Maude Julien's parents were fanatics who believed it was their sacred duty to turn her into the ultimate survivor - raising her in isolation and subjecting her to endless drills designed to "eliminate weakness." She endured a life without heat, hot water, adequate food, friendship, or any kind of affectionate treatment. But Maude's parents could not rule her inner life. Befriending the animals on the lonely estate as well as the characters in the novels she read in secret, young Maude nurtured in herself the compassion and love that her parents forbid as weak.
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