UNDER THE HAWTHORN TREE BOOK
Under the Hawthorn Tree is a children's historical novel by Marita Conlon- McKenna, the first in At the opening of the book, in , blight strikes the family potato plot, and shows the beginning of the Great Famine. Their baby sister Bridget. Under the Hawthorn Tree book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. It is the late s and the Great Famine has ravaged Irel. . Under the Hawthorn Tree book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Yichang municipality, Hubei province, China, early s .
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Editorial Reviews. From School Library Journal. Grade The horrors of the potato famine in Under the Hawthorn Tree is Ireland's top selling children's book. The phenomenal success of this original and enthralling book is celebrated with. Marita Conlon-McKenna is one of Ireland's most popular children's authors. She has written nine bestselling children's books. Under the Hawthorn Tree, her first. Under the Hawthorn Tree is Ireland's top selling children's book and a classic for young readers worldwide. Set during the Irish famine, it follows three children.
Under the Hawthorn Tree (novel)
Having said that, I believe this novel is this epitome of what one would categorize as romance and fits with my cultural definition and conceptualization of love. It was a well-written novel thanks also to Anna Holmwood for translating that really made me want to believe that such a thing as love did exist. My point is this: Although I question the validity and what one would consider as love as I have never personally experienced such a sensation , this novel makes me want to believe in the possibility of being together with a significant other - eternally.
Jun 10, Celena rated it it was ok. Under the Hawthorn Tree wasn't a book I had heard of until my mother and I were browsing through the book store and she decided to buy this. It is a historical fiction romance set during the Cultural Revolution in China. Before reading this book, I knew literally nothing about The Cultural Revolution and to be honest, I didn't learn much about it from the book either.
So after I had finished reading the novel, I quickly Googled the Cultural Revolution and have gleamed that basically the country w Under the Hawthorn Tree wasn't a book I had heard of until my mother and I were browsing through the book store and she decided to buy this.
So after I had finished reading the novel, I quickly Googled the Cultural Revolution and have gleamed that basically the country was encouraged to have a Communist way of life because Mao Zedong or Chairman Mao as he is referred to in the novel was afraid of someone else coming in to power.
However, because the novel is from the main character's point of view and since the main character was a teenage girl living in the time period, we didn't really know why their society had very strict rules about love and education and art. Now that the background information is out of the way, let's discuss plot. The novel is about a young girl, Jingqui, and other young students being asked to travel from their homes in the city to the countryside so that they could rewrite the textbook's for their school.
Jingqui stays with a family there for a few months and while there falls in love with a friend of the family's; Old Third. Then Jingqui spends the rest of the book fighting her feelings and hiding her emotions from everyone. Oh and tries to make money because her family is poor.
That's about it. Jingqui as a character was fairly weak. It starts the book off by leading us to believe she's a strong character. On the second page it says the very sentence: You'd expect the romance to be this dramatic, star-crossed sort of deal here. Yeah it isn't. Jingqui is a rule follower through and through. And while this is realistic, it isn't very interesting to read about in novels. I also had a few issues with the writing style. I found it drawn out. It was more inner monologue than actual plot advancement; which can work really well in the story if the main character is interesting.
Jingqui isn't interesting. There were also a few issues with the point of view; at times it was in first person and at times it was in third person. I could not tell if this was intentional or not, but all the same I didn't really enjoy that. One of the last issues I have and this one was a biggie. At the beginning of the book there was a note from the translator. I like reading author's notes because I think it gives you a better understanding of what they went through writing their novel and it gives you a more in depth look at the novel.
However, this note was basically telling the reader "this book is popular. The only reason I can see for you to put that in the translator's notes is if you're trying to sell the book to readers. If I'm reading the translator's notes, chances are I'm going to read the book. I liked the history in this novel and I appreciate the hardships people went through DURING this time period in history; but that's basically all I liked about the novel itself.
So, I apologize to the millions of people who bought, read and enjoyed this novel. But it really wasn't doing it for me. Aug 17, Steven Langdon rated it really liked it. This is a remarkable book for a number of reasons. First, it was published on a website to begin -- and has apparently reached millions of readers in China. So to read it is to read a very popular saga in China and obtain some insight into the perspectives that contemporary Chinese readers themselves find fascinating.
The focus on an ill-fated but very romantic love affair in the context of the Cultural Revolution surely tells us something about China romanticizing its past, and seeing a time whe This is a remarkable book for a number of reasons.
Under the Hawthorn Tree
The focus on an ill-fated but very romantic love affair in the context of the Cultural Revolution surely tells us something about China romanticizing its past, and seeing a time when someone very poor could nevertheless find love with someone very secure from a powerful family.
Is that a dream of the past that is now seen as gone forever? Second, the perspective presented on the Cultural Revolution is quite striking -- it is seen less as a senseless and brutal process and more as a genuine effort to connect rural and urban China, even if there were undeserved victims. Those in rural areas, moreover, are seen as at least having access to food -- while the urban poor are much worse off, with unsafe temporary work and food gaps.
Third, there is an almost bizarre naivety to Jingqui, the central women character, when it comes to sexual and emotional knowledge.
How can this be believable in a reasonably educated community? The love affair between her and Old Third is quite powerful in driving forward what is a novel with many insights into the social and economic texture of Chinese society -- but Jingqui's staggering innocence of sexual realities provides a jarring note. Nevertheless, this is a book to read, as much for what it tells us of contemporary China, as for what it says about the past.
Aug 11, Elle rated it did not like it Shelves: I didn't actually finish this book - something that happens very rarely to me. However, I picked it up because I had thought it would be an interesting look at the difficulty of traversing "class" in what was supposed to be a society without class during China's Cultural Revolution. What I ended up reading amounted to a translation of a Christian Harlequin romance.
The style was that of the old Jeanette Oke Christian romances with a saccharine sweet, gullible female character. It was first self- I didn't actually finish this book - something that happens very rarely to me. It was first self-published in Chinese and freely offered on the author's website where it was read by millions.
It proves again that just because a book is downloaded by many doesn't mean it's a good book. View 1 comment. La personalidad de Jing Qiu es bastante insegura y desconfiada, y a la vez demasiado inocente. I have been interested in everything that has got to do with China for the last few years, so this book was a great discovery for me.
When I saw the cover and read the text on the back, I knew instantly I was going to like this book and I was right about that. Under the Hawthorn Tree is a beautiful book about love in the s in China, between a poor girl and a wealthy boy. The girl's character is very modest and you like her instantly, the boy is very good to her and together they are adorable I have been interested in everything that has got to do with China for the last few years, so this book was a great discovery for me.
The girl's character is very modest and you like her instantly, the boy is very good to her and together they are adorable. You can only hope the best for them. I can absolutely recommend this book a lot, especially if you love romantic stories. This novel was frustrating. Although it offered some cultural and historical insight regarding China's Cultural Revolution, the story was so linear from cover to cover with each chapter being "ground hog day".
The 2 main characters were portrayed as strong, capable and intelligent yet their relationship was immature and naive The ending was entirely predictable and the writing flip-flopped between first and third person.
Not sure if the latter was a translation fl This novel was frustrating. Not sure if the latter was a translation flaw but this should have been caught in editing.
Jan 14, Carly rated it it was ok. Under the Hawthorn Tree, by Ai Mi, started off with promise. A young Chinese girl named Jingqui, naive but smart, is sent off into the villages to document life in order to write more accurate history textbooks. Set in China in the 's the book is heavily rooted in the cultural revolution.
Interest is peaked. A tale is told of a hawthorn tree with flowers dyed red from the blood of soldiers. The backdrop is set with an old folktale of a maiden torn between two loves.
The downfall of Under the Hawthorn tree, though, was that it really wasn't all that gripping. Little happens in terms of drama and plot, and though there are moments of great family loyalty, and the love interest, Old Third, is introduced, things move far too slowly for too long to really keep the reader interested. Furthermore, the naive Jingqiu is neither sweetly innocent, nor undergoes a knowledge revelation, as would warrant character development. Instead, she continually misinterprets signs and things people tell her.
This becomes frustrating as she neither seeks to clarify, nor do other characters pick up on her extreme ignorance. While naivety is not a bad quality for a main character, it became increasingly frustrating in this instance as very simple misunderstandings lead to unrealistic conclusions.
The novel itself plays on this by seeming to present information in a cryptic way, making the reader assume one thing when the opposite may be true.
This tact could class as mystery, but rather comes across as a frustrating repetition of drawn out scenes and little-explained feelings. Is she being coy, or simply unaware of other's affections? Does Old Third lie to her? What promised itself to be a Romeo and Juliet style romance, fraught with uncertainties and trials, became instead a tale about the mundane life of a young Chinese girl.
Though appearances were made by Old Third, and there were glimpses of a budding romance, it came too little too late and Jingqiu's walls came down too unexpectedly for me to invest myself in the romance as much as I would have liked. Jingqiu simply wasn't someone I could connect with. Though her connection with Old Third eventually becomes a sweet one, and there are certainly moments of grand romance, the plodding nature of the novel throughout took away from these moments, and dulled the shine that could have been a sweet young love.
The redeeming character was Old Third himself, resolute and kind, but as the story did not focus on him and rather Jingqui, there were certainly narrative lulls. While the setting, China during the cultural revolution, was both interesting and less common, it provided both interest and problem to those less familiar with the time.
Having studied modern Chinese History, there were elements that struck me, but the oddities present in this time did provide some-what of a struggle in terms of ease of reading.
There were moments that wording and phrases seemed out of place for the anti-liberal society, though this may be due to translation.
Overall, the story provides a good account of life in China in the 's, and the struggles a young girl has to face in the upside down social structure facing the cultural revolution, but in terms of great romantic stories, I found the novel to have only scratched the surface of what could have been a very moving, deep story of love.
May 23, ApplePie rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: As a girl in the modern society, it was very hard to relate to everything, so I took some time to look up details of the Cultural Revolution in China.
And during my research, I slowly began to understand the plot and the characters. Jingqiu was mature and naive at the same time. She knew how to keep her mouth and help her family to survive, but nobody told her what love was. Of course, she figured it out in time I read the Chinese or As a girl in the modern society, it was very hard to relate to everything, so I took some time to look up details of the Cultural Revolution in China.
The problem is, that some phrases are just translated different. I am NOT implying that the translation is bad, but you know that translations and originals are just not the same. Take the German word Habseligkeiten as an example: So it has other things attached to it. Well, back to the book I think Jingqiu acted shy and unexperienced because she was afraid.
As a girl who did not have a decent background at that time , she was always rejected, and critisised. And please understand, at that time, there was no such thing like sexual education.
Some passages were - yes, I know - quite primary school-ish. That is because the book is based on a true story, recorded in a diary. The author is retelling the story after editing certain details out and adding information from conversations with her friend. Thus, Ai Mi tried to keep dialogues and such close to the true story.
It is a bit sad that the book itself did not contained a more detailed summary from the Cultural Revolution and its aftereffects more sad for one star ratings.
And then, I cannot expect everyone to do some research for every book, right? Eily just looked on feeling there was nothing she could do, but Michael, courageous as he was, picked up a stick and started beating the dogs. Michael kept thumping the dog that was biting Peggy and eventually killed it. They were all scared and shaken. They would probably be in Ballycarbery by morning. At Ballycarbery there were seaports. A shipload of grain was being shipped off to England, so the hungry Irish people kicked up a fuss and a big row began.
The children decided to continue on their journey to Castletaggart. They met a kind man who gave them directions and some food. As they were walking again they took another rest and Michael thought of the idea of them walking in the night when it was cooler. They all agreed that this was a good idea.
A few days later a thunderstorm started to brew. They were all terrified and wondered was this the end of the world. Once again, their clothes were drenched. Eventually, the rain stopped and the sun was up but the heat of it wasn't as harsh as the previous days. The next few days were very hard for them as Peggy came down with the fever. They gave her Mary Kate's medicine and looked after her as best they could.
Eily was so worried that Peggy was dying. Eily and Michael felt useless thinking there was nothing they could do for her. Eily wondered what life would have been like if they had gone to the workhouse, and in a way, she blamed herself for perhaps making the wrong choice.
The next day, the brave Michael set off by himself in a desperate search for help. He was feeling frightened as it was his first time away but he knew where he was going. When he arrived at the workhouse there was an extremely large queue outside it, then a nun came out and said there was no room there.
Michael started to run back to his sisters, not knowing where he got this sudden burst of energy. Meanwhile, Eily was desperately trying to keep Peggy warm but after a while she fell asleep herself. Michael continued his journey but slower now. He saw a cow trapped in a large pile of brambles and thorns. Suddenly he had an idea.
He went back to fetch Eily and they returned to the cow that was still in the same position. Michael burst one of his veins, not the main vein though, and drained the blood from it. That night, Eily made a cake out of the blook and kept a piece for Peggy in case she wanted some later. They all fell asleep shortly, but during the night, Peggy woke and she was almost fully cured.
Eily and Michael were delighted about their sister's recovery. A few days later they were back on the road to Castletaggart. As they walked along, they came across an orchard on someone's property and Peggy snuck in and brought back bundles of all kinds of fruit. When she came out they sat down to enjoy their feast. They met a priest on the way and asked him for directions. He told them they should be there by six that evening.
They continued on and eventually, by nightfall, they reached Castletaggart. When they got there, they didn't know where to find the great-aunts, so that night they slept in a narrow alleyway. The next day they went to the wrong shop but the woman there, although she appeared quite mean at first, pointed them in the right direction. They arrived at the shop and were shocked to see it so quiet.
They knocked at the door but it just opened, they went in and Aunt Lena appeared. Obviously she didn't recognise them at first but they explained who they were. Aunt Nano was in bed because she was very weak and needed lots of rest. Lena got them some food, looked after them and listened to the story of their travels. Nano and Lena took pity on them and promised to take care of them.
Eily knew they would be safe there. However, she would always miss their little thatched cottage, the small overgrown garden and the wind blowing softly through the hawthorn tree. Throughout the book, Eily acts as a mother figure to her younger siblings. At only twelve years of age, her mother has given her the responsibility of caring and looking after them. Eily is a brave character. She accepts the task of minding the children while her mother goes away searching for food.
Eily is very worried about the problems they face. She realises that everyone is going through a very difficult time because of the potato blight. However, throughout the story she remains strong and courageous and does everything in her power to keep her siblings safe.
Along the journey they are faced with many difficult problems but Eily battles on and never losses hope. For the sake of her siblings she puts on a brave face and never lets them know that she is just as scared as they are most of the time.
She nursed both Michael and Peggy back to health when they were ill. Michael got an infectious would while crossing the river and Peggy caught the deadly fever. The novel tells the story of three siblings, Eily, Michael and Peggy O'Driscoll, who live in a small cottage in rural Ireland.
At the opening of the book, in , blight strikes the family potato plot, and shows the beginning of the Great Famine. Their baby sister Bridget dies of sickness and is buried under the hawthorn tree in the garden: Their father goes to find work fixing the roads, and the children and their heart broken mother struggle each day, getting barely enough food to survive.
Their poor mother ends up selling all of her belongings except for the clothes on her skin. Finally, impatient and worried, she leaves to search for her husband. After several weeks of waiting for their parents, the three siblings come to terms with the fact that their parents have died.
This is when they make their long journey to the other side of Ireland, in search of the long-lost aunts the only other family members they know of who they only knew because of their mother's stories.One of the last issues I have and this one was a biggie. Field after field of potatoes had died and rotted in the ground.
Las escenas de ataques, hambre y muertes, te estrujaran todo el ser. We see sickness, death and survival shown in this book. This one was more hopeful but similarly disturbing, as it should be because O'Flaherty's classic was written for adults.
However, throughout the story she remains strong and courageous and does everything in her power to keep her siblings safe. The Irish Times After the death of an infant and facing starvation, the mother decides to temporarily leave the house and the three remaining children to search for him. Their one hope is to find the great aunts they have heard about in their mother's stories.