie Grosholtz, lately of Versailles, was commissioned to take death masks and create models from the severed heads. She waited at the Madeleine Cemetery, sought through the dreary cartloads of sticky decapitations, and found those figures whose historical or commercial importance was certain.

It is like reading a book oneself has long ago written. – She wanted to die, but she also wanted to live in Paris. Eleanor’s book has fallen to the floor and closed its French pleasures. She extinguishes the lantern and lies quietly, listening to the wind. A detonation of pigeon wings momentarily startles her; then it is the black wind again, blowing all around the planet, blowing across the English Channel, furrowing the dark cold water, heading eastwards, and billowing, and rising to a gale. In the darkness our reader envisions a pair of small wine-red slippers.

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