When Mattie’s mother dies she discovers a lot of things she did’nt know about her mom. She has inherited a house in Porthland. It was the house of her parents. Together with Brma her boyfriend Mattie goes to Porthland to visit the house. The people who are renting the house give her a box with letters and photo’s from her grandparents. In the box she finds a letter where Mary, Mattie’s mother, tells her parents that she has run away with a guy she met. The day when the letter aws written is Mattie’s birthday. That means it is not possible she is born on that date. Mary could’nt have hidden her pregnancy for nine month. Back home she asks her doctor to look in Mary’s doctors files. The doctor does’nt understand it. The papers show her that Mary could’nt be pregnant in that time because she had her periods. Mattie’s birth-certification seems to be disappeared as well. Mattie decides to go back to Porthland alone to find out he truth but she does’nt succeed. Than Bram comes to Porthland. He has shocking news. Sixteen years ago there disappeared a baby-girl with dark hair and brown eyes on the date Mattie was born. Bram thinks Mary stole the baby and that the baby was Mattie.
Sometimes Mattie sees people, a man and a woman. Nobody else sees them. They are always smiling and puttig their hands before their faces, take he away and say peek-a-boo. That’s what you do with a baby. The people could be Mattie’s natural parents.
Every year around the time their baby Sarah disappeared her parents are mourining about her. They are still looking for her altough sixteen years passed since she disappeared. It”s hard for Kelly their other daughter too. Kelly’s mother knows Sarah is alive somewhere. She thinks she can see her sometimes.
Every summer in august their whole lives stand in the shadow. The shadow of august. When the month has passed ordinary life goes on.
When Mattie hears what Bram has to say she does’nt want to believe Mary did something like that but Bram convinces her that it really could be true. Together they go to the office of the local paper of Porthland. They look into the archive and find the papers of sixteen years ago. The people at he photograph in the paper look exactly like the people Mattie sees. With a drawing she once made of the people she sees and the paer they go to he police. The policeman who worked on this case has become a friend of Sarah’s parents. He is almost sure Mattie is the kidnapped baby but he needs proove. Suddenly Mattie remembers something she found when she was picking out Mary’s stuff. It’s a tiny little bracelet, it could only fit a baby. Sarah did wear such a bracelet. Mattie goes back to get it. In the taxicab to he house of her natural parents she discovers there’s something engraved in it. It’s Sarah. Now Mattie knows for sure that she is Sarah. When she arrives at the house of her natural parents she has the feeling she has finally come home.
Checklist on novels
Name: Martina Kralt class: V4C date: 26-04
fill in or change to bold lettering
Title:The Shadow of August
Date of publication:1995
1. novel ? novelette ? short story ? drama- poem
2. adventure ? social ? fantasy ? historical novel- philosophical ? (auto)biographical ? science fiction - manners - family - thriller ? espionage ? travel? crime ?
love? (un)happiness? death ?sex ? reIigion ? social criticism - (in)justice - personaI relationships ? work ? solidarity - individualism - egoism - wealth ? poverty ? crime ? freedom ? vioIence - discrimination - materialism - growing up ? authority ? war and peace - responsibility - change of character ? quest
Mattie has always been a self-reliant girl but after the death of her mother she has the
feeling she can’t do without her boy-friend Bram. Mattie sees peopl who aren’t there
physically and she sometimes knows things that others don’t know but she never worried
about that. After the death of her mother she wants to know who those people are and why
she sees them.
Bram her boyfriend is a handsome smart boy. He is a real support for Mattie in the hard
days she has to go trough. Bram is pretty cool, you can trust him.
Kelly is Mattie’s natural sister. She was born when Mattie (Sarah) was allready stolen. She does’nt believe her sister is still alive. When she hears that she is alive she is really exciting about that and she wants to meet her sister right away. The story doe’nt tell much about Kelly’s character, only that she’s nice.
Mary, Sarah’s mother dies at the beginnig of the story. She was obsessively tidy and a strict and overprotecting but loving mom. She had pshycological problems. Altough Mattie loved her mom she is afraid that she inherited her difficult character because after her death she gets panic-attacks.
-time: in the time the book was written, around 1995
-place: Porthland in Cornwall
Is the title well-chosen? Explain your answer: Yes, I think the title is well chosen. It suits with the story. Every year around august Sarah’s parents are mourning about the disappearence of their daughter seventeen years ago. Whole their lives stands than in the shadow of august. When august is gone ordinary life goes on.
What is your opinion of this book?
Who did you think was the most interesting or striking character in this book? Explain.
I think the most interesting character of the book is Bram because he is my idea of a perfect boyfriend. I would love to meet him, he is handsome and smart and you can trust him.
Copy one sentence that is typical of this book; explain why it is typical.
He played with her fingers as if it were the precciest things in the world.
I can’t explain why.
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