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The Miracle and Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets

von Sarah Miller

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795277,152 (4.06)6
In this riveting, beyond-belief true story from the author of The Borden Murders, meet the five children who captivated the entire world. When the Dionne Quintuplets were born on May 28, 1934, weighing a grand total of just over 13 pounds, no one expected them to live so much as an hour. Overnight, Yvonne, Annette, Cecile, milie, and Marie Dionne mesmerized the globe, defying medical history with every breath they took. In an effort to protect them from hucksters and showmen, the Ontario government took custody of the five identical babies, sequestering them in a private, custom-built hospital across the road from their family--and then, in a stunning act of hypocrisy, proceeded to exploit them for the next nine years. The Dionne Quintuplets became a more popular attraction than Niagara Falls, ogled through one-way screens by sightseers as they splashed in their wading pool at the center of a tourist hotspot known as Quintland. Here, Sarah Miller reconstructs their unprecedented upbringing with fresh depth and subtlety, bringing to new light their resilience and the indelible bond of their unique sisterhood.… (mehr)
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Miller has written an in-depth, sensitive and up-to-date book about the Dionne quintuplets of Ontario. The 5 girls were born in 1934 to a family of 7, to parents who were gobsmacked by the needs to keep them alive, never mind their basic necessities! Ultimately the girls are removed from the home and in steps the government....
PLUS- Myths are dispelled and a researched truth are presented in these pages. Enlightening.
NEG.- the jump from 1968 to 1998 at the end! ( )
  linda.marsheells | Jun 28, 2020 |
This book was so sad. The nurses wouldn't pick the babies up when they cried. The pinned them to the blankets at times. The girls did not have a "normal" life. They did not experience a lot of things and when they became adults they did not know how to cope. No wonder the ones who married all ended up divorced. I am not sure I believed everything the quintuplets had to say. It seems a lot of their memories were different from the way other recalled the same events. ( )
  dara85 | Mar 8, 2020 |
In May of 1934, astonishing the world (and their parents!), quintuplet girls were born in rural Ontario. The only such set of multiples to survive infancy, Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie and Marie weighed just a few pounds each and required intensive, round-the-clock care. Their parents, farmers of humble means and with five older children already, surrendered guardianship of the quints to the province of Ontario. What ensued over the years following can be described only as an appalling and exploitative media circus -- with the girls as the main (and quite lucrative) attraction.

Though fascinating, this is most definitely not an uplifting story, but rather a series of increasingly objectionable and sad things done to five vulnerable children. It even ends on a note of hopelessness. Don't allow the "young adult" marketing of the book be a deterrent; I selected this title to fulfill the "YA nonfiction" category for the Read Harder Challenge 2020, and I have to admit I'm uncertain what about either the content or writing makes it YA. Recommended! ( )
  ryner | Feb 26, 2020 |
This book presents the life and tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets. The book tells the story of both the quintuplets and the Dionne parents and siblings that were left behind. The author worked hard to present a balanced picture, presenting both sides of the story. Overall, well written and well worth picking up. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Sep 3, 2019 |
The Dionne Quintuplets were 17 when I was born. By the time I heard of them they were not in the limelight as they once had been and I didn't realize what a miracle they had been. Multiple births are old-hat now, but their birth was amazing, then and now. Naturally conceived quintuplets born at home in a farmhouse in 1934, some weighing only a pound, and they survived! From the moment they were born they were in the limelight. Many people sought to keep it this way and sought to exploit them. Their father was a poor farmer who was easily swayed by these shucksters who wanted to display them at the World's Fair among other things. The Canadian government, partly to protect the quints and partly to cash in on this miracle basically took over "ownership" of the quints. They built a hospital/school across from their home that was state of the art at the time. The girls spent the first 9 years of their lives there behind a fence, viewed by long lines of people from all over the world as they went about their "normal" lives. This arrangement ruined their relationship with their parents and siblings who could visit only at certain times. This relationship was never mended. By the time they were ready to go out on their own, they were totally unaware of the ways of the world. Soon, all the money that had been invested for them over the years was gone, misspent and stolen by those who supposedly loved them most. This story is indeed a miracle and a tragedy. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an advanced copy. ( )
  Randi_Robinson69 | Aug 26, 2019 |
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We don't feel that anyone can be fair to both sides and tell the truth. Theresa Dionne



Children are the riches of the poor.
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To Sarah Nicole who has a smile like Marie Dionne's
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1 in 57,000,000 births
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In this riveting, beyond-belief true story from the author of The Borden Murders, meet the five children who captivated the entire world. When the Dionne Quintuplets were born on May 28, 1934, weighing a grand total of just over 13 pounds, no one expected them to live so much as an hour. Overnight, Yvonne, Annette, Cecile, milie, and Marie Dionne mesmerized the globe, defying medical history with every breath they took. In an effort to protect them from hucksters and showmen, the Ontario government took custody of the five identical babies, sequestering them in a private, custom-built hospital across the road from their family--and then, in a stunning act of hypocrisy, proceeded to exploit them for the next nine years. The Dionne Quintuplets became a more popular attraction than Niagara Falls, ogled through one-way screens by sightseers as they splashed in their wading pool at the center of a tourist hotspot known as Quintland. Here, Sarah Miller reconstructs their unprecedented upbringing with fresh depth and subtlety, bringing to new light their resilience and the indelible bond of their unique sisterhood.

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