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To ask other readers questions about A Time of Miracles , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Dec 05, Mariah rated it really liked it. I totally didn't realize that I never wrote a review for this book I read this book for the Diversity in All book club. If you would like to participate in the group discussion here is the link: This is a young adult novel that deals with multiple different issues that immigrants face.
The main character grows up loving to hear stories of how he came to live with Gloria in the Republic of Georgia: The trip is an illegal immigration undertaken by the child Blaise Fortune when he is a ten-year-old child. Blaise Fortune was informally adopted and named when he was a baby by the then single twenty-year-old Gloria Vassilievna Dabaieva, just a few years before the Abkhazian war began against the Russians and Georgians and a myriad of other little Slavic, Russian and Turkish tribes that had been crushed together by the former Soviet Union the Soviet Union fell apart in This war really happened: To him, the wrecked abandoned places he and his displaced caretaker live in are the way things have always been - the lack of food, the freezing cold of winters, the ragged clothes, the lack of consistent electrical power or clean water.
However, Gloria has kept hidden all of these years his passport, taken from the woman on the train, and she speaks constantly of returning Blaise to his home country.
He begs her to tell the story again and again. She also encourages him to learn French. Finally, when Blaise is ten years old, after the militia chases them out of yet another abandoned building and Gloria must leave behind another horrible job, Gloria decides it is time to go to France. It will be a difficult journey without much money, papers or food, and in winter, too.
Gloria never allows Blaise to lose heart - she insists they will make it! Blaise is a little scared. Gloria coughs and coughs like a bear is living in her chest. Will they make it? It is more gentle. What does compel illegal immigrants to endure horrors in traveling to a safer, better-fed country? The journey often is no more terrible than the home community they are running from. Apr 12, Judy rated it really liked it Recommended to Judy by: It's the pure and simple truth.
Blaise, a young boy and Gloria, his guardian, find themselves on the run again and again as Russian soldiers approach. It seems they can't settle anywhere for any period of time!
Despair, she says, is more dangerous and more clever than the Armenian who knocked out Sergei. It is invisible and slips into everything.
If you don't fight against it, it nibbles at your soul. But how do you know if you caught a despair if you can't even see it? Rather than focusing only on how Blaise and Gloria survive, the book centers on topics practical for refugees such as despair,hope,loyalty, coping, living when there is little for which to live.
As Gloria weaves her hope-inspiring magic when Blaise tires of running, the question arises are some lies necessary if they inspire hope? A positive book, not depressing in spite of the setting, it is a nicely crafted YA story pages that can easily be read in an afternoon. Mar 05, Sara rated it it was amazing.
I would've loved this book when I was in middle school. Back then, I sought out stories of heartbreak and disastermost of them set in wartime and most of them offering a glimpse of the beauty still possible in the middle of human waves of conflict. Most of those stories would've been set during the Holocaust, but this one isn't. It begins in a makeshift camp called the Complex, in , a time so recent that I was bewildered not to know of it, scrambling to figure out what was going on and wh I would've loved this book when I was in middle school.
It begins in a makeshift camp called the Complex, in , a time so recent that I was bewildered not to know of it, scrambling to figure out what was going on and why bad things were happening around me. Everything seemed as achingly real and as slightly off-kilter as a vivid dream. The precise language here is stunning, and manages to be wholly clear while retaining a cadence that makes you believe the translator didn't stray far from the original French.
Most of all, the novel never wavers from the viewpoint of the child narrator, a boy named Koumail, who as a baby was rescued from a train wreck with only a French passport. As he journeys with his rescuer, the saintly Gloria, he slowly grows more aware of both his past and his dangerous present until at last, he and we can see the whole of the story which has engulfed him.
If I'd have studied the map at the front of the book, I might have realized sooner that this was a story of refugees fleeing the armed conflict that followed the breakup of the Soviet Union, but I was afraid of learning too much too soon. And to me, this is the magic of A Time of Miracles.
We witness only as much as we are able to bear, but grow capable by the end of the story of knowing the full truth. Nov 07, Lisa rated it really liked it. Along the way, they meet many people who threaten them and also many people who help them and befriend them. As the book opens, he is six years old and by the end he is twenty.
This book is written for teens and preteens and gives them a full picture of what it means to be a refuge, to be stateless, to not have a home and as a result, to even be unsure of one's identity. It is very sensitively written by Anne-Laure Bondoux. She won the Mildred L. I hope this book becomes a required or at least recommended book at middle schools and high schools throughout the United States.
Besides learning about literature from reading it, they can learn compassion. Jan 10, Clay rated it it was amazing Shelves: Part mystery, part history, part coming of age story, his tale begins at the fall of Soviet Georgia where 7YO K manages to have a childhood while dodging revolutionaries, starvation, and other disasters alongside his adored and adoring Gloria, a woman who claims to have adopted him after his mother was badly injured in a train wreck. His voice is both delightful and haunting, and Anne-Laure Bondoux has worked great depth and complexity into simply written pages.
View all 3 comments. Aug 15, Krista the Krazy Kataloguer rated it really liked it Shelves: This was an unusual book in two ways. First, it started out reading like a juvenile novel, and then, in the last quarter, felt more like a YA novel. This is because the main character grew up very fast and was in his upper teens toward the end, whereas he was nine when the story first began.
Second, it was set in the Caucasus the Georgia region , during a war I had never heard of. When I read it, it felt like I was reading a novel set in World War II, but it really began in to , when t This was an unusual book in two ways.
Start by marking “A Time of Miracles” as Want to Read: So A Time of Miracles introduces the reader into the life of the refugees, Blaise (Koumail) and Gloria. Anne-Laure Bondoux has received numerous literary prizes in her native France. A refugee boy and his mother flee Georgia in and travel alone through the Caucasus for eight years to reach France. Koumaïl has always lived with Gloria, who tells him stories of rescuing him from a bombed train and stealing passports from his dead French mother.
When I read it, it felt like I was reading a novel set in World War II, but it really began in to , when the Russian republics were all fighting and vying for independence from Russia. Koumail and his guardian, Gloria, are trying to make it to France, where Gloria had told Koumail he had been born. They walked most of the time, helped sometimes along the way by kind people, but sharing many hardships--hunger, cold, wet, pain, and, at times, despair. It was hard for me to believe that this could happen in modern eastern Europe.
However, it's not just a story of survival, but a story of a boy's longing for an identity, a family, and a place to belong. I like how France is depicted here, as a country that respects human rights and takes in refugee children. The ending was unexpected and I was left wishing that this grim story had been a bit longer. I must recommend this book, especially for its unusual setting. Pour moi, ce Temps des miracles est tout simplement un must-read!
Apr 07, Laura rated it liked it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm struggling with how to review and rate this novel for several reasons, mainly because I feel that I should never have read it. Don't get me wrong, it was a good read, it was just very hard to get through.
If I had known this in the first place I probably wouldn't have read it. I found it to be very childish and juvenile at first, though in the end it made a lot of sense for Blaise to be so young a narrator in such terrifying conditions.