Friday, June 18, 2010

Review: The Blue Door (The Quilt Trilogy # 3) by Ann Rinaldi

Summary: Amanda Videau has no idea what adventures lies in store for her. Grandmother Abigail is sending her north to Lowell, Massachusetts, the home of the Chelmsford textile mill. Abagail wants to make a final peace with the father she deserted; and she wants Amanda to savor the kind of excitement and adventure she could never find on the family plantation in South Carolina.

But the excitement Amanda discovers is far from welcome. After witnessing a crime, she goes into hiding, disguising herself as a worker in her own great-grandfather's mill. Amanda has to work to live-- something she's never done before. And she must experience the horrible working conditions of the mill firsthand.

Now Amanda is torn between healing her family wounds and fighting for her newfound rights. Either way, she must face the man who lives behind the forbidding blue door--the man who tore the family quilt so many generations ago.

The youngest Chelmsford confronts the oldest in the final book of Ann Rinaldi's epic trilogy about three generations of a New England family.

Review: The quilt has finally made it home! In the second book, Thankful's part of the quilt gets home and now Abigail's! As soon as I finished Broken Days, I began reading this one and I finished it that night as well!

So now we are into the third generation. Amanda is the granddaughter of Abigail Chelmsford Videau, who ran away in the first book and eloped with Nate Videau. When Amanda's father needs money to run his plantation, Grandmother Abigail sends young Amanda to her relatives in Salem, Massachusetts, in hopes of getting some cotton sold to her father's mill. So against her will, Amanda begins her journey. And boy is it a rough one! From meeting a dangerous man who wants to kill her, to being in a steam boat wreck, Amanda some how finds herself in Lowell. But since Nicholas takes her quilt, when Amanda is taken to her great-grandfather's home (who is still alive but all of his children are dead), she can't prove that she is indeed Amanda Videau. I know this sounds confusing, but I really don't want to spoil the book!

She is then forced to work in the Lowell Mills as she has no where to go. Before the steamboat wreck, her friend and travel companion change clothes and identities, so Amanda becomes Clara and Clara becomes Amanda. When Clara dies in the wreck, people believe she is Amanda and tells her father back home that Amanda is dead. So of course her great-grand father won't believe her. Anyhoo, after a long chain of events Amanda befriends the girls at Lowell and they being the ten hour work days campaign.
Amanda also meets Nancy, or Walking Breeze, and the two become friends. In the end, Nicholas is caught, and Amanda meets her family.

The plot was excellent! It was full of action and and danger and I kept flipping the pages, over and over again. Once again, it was evident that a lot of research was put into writing this book, which made it all the better! Not only that, but the characters were well written, even the ones who didn't appear so much. Amanda went from a fretful Southern girl (from South Carolina, where I live!) to a courageous young lady, and I loved sharing her journey!

Grade: Go to fullsize image I really liked it.

Cover: A+, the girl (whom I assume is Amanda), the blue door (symbolic in the book), the mills in the background, and the man (whom I assume is Nicholas) and the ferry at the bottom, for the wreck. It's as if the whole book is inscribed in the cover!

Overall: A great ending to an amazing trilogy, Rinaldi know who to put danger, courage, and finding one's self work together so well with history.
*Sorry for the vague review; I honestly didn't know how to review this book without giving everything away!

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