The Ornament Tree

The Ornament Tree
Age Range
Release Date
March 13, 1996
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Bonnie Shaster, fourteen years old and recently orphaned, has happily come to live with her mother's family in Seattle, never expecting to find such chaos. Her charming, haplessrelatives have been forced to take in gentleman boarders tomake ends meet. The progressive ladies crusade for causes likewomen's suffrage, yet they are quite inept at managing thehousehold. Money is always a problem and the boarders arefrequently at odds with one another and with the household ofwomen, not one of whom knows how to cook. Yet whenhandsome young boarder Carson Young, a blind veteran of theGreat War, jokingly warns Bonnie to run for her life, she knows she isn't going anywhere.After escaping from the misery of living with herdisagreeable aunt, Bonnie has found a home where sheis happy and where she is valued-often for taking chargeof problems that threaten to become disasters. And as sheties her wishes on scraps of paper to the family's"ornament tree," Bonnie dares to believe that her newhome and the people in it are the beginning of a new lifewhere her fondest wishes can come true.

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Beautiful historical fiction
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Reader reviewed by Bookworm9

Orphaned Bonnie is sent to Seattle to live with distant relatives she's never met; upon arrival, she is instantly welcomed into a close-knit community of suffragist women who are trying to make ends meet by running a boarding house. Bonnie fits right in with everyone except her slightly younger cousin, Claire, and still feels uncomfortable with the youngest boarder, Carson, who has returned from WWI blind and bitter. Bonnie's increasing awareness of her own personal strength to help both herself and the others in the house runs parallel to her feelings for Carson, and her increasing awareness of his feelings for her. At last, Bonnie must embark on her own to pursue her dreams, leaving Carson waiting at home.

The story continues in Thesman's "The Tree of Bells," though in a somewhat different direction than readers might expect.
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