Blaise Fortune, also known as Koumaïl, loves hearing the story of how he came to live with Gloria in the Republic of Georgia: Gloria was picking peaches in her father's orchard when she heard a train derail. After running to the site of the accident, she found an injured woman who asked Gloria to take her baby. The woman, Gloria claims, was French, and the baby was Blaise.
When Blaise turns seven years old, the Soviet Union collapses and Gloria decides that she and Blaise must flee the political troubles and civil unrest in Georgia. The two make their way westward on foot, heading toward France, where Gloria says they will find safe haven. But what exactly is the truth about Blaises past?
Bits and pieces are revealed as he and Gloria endure a five-year journey across the Caucasus and Europe, weathering hardships and welcoming unforgettable encounters with other refugees searching for a better life. During this time Blaise grows from a boy into an adolescent; but only later, as a young man, can he finally attempt to untangle his identity.
Bondouxs heartbreaking tale of exile, sacrifice, hope, and survival is a story of ultimate love.
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"Starred Review. A beautifully cadenced tribute to maternal love and the power of stories amid contemporary political chaos. 12+." - Kirkus
"Starred Review. The characters and story are well formed, but young people unfamiliar with the circumstances of life behind the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet Union might be confused as much of the conflict and political situation isnt explained until near the end of the book. However, those who stay with it will be rewarded with an exceptional story." - Library Journal
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Anne-Laure Bondoux was born on April 23, 1971, in the region surrounding Paris, where she still lives today with her two children. She studied Modern Letters at the University of Paris XNanterre, and during her education, created writing workshops for disadvantaged children, for which she eventually received the Prix Fondation of France. After having done some theater, Bondoux joined the editorial staff at Bayard Presse in 1996. There she worked on Jaime Lire, a literary, educational publication for children, and in 1998 participated in the launch of a new kids magazine titled Maximum.
Bondoux retired from journalism in 2000 in order to devote her time exclusively to writing, and is the author of several childrens books, including The Destiny of Linus Hoppe, and The ...
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