New Review Communion by Jean Blasiar & Jonathan Marcantoni

A mixture of magical realism and war-set family drama revolving around a little girl, Gem, who’s ability to communicate with animals assists her in her search to locate her father, who has gone missing in action at the height of World War II. It is at once an intimate portrait of a small Ohio town affected by war and an emotional epic about the enduring love between husband and wife and father and daughter.


  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Savant Books & Publications LLC (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983286140
My thoughts:

Edward and Melanie are a young married couple with a very young daughter.  They now live with Edward’s parents.  Edwards father Fred is a nice man, however Abigail his mother , is not such a nice person.  She doesn’t like the name Gemini as she associates it with the pagans.  She comes across as cold-hearted with it comes to Gem and Melanie.  Abigail doesn’t understand Gem and the things she does.  When Gem deals with her father listed as Missing, Abigail can not cope and thinks she is faking.

The story is touching.  I adored Gem and how she and her mother coped with Edward going off to war.  Melanie stays strong for Gem’s sake and concurs major hurdles in her career as an artist.  Her and Gem both are subject to mental abuse from Abigail.  I cringed every time Gem had to deal with her.  Back during the 40’s it was common for some people to act the way Abigail acted when she didn’t agree or understand things.

I enjoyed the tenderness Gem had with the animals and her bears.  She is such a caring child and never gives up hope her father will return.  You had to have hope your loved one would return.  Melanie staying true to her marriage to Edward was refreshing.

When Gem goes to see the General who moved in neighborhood was by far one of my favorite parts of the book.  He never gave up either and when he went to look for Edward you could feel the relief in Gem and Melanie.

I enjoyed reading the devastation that was left in France after the war.  The descriptions were so life-like you could picture yourself walking along looking for american soldiers.

A truly amazing book, one I will re-read again and share with my oldest son as he loves WWII history.