Just as she is losing hope of ever finding a home, and forgetting all she once loved, Halinka sees something that reminds her that everyone needs some beauty in their lives, like they need air, or food . . . and maybe a friend.
The girls (in Halinka’s room) are 12 (well they’re in two grades so I’d guess different ages by at least a year) but they did seem a bit younger to me. Maybe 10? Maybe 11? Given their backgrounds and circumstances and given that this is historical fiction and not contemporary, I guess they could seem a bit younger to me than they are.
This is a very moving account of a young girl’s life in a children’s home. The story is set in Germany, shortly after WW2....Halinka has one good person in her life, her mother’s sister, who loves her but can rarely see her.
Halinka has been put in the home after being removed from her mother who was neglectful, Halinka also suffered physical abuse but it is not clear if this was from her mother or her mother’s boyfriends.
The story is about the day to day life in the home. Halinka struggles to make friends and finds it hard to trust. It is sensitively written and you feel for Halinka who seems to have had little joy or kindness in her life.
A sad, sweet tale of a lonely girl (I don’t remember them mentioning her age, but I’d guess eleven or so) in an orphanage. Although the story is set in Germany in the early 1950s, it could come from just about any time or place.
Halinka’s attempts to stay strong and find some joy in her Spartan existence ring true. At first she stays aloof from everyone, keeping her thoughts and inside her head and sharing them only with her secret book and a beloved aunt whom she occasionally visits.