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THE GENTLE HOUSE
The Gentle House
Name of Book:
The Gentle House
Author: Anna Perrott Rose
Reviewed by: Deepika Matunge
School: St Mark's Senior Secondary Public School, Meera Bagh
This book is good for ages: 13 and above
In January, 1950, a widowed New Jersey schoolteacher adopted a disturbed Latvian war orphan. Andritins had been orphaned during the war, and he had spent some years in camps in Russia and Germany as a D.P. (Displaced Person). He used to speak a language made with a combination of Latvian and German.
Andris (also called “Andy” or “Tinchy”) was traumatized by his experiences during the war. Young Andris presented an array of distressing behaviours. His IQ was initially scored at 65. He flew into rages that could last several hours. He became an expert in throwing tantrums. He used to beat members of the family, fight with other children at school, and pound his head on the walls until it bled. The main reason, why the family with which he had initially been placed, returned him to New Jersey social services, was because of his his distressing behaviour and high temper.
This book is all about how patience, kindness, discipline, love of brothers and sisters in the home, school, church, choir, Scouts and committed love by the author healed the wartime scars
The author's unadorned prose style, with a light humour, makes for easy reading. And the plain language throws her character into high relief.
This minor classic of the 1950s deserves to be read by a new generation
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