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6 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An imaginitive book, almost good to eat!, 11 May 2005
This review is from: The Haven Home For Delinquent Girls (Hardcover)
I have to say that I'm the kind of girl who is attracted to a book by it's cover, and that's what happened with 'The Haven Home for Deliquent Girls'. Currently working with what might be described as 'delinquent children', the title appealed, as did the cover, and I found myself being drawn to this book.
On first sitting down to read, I was excited about what I was going to experience - no reviews yet on amazon, and the book being in three different time settings. I was delightfully amazed....
This book is basically about 4 women - Rachel, Alex, Billy and Jemima - whose lives have been affected by the Haven, which was originally a home for unmarried mothers. Erica, a young woman recently out of prison, takes you on the journey of discovery, back through the people who lived at the Haven and what the Haven stood for. But don't ever think that this is a slightly boring tale....from jumping from different time scales - just when you're about to find something out, forbidden kisses, astounding cakes (where you can almost taste them), intense friendships and tales of loss and happiness. This is the kind of book that you will never forget.
Filled with passion, love, loyalty and secrets, "The Haven Home for Delinquent Girls" is a definite one to read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars cakes and social history, 22 Sept. 2005
By A Customer
This is a many-layered story of girls, from different decades whose lives have been affected by 'The Haven'. In many ways it is a social history showing societal beliefs that have in most communities now changed.
For many years 'The Haven' was used to house and 're-educate' girls who were considered, by society to be troubled and delinquent - runaways, young unmarried mothers-to-be and girls showing lesbian tendencies. The methods used seem, in more enlightened times, incredible - suppression, punishment, a form of brain washing and manipulation.
Mrs Brown, the supervisor at 'The Haven' was heartless, dictatorial and unnecessarily cruel to girls who had committed no crimes. The pregnant girls were forced to sign papers authorising the adoption of their un-born babies believing either that they would be 'rescued' in time or that they had no choice. With no family support, no money and no other help available, their options were extremely limited.
But this is not a book without hope, friendship or tenderness.
We learn about the past through the eyes of former inmates, women who lived through these experiences and are now turning 'The Haven' into a baking school with the help of another troubled modern-day young woman.
The time shift in this book can feel a little confusing initially, but it is well worth the read. It is written with a light touch and a degree of empathy for many of the characters.
Oh yes and many of the cakes sound delicious too!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Haven Home, 6 Oct. 2005
By A Customer
Tondeur's writing is spectacular for this being her second novel. She is confident, and exceedingly able to take you on a journey through three different eras at the 'Haven Home for Delinquent Girls', allowing you to identify with the characters from each different period of time to the stage where you are genuinely moved by each twist in the tale that is met.
The fantastic descriptions of the cakes in the bakery, the journeys to the lighthouse, the attitudes and personality of each individual girl and the feelings of the narrator Erica, a young woman just out of prison leave the reader feeling enveloped by the book. A wonderful story, perfect for anyone who enjoys losing themselves in the characters of a novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Inter-twining tales, 20 Feb. 2007
This novel is several stories in one as it depicts the lives, characters and feelings of several different generations of girls and the part that 'The Haven' has played in their lives. The book feels well researched and proves an interesting insight to changing social attitudes.

Tondeur's style of writing is refreshingly different, interspersing descriptions which enable you to see, hear and most vividly smell the scene with streams of consciousness direct from whichever character is being focussed on at the time.

A good read - though it will make you want to eat lots of cake!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haven-ly, 16 Nov. 2006
By 
N. M. Bloom "justnicola" (brighton) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a great book. I love the way Louise Tondeur writes, she's very lyrical, her characters are well thought out, and I could almost smell the cakes baking.

Thank you Louise. Look forward to your next novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book by a fantastic author, 3 July 2013
This is a book I give to my friends who say they don't like reading and it turns them into readers. She is a wonderful writer and I recommend her other books just as much. A real gem of a book!
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The Haven Home For Delinquent Girls
The Haven Home For Delinquent Girls by Louise Tondeur (Hardcover - 1 Nov. 2004)
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