The Kitchen Madonna

Rumer Godden
Bethlehem Books
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages: 
103 pages
Grade / Age level: 

This is a simple, lovely work, of fine literary quality, about a thoroughly modern brother and sister and their blunt Ukrainian maid, who feels out-of-place in London and misses having a "good place" in the kitchen. A good place, according to Marta is something like this: "In my home, Ukrainian home, we make a good place...A place on top of cupboard, perhaps, or perhaps on shelf. Little place but it holy because we keep there Our Lady and Holy Child." When questioned by the children, she explained further. It wasn't a statue and not a picture. "Like picture but more beautiful. They in our churches too. Pictures, but prickled with gold."

The children wrap themselves up in the quest of finding a kitchen Madonna for their Marta. I shouldn't really tell you much more. It's a short story, though not really a kids story; a story for everyone. Very sadly, it is out of print; but it's well-worth your own quest. :)

UPDATE: This has just been reprinted in a lovely, newly-illustrated hardcover edition by Bethlehem Books. Highly recommended!

Review Date: 
10-23-06/ 2-16-10
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