ANNE IS ELEGANT by Mary Louise Cuneo


Age Range: 9 & up
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 In December 1936, Anna Halder, seventh grader at a parochial school in snowy Chicago, is burdened with troubling demands. Most damaging is her mother, who keeps recounting the miseries of the recent hospital death of Anna's six-month-old baby brother. Meanwhile, the Schwanns, distant relatives across the street, need Anna--after ``Grandmother'' dies--as companion to ``Aunt Maria.'' It's no wonder, then, that Anna retreats into a daydreamy shell from which she either does as she's asked or designs elaborate fairy-tale gowns. Eventually, childlike Aunt Maria reaches Anna in her reverie, releases her from her grief, and delicately calls Anna's mother's attention to the pain she's causing daughter. Despite much unnecessary detail, readers will find some truths about the art of grieving, and some poignant observations about the effects of near relatives' behavior in family crises. Anna and Maria stand out as sensitive souls yearning for dignity, humor, and gentleness in a well- intentioned--but frequently dour--world. (Fiction. 9+)

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-022992-6
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1993