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Christine Cook - Catholic Girl

Essay by   •  September 11, 2011  •  Essay  •  429 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,665 Views

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Christine Cook is a fifteen-year-old Irish Catholic girl who is bored with life in her small town of Oswego, New York. She yearns for adventure and wishes she was old enough to join the WACs or to simply travel the world learning about other cultures. Therefore, it isn't too surprising that Chris becomes instantly enthralled by the European war refugees who take up residence in the old abandoned military base at Fort Ontario in her hometown. On the day the refugees arrive, Chris is immediately smitten by a handsome, dark-haired young man, and loans her bicycle to his little sister. She sneaks into the camp almost every day, making new friends with the teens there and learning about their lives, and when she "officially" meets the boy she saw that first day, they become instant friends.

Adam Bornstein is a Yugoslavian Jew who has experienced more heartache in his seventeen years than many people have in a lifetime. He saw firsthand the horrors of war when the Nazis invaded his homeland, and his family had to run for their lives. Now he, his mother and sister have been given the opportunity to take refuge in America, and he is happy to be starting a new life. Adam couldn't help but be taken with the beautiful American girl who generously loaned his sister a bicycle and welcomed all the refugees with open arms. Never having had a girlfriend before, Adam isn't quite sure how one should behave around a girl he likes, but soon their easy friendship readily blossoms into sweet romance.

Unfortunately, Chris's father is adamantly against his Catholic daughter "going with" a Jewish boy, and orders her to stay away from the camp. Still, Chris can't seem to stop herself from going, not only to see Adam, but all of her other friends as well. Before long though, the harsh reality of life sets in. The emergency shelter was only meant to be a temporary home for the refugees, and what will happen to them after the camp closes is a daily uncertainty. They may be allowed to immigrate permanently or they may be sent back to their homeland, but either way, it seems inevitable that Chris and Adam will eventually be separated. Until the decision is made, they must struggle against the prejudiced attitude of Chris's father, love each other to the fullest, and hope against hope that they won't be torn apart in the end.

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