Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang… A Review


A hen full of pluck, dreams from her cramped little corner of the world of the freedom she see's beyond her egg laying coop. She wants to wander the barnyard like the other animals, she wants to hatch one of the eggs that are swiftly taken away from her, she wants to live...

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang, is a modern classic tale translated from her native Korean by Chi-Young Kim. A simple but moving tale about friendship & sacrifice, about motherhood & acceptance. All told through the eyes and heart of a spunky little hen named Sprout. 

Here's the description from the publisher... Sprout is a hen forced to live out her days in captivity on an industrial egg farm. More than anything, Sprout longs for the freedom to hatch a baby chick of her own and is heartbroken as, each morning, she must give up her eggs to the farmer’s wife... After Sprout escapes into the wild, she discovers an unprotected egg with mysterious origins. With a fierce maternal instinct, Sprout takes the egg under her own protection in the hopes that it will one day hatch. She also befriends Straggler, a wild duck who, like her, hasn’t quite found his place in the world. Both Sprout and Straggler find themselves defending against the elements, the antagonism of other barnyard animals, and the sly one-eyed weasel who is always in search of his next meal. Throughout it all, Sprout is the plucky, indefatigable heroine of the story, who must eventually come to terms with the immense sacrifices of being a mother.

A wonderful gem of a book! A heartfelt tale that will speak to your sole. It is a simple story, but thought-provoking. What does it mean to be a Mother? What does it mean to be a true friend? How far would you go to be accepted? The story could be a children's fable, but it is so much more than that. Dealing with the cycles of life, the meaning of life and how we choose to live it - should you follow your dreams? I was rooting for Sprout all the way, even in the end when she made the ultimate choice. I felt her yearning and her commitment. I struggled with her choices. It was easy to empathize with her fully realized character,  almost forgetting she was a hen. And does she ultimately fly? You'll have to read The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly to find out! There's also a twist in the story about that one-eyed weasel too, that may make you torn in the end. 

Dreams and passions; Love and acceptance; Sacrifice without prejudice; The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly is a wonderful story that will wrap you under it's wing and soothe your restless soul. I love stories from other countries, it's like seeing a different version of the same world. This has sold two million copies in Korea and has been on the best seller list there for over a decade. This is the first English language edition, and will be available at your local bookstore, tuesday November 26th! Here's a link to the Paperback and The Kindle Version .

I want to thank Penguin Books for access to the galley of The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

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