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Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Rhoda Melendez's 911 Dauphin St. is a literary fiction novel inspired by the Protestant Orphanage Street in Mobile, Alabama, 911 Dauphin Street. Nell Cosby's world changed forever when her father left their home to help a fellow teacher set up a new school in Mobile County, and disappeared. Her heartbroken mother died soon after, and she became an orphan with her brothers, William and Peter. They were reluctantly taken in by the Henderson family. Nell was soon separated from her brothers and sent to the orphanage on Dauphin Street. What follows is an engaging narrative set in the orphanage's confines. It is about an orphan determined not to settle in, longing to reunite with her brothers as soon as possible, and not afraid to speak her mind.
Rhoda Melendez’s 911 Dauphin St. is an inspiring story set in the 1800s in an orphanage. The main protagonist, eleven-year-old orphan Nell Crosby is a very engaging character, and it’s easy to empathize with her. I love how natural and conversational the dialogues are. They are highly effective in forming the characters and advancing the plot in this novel. Reading 911 Dauphin St. is getting to know the innermost feelings of the various orphans there and is often heart-tugging. The author’s vivid descriptions and witty dialogue make her narrative authentic and credible. The tension that permeates the atmosphere is sometimes amusing, and it’s pretty inspiring that despite everything, we find a glimmer of hope in this narrative. A highly recommended read!