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The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn Hardcover – Feb 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Company; 1 edition (Feb 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060559195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060559199
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 15.4 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,850,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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People who live in houses never get it, but street people know: Fall begins on the fifteenth of August, at the exact moment when summer's at its peak. Read the first page
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By A Customer on 25 April 2004
Format: Hardcover
The meaning of "annunciation" in the Christian religion is theannouncement to the Virgin Mary by the angel Gabriel of the incarnation ofChrist. This basic tenant provides the backdrop to The Annunciation ofFrancesca Dunn, a gorgeously written but slightly uneven novel by JanisHallowell. Told in sparingly almost disparate prose, and full of delicateimagery and rich emotion, the story poses fundamental questions of scienceand faith and conveys the ever-present dichotomies that exist between thetwo. Told in irregular chapters by four different characters, we witnessFrancesca Dunn's startling transformation into a Virgin Mother - one whois gifted and is given the gift to perform miracles on members of a smallcommunity in Connecticut.
This is a story about the elusive nature of the spirit and how people tryto reconcile their faith and religious beliefs in a modern, secular,twenty first century world where the world of science takes precedence.The novel begins with the voice of Chester, the homeless man. He nameshimself the protector of Francesca and he believes she is the BlessedVirgin after seeing her perform miracles on his fellow homeless friends ina local cafe. For Chester, the virgin becomes his only guide, the only oneto tell him what to do. Francesca, the centerpiece of the novel is anaverage, somewhat spoilt fourteen year-old who plays the cello and wishesthat her mother would pay more attention to her. When she releases thatshe has the power to change people's lives and can hold the mystery oflife in her hands, she becomes a celebrity and a deity; but no oneultimately knows exactly what kind of power that Francesca possesses.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Mystery of the miracles 21 April 2005
By Linda Pagliuco - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Annunciation is an intriguing book, a tale of the universal search for meaning and spirituality in a materialistic world. Before starting, I expected the plot to be somewhat farfetched, but having worked with young teens for a long time, I can see that something like this could happen. Each of the major characters lacks something important in his/her life, and it takes a tragedy for them each to learn that their resolutions lie not in miracles but in themselves and in each other. The truth of the central mystery remains hidden till the novel's end, and even then, not all questions are answered or problems solved. Thought provoking and skillfully crafted.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not what I expected... 30 Jan 2005
By Lisa Fischbach - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book was not what I expected but was wonderful nevertheless.. Francesca Dunn is a 14 year old girl on the cusp of becoming a woman but still very much a child, her parents have recently divorced and she feels abandoned by her previously doting father whose dream it was for Francesca to be a famous celloist.. She begins to realize she is not the prodigy her father had hoped for, at about the same time as a homeless man at the soup kitchen where she works announces that she is the virgin mother.. a frenzy of adulation ensues.. making Francesca feel special once again and her mother doubt her daughters sanity.. told in the alternating pov's of Anne the mother, Francesca, her bestfriend Sid and the homeless man Chester.. Excellent I highly recommend this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very enjoyable 22 Mar 2006
By J. N Sandell - Published on
Format: Paperback
This story is about a fourteen year old girl struggling with who she is, what's going on in the world around her and how she fits in to the whole mess. It is about the very human desire to believe in a higher power, something perfect. I really felt that this young girl could be the Virgin Mary in the beginning and middle parts of the book. I was filled with anticipation. All of that sort of unraveled towards the end, but this was still a very enjoyable read. I felt the writing was pitch perfect and I liked that it was told from the point of view of four different narrators as they each bring something new to the story.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fabulous first novel 6 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I could not put this book down. It is the first novel from a new and exciting author. Her insights into the essence of the mind a teenage girl and the mania that is caused when her life is turned upside down by the assertion that she is a miraculous reembodiment of the virgin Mary are intriguing. At once one feels the out-of-control external aspects of Francesca's situation and the interior issues of identity that we all feel as humans - particularly teenage humans. I strongly recommend this book to young and old and look forward to more from this new writer.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A great, solid novel with engaging characters 20 Mar 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm a literature student and read so much for school that I can be picky when it comes to books for enjoyment. I thought this was a great novel. The characters were engaging and the plot kept me reading. I just had to finish it in one sitting! I had no problems with the multiple narrators and it added much more depth to the book. The writing flowed and the story had great character development. I highly recommend and definitely plan on reading it again.
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