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Tennyson by Lesley M. M. Blume
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The setting is post civil war. Two little children and abandoned by their father, left at the family crumbling plantation, while the father goes off to find his wife who has simply disappeared.

The Aunt clearly does not want the responsibility of the children, and thus they are surrounded by negative people and a haunting nightmare of a Gothic southern plantation that once at held life but now piece by crumbling piece is falling to the ground.

Through a dream like quality the older child Tennyson has visions of what the house was years ago, run by ill treated slaves who live with the pretentious adults who fail to realize that the old ways are destroyed by the war, and their snobbery and at once glamorous life style is now gone, never to return.

I'm not really sure why I didn't like this book, perhaps it was overfilled with selfish, arrogant, ignorant nasty people, none of whom cared at all for the feelings of two abandoned children. ( )
  Whisper1 | Apr 12, 2015 |
I recently ordered this book for my school library. I love fiction written about the South so once it came in, I had to read it. In the afterword Blume mentions travelling through Louisiana and Mississippi and staying in plantations to get a sense of the whole world down here. I feel like she did a pretty good job. Tennyson's aunt and uncle were so stereotypical post Civil War Southerns.

The ending was a little lacking in my opinion, but the journey there more than made up for it. There is mystery, heartache, and a bit of humor. I would recommend this students who like mysterious reads, but aren't necessarily into ghosts. ( )
  Kathdavis54 | May 18, 2012 |
I bought this for my teen daughter but ended up reading it first. I grew up in Mississippi and have lived in Louisiana for the last 10 yrs. Combine that with my love for plantations and I was sold from the start. However, this book wasn't anything like I expected. I agree it is haunting which is usually not something I would love but I do. I loved the entire story, especially the house being its own character. I have always felt that old homes have a "soul" to speak. If only they could talk. Well, Lesley Blume gives this one a voice. I love it! Originally I hated the abrupt ending of the book but somehow I love it for that too. I like that it isn't expected or all wrapped up nice and pat. Beginning to end....a fabulous read! Highly recommend!!! ( )
  kahlanne | Feb 25, 2010 |
(#14 in the 2009 Book Challenge)

YA novel, set during the Great Depression in a decaying plantation house on the Mississippi. This works pretty well as the OMG style of High Drama. Sensitive and serious Tennyson has dreamlike flashbacks to the past to the Civil War days of the plantation, and she then clandestinely writes about these experiences to escape the scrutiny of her demented aunt who is obsessed with the glory of their family history. I'm pretty impressed with how this author teased out all the elements of the Southern Gothic that would especially appeal to 12 year old girls. The moral of the story: OMG, slavery was, like, SO UNFAIR. Geez!

Grade: B
Recommended: I know I'm sounding snide about it, but despite all the OMG-ness of the story it was brisk and engaging overall, despite the overblown characters and excess of hang-wringiness. ( )
  delphica | Jun 10, 2009 |
Tennyson's mother abandons her family and her and her younger sister, Hattie, are forced to live with their aunt while their father searches for his wife. Tennyson dreams about the past in the big Southern house and finds an outlet to help her get by while she is stuck there, waiting for her father to come back. ( )
  knielsen83 | Mar 5, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375847030, Hardcover)

It’s 1932, the Depression. Things are evening out among people everywhere. Tennyson Fontaine and her sister Hattie live in a rickety shack of a house with their mother and father and their wild dog, Jos. There is no school, only a rope swing in the living room and endless games of hide-and-seek in the woods on the banks of the Mississippi. But when their mother disappears and their father sets off to find her, the girls find themselves whisked away to Aigredoux, once one of the grandest houses in Louisiana, and now a vine-covered ruin. Under the care of their austere Aunt Henrietta, who is convinced the girls will save the family’s failing fortunes, Tennyson discovers the truth about Aigredoux, the secrets that have remained locked deep within its decaying walls. Caught in a strange web of time and history, Tennyson comes up with a plan to bring Aigreoux’s past to light. But will it bring her mother home?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:24 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

After their mother abandons them during the Great Depression, eleven-year-old Tennyson Fontaine and her little sister Hattie are sent to live with their eccentric Aunt Henrietta in a decaying plantation house outside of New Orleans.

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