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Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney
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Diamonds in the Shadow (2007)

by Caroline B. Cooney

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Completely enraptured. I spent most of a day just reading this book. I actually left work late just so I didn't have to stop reading it. One of the most intriguing lines comes early in the novel: "In a civil war," Crick said, "there are no good guys. They're all guilty of something. You are probably not saving the innocent, because in a civil war, nobody is innocent." It seems a terrible way to introduce a community to an incoming refugee family, but the way this small piece (from an auxiliary character) plays out through the novel is absolutely wonderful.

The characters of both families each have their own personalities and their own secrets and fears. I won't say that all the characters are fully developed, because some are definitely more important than others. But even the characters that are neglected are given alibis of sorts; it's just a perfectly crafted novel.

So with the glowing review above, why the 4.5 and not a 5? Even though I was hooked by the end of the novel, it takes some time to gear up. Also, even though I understood where Jared was coming from, I didn't like the introduction to him. He struck me as superficial and selfish and when I started the book I wasn't in the mood for that type of narrator. ( )
  jennk | Mar 11, 2016 |
good read for young adults. ( )
  lposton | Jan 13, 2016 |
Diamonds in the Shadow was very different in the context of the writing. It was harder for me to rate and harder to classify than other books. It's good and I liked it a lot. It had just as much to say about the American characters as it did about the African characters and things going on in Africa. It was imaginative in that respect. The characters were developed in an interesting way in that they each seemed to point out something that the author wanted to say. They weren't caricatures but they were, without a doubt, examples. Some seemed real and some seemed a little overboard but not so much that I didn't hesitate for a while to say that. Perhaps a few of the characters seemed over simplified but then that's the way one sees people when one isn't inside their head. The characters through whose point of view we could see were more complex. Whatever it was it was interesting and I liked it. The story certainly did a good job of saying what I thought the author wanted to say and I decided it was definitely getting four stars. I also just added a couple more of Ms. Cooney's books.

Came back for another comment. I liked the ending too - not the dramatic ending, although I was very glad for that - but the ending that was underneath that. There was plenty of story underneath the story. Now that I think about it, that was my favorite part. ( )
  Yona | May 2, 2013 |
Powerful story, Caution: one scene is emotional brutal.
  fadeledu | Nov 17, 2011 |
Jared Finch's family has agreed to house a refugee family from Africa. The Amabo family is being sponsored by Jared's church, and they will need a place to stay and get acquainted with American culture and how things work. When Jared learns that the Amabo's son Mattu has never heard of the Holocaust, he is amazed and explains. Mattu replies, "We have those in Africa. I have been in one." Jared notices problems immediately and becomes suspicious that perhaps this "family" is not actually a family. The Amabos do not talk or touch, and seem to care little for one another. The only belongings they brought were two boxes of cremated remains, and when Jared and his sister get nosy, they discover uncut diamonds in the ashes. The diamonds are meant to pay for guns through another refugee from whom they have escaped -- but he is hunting for them and danger appears with him. Caroline Cooney has created a mystery based on current events, including the use of "blood diamonds" to pay for African civil wars (weapons, armies, violence), and child soldiers. ( )
  KarenBall | Sep 23, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385732619, Hardcover)

THE FINCH FAMILY did not know that five refugees landed from Africa on the day they went to the airport to welcome the family sponsored by their church. The Finch family only knew about the four refugees they were meeting - Andre, Celestine, Mattu, and Alake - mother, father, teenage son and daughter.

Soon Jared realizes that the good guys are not always innocent, and he must make a decision that could change the fate of both families. This story presents many points of view and a fresh perspective on doing the right thing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:05 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The Finches, a Connecticut family, sponsor an African refugee family of four, all of whom have been scarred by the horrors of civil war, and who inadvertently put their benefactors in harm's way.

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