Imatge de l'autor

Marita Conlon-McKenna

Autor/a de Under the Hawthorn Tree

28+ obres 1,254 Membres 29 Ressenyes 1 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Crèdit de la imatge: via Goodreads


Obres de Marita Conlon-McKenna

Under the Hawthorn Tree (1990) 363 exemplars
Wildflower Girl (1991) 215 exemplars
Fields of Home (1835) 137 exemplars
The Magdalen (1999) 116 exemplars
The Hat Shop on the Corner (2006) 58 exemplars
The Blue Horse (1994) 42 exemplars
In Deep Dark Wood (1999) 37 exemplars
A Girl Called Blue (2003) 36 exemplars
Safe Harbour (1995) 35 exemplars
The Hungry Road (2020) 27 exemplars
No Goodbye (1995) 22 exemplars
A taste for love (2011) 22 exemplars
The Stone House (2004) 21 exemplars
The Matchmaker (2008) 17 exemplars
Little Star (1993) 17 exemplars
Mother of the Bride (2010) 15 exemplars
Rebel Sisters (2016) 14 exemplars
Three Women (2012) 12 exemplars
The Rose Garden (2013) 11 exemplars
The Very Last Unicorn (1995) 8 exemplars
Miracle Woman (2002) 6 exemplars
Love, Lucie (2012) 5 exemplars
Fairy Hill (2023) 4 exemplars
Granny MacGinty (1999) 4 exemplars
Children of the Famine Trilogy (1998) 4 exemplars
Promised Land (2001) 3 exemplars
Den glömda rosenträdgården (2015) 2 exemplars
Tre gånger så mycket kärlek (2021) 1 exemplars

Obres associades

Beyond the Stars: Twelve Tales of Adventure, Magic and Wonder (2014) — Col·laborador — 22 exemplars
Goodbye and Hello (1992) — Col·laborador — 9 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Data de naixement
Llocs de residència
Dublin, Ireland



This atmospheric adventure draws on the folk-belief that fairies swap children for ‘changelings’. Anna is visiting her divorced father on her grandmother’s farm in Sligo, to get to know his new partner and their son, Jack. Anna discovers that the stones of a fairy-fort lie where her father is planning to plough, and, through her great-aunt Lily, learns that the sídhe will take revenge.

Anna’s enthusiasm for new experiences—sport, defences against the sídhe, pottery—is very engaging, and she is both kind and thoughtful. The atmosphere of Fairy Hill is very attractive. Anna watches a heron fishing by Starling Lake, learns horse-riding, enjoys food, and attends a family get-together. At the same time, though, the descriptions of place are sometimes oddly generic. Anna seems to enjoy herself, though there is some lack of consistency in her reactions, as she jumps from enjoyment to boredom and back again.

The story itself is a little slow to start, and transpires to be the story of changelings, children stolen away by the sídhe of the fairy-fort. The disruptive intrusion of the ousted world of the intangible, the world that can only be spoken of in compromised terms of superstition, fairytales, is well-handled. The threat comes close to Anna’s family, and she is able to recruit her great-aunt Lily to help. Lily recalls a time when those who believed in the sidhe would deal with them respectfully—showing respect to that which is very ‘other’. She is also able to offer practical help in negotiating with the sídhe.

The family dynamics, though, strike extremely uncomfortable notes. Anna’s anxiety to ‘fit in’, and her acceptance of responsibility for other people’s feelings, is exploited by her father, Rob, and her stepmother, Maggie. They assume that they can use Anna as unpaid child-minder to her baby stepbrother, obliging her to play with him and help him to eat; her father tells her that this is ‘what big sisters are for’. Her stepmother is sharp with her when she makes a mistake, laughs at her first attempt at using a pottery-wheel, and suborns her into helping at the market-stall. Distressingly, Anna internalizes the role that is laid out for her: she accepts that she should fit in and be nice. She feels guilt at being ‘selfish and irresponsible’ for not taking better care of her stepbrother. Frankly, by the time Anna has been emotionally manipulated into accepting that she will only be loved if she is an obedient girl, it is hard to see exactly why being stolen away by the sídhe is such a bad option.

The effective eeriness of the sídhe’s intrusions and threats are balanced by the cheerful, friendly ambiance of Anna’s visits to, and explorations with, relatives. She repeatedly encounters the past, too, through her grandmother’s diaries, Lily’s memories, and meeting the mysterious, lonely Daniel. This ruffling up of time adds subtlety to the tale, especially as the excitement and pace increase around the final encounter, when Anna must brave the dangers of the fairy-ring. The landscape is excellently rendered as a borderland between worlds: the familiar becomes unfamiliar; everything might be more than it seems, and Anna must understand the natural, as well as the ‘other’, world if she is to succeed in negotiating with the sídhe.

If the reader can set aside the quick-witted and brave Anna’s recruitment into the performance of sexist ideology, this is a lively, atmospheric adventure, somewhere between the waters and the wild of Yeats’s 'The Stolen Child' and the hostile forest of Stevie Smith’s 'Little Boy Lost'.
… (més)
Bibliotheque_Refuses | Sep 24, 2023 |
This one really didn't live up to the hype. It's a pretty straightforward tale about a naive young girl from County Connemara who loves well but not wisely, and is introduced to harsh reality when she becomes pregnant and the child's father refuses to marry her, having better prospects at hand.

As was not unusual in Ireland in the 1950s, Esther's only practical choice is to enter a Catholic convent specializing in the housing of "wayward girls and fallen women" to await the birth of her child, which she must agree to place in the attached orphanage and make available for adoption. During her confinement, she works in the convent's commercial laundry and undergoes various hardships both physical and emotional.

At the end, she gives birth, realizes she loves her baby, has second thoughts about releasing it for adoption, is told she has no choice in the matter, and chooses to stay in Dublin afterwards rather than returning to the family which scorned her. She is sure she can survive and still holds the dream of someday being united with her lost child.

And while there's nothing really wrong with the book, there's nothing particularly significant about it, either. The characters are internally consistent; Esther's actions in the throes of first love are believable; the reader can tell from a mile away where the boyfriend's true intentions lie; the nuns are suitably unsympathetic to their charges; and the girls with whom Esther shares her confinement fall neatly into various categories.

Readers looking for an overview of the whole Magdalene Laundry system would probably be better off with nonfiction studies. Those looking for an engrossing fictional tale of one of its graduates will need to keep searching.
… (més)
LyndaInOregon | Hi ha 4 ressenyes més | Oct 19, 2022 |
his novel's setting was the Great Famine in Ireland. It tells the story of 3 families: a physician's family (middle class who survived), a poorer family who all died, and a poor family who was evicted by their landlord but given steamship tickets to America. This was a good story and well written. I especially liked the three perspectives. This book covered the time period of 1847-1854. 337 pages
Tess_W | Jan 11, 2022 |
Fields of Home is my favourite book in the series, and as far as I'm concerned, a book written for adults about children, who are no longer children.

Six or seven years have passed, and the children have grown up. Peggy, the youngest, is around 19 and she is still working as a maid. Michael is still a stable boy in the Great House in Ireland. Eily is married with two children of her own and living on a farm with her husband and Great Aunt Nano.

While the story has heartbreak and struggling, hope is strong, and the siblings still show signs of strength. The story is told from all three points-of-view. We see how the carpet is pulled out from beneath all of them and then witness how they pull their lives back together. The siblings help each other even though they have barely anything to give. It warmed my heart to read this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it for so many reasons, but the most important is love.

… (més)
1 vota
KarenLeeField | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Aug 22, 2020 |



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