Review: The Search for the Madonna
The Search for the Madonna by Donna Alice Patton is one of the most refreshing books I've read in a very long time. The story evolves around twins Maggie and Em during the Depression as they live with an aunt on a farm. Maggie, the main character, tries so very hard during the tale to maintain her faith even though money woes have divided her family, with her parents working elsewhere while she and her twin help their aunt. Backdropping the delightful story is a mysterious family legend about a missing Madonna and so much money, Maggie can't grasp how much it is, only that her aunt says they'll never want for anything again.
Firstly, I want to say, I know Donna and know how much of her own heart she put into this book. Her hard work is evident as the reader learns so much about the Depression years, of how people did so much with so little. She never cheats on little details like how most people walked instead of driving cars or their main source of entertainment were radio shows rather than Facebook or the internet. Hard work brought rewards in having another day of safety inside a home, something most of us take for granted. Maggie's search not only for the missing Madonna but her own faith took me back to my childhood. Like Maggie, I had a defining moment where I discovered that faith and embrace it today.
The Search for the Madonna leans heavily on Catholic beliefs but transcends religious lines to offer children as young as seven and as old as thirteen a way to understand financial difficulties and how their great-grandparents or grandparents may have survived them. Sprinkled throughout this tale of finding faith and security are tidbits that evoked pleasant memories of strawberry jam simmering or the spicy scent of pickles cooking. Donna Patton brings all this to life in a book destined to find a place in many hearts.
I recommend The Search for the Madonna for all readers, be they boy or girl. It's a journey into the past made memorable by how much it applies to the present. This book is available for a very reasonable $7.95 at Beyond Publications (http://www.eccehomopress.com/) .