Read Promises to the Dead by Mary Downing Hahn Free Online
Book Title: Promises to the Dead|
The author of the book: Mary Downing Hahn
Date of issue: January 8th 2002
Loaded: 2748 times
Reader ratings: 3.6
ISBN 13: 9780064409827
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 22.67 MB
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books:
This is not a typical Hahn book and so, at first, I was a little disappointed. When I pick up a Hahn, I have been programmed to expect chills, thrills and goosebumps. Well, actually, some of that was true in this book, too, but not because of a scary ghost. The chills came from the living--which was so much more evil than anything undead.
The story is set during the Civil War (a historic setting was another departure for Hahn's regular style). Jesse is an orphan who lives with his bachelor uncle who sends him into the swamps one night hunting for a turtle so that he might have terrapin soup made by their slave cook. As Jesse is stumbling around in the dark muck, he comes across an escaped slave, who is about to give birth, and her young son. As a Southerner, Jesse has been taught to turn all slaves in but something about this young mother tickles his conscience and, instead, he goes to get her help. On her death bed, the slave makes Jesse promise that he will deliver her young son to relations in the North so that he might be free. It is a promise that Jesse dreads making because he knows it will bring him nothing but trouble.
I really liked this book. I fell in love with the character of Jesse--I've never seen a character have so much angst over doing the right thing! The story snuck up on me and surprised me because I was ready to be disappointed with it. That's what I get for doubting Hahn, a master storyteller of any genre.
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Read information about the authorI grew up in a small shingled house down at the end of Guilford Road in College Park, Maryland. Our block was loaded with kids my age. We spent hours outdoors playing "Kick the Can" and "Mother, May I" as well as cowboy and outlaw games that usually ended in quarrels about who shot whom. In the summer, we went on day long expeditions into forbidden territory -- the woods on the other side of the train tracks, the creek that wound its way through College Park, and the experimental farm run by the University of Maryland.
In elementary school, I was known as the class artist. I loved to read and draw but I hated writing reports. Requirements such as outlines, perfect penmanship, and following directions killed my interest in putting words on paper. All those facts -- who cared what the principal products of Chile were? To me, writing reports was almost as boring as math.
Despite my dislike of writing, I loved to make up stories. Instead of telling them in words, I told them in pictures. My stories were usually about orphans who ran away and had the sort of exciting adventures I would have enjoyed if my mother hadn't always interfered.
When I was in junior high school, I developed an interest in more complex stories. I wanted to show how people felt, what they thought, what they said. For this, I needed words. Although I wasn't sure I was smart enough, I decided to write and illustrate children's books when I grew up. Consequently, at the age of thirteen, I began my first book. Small Town Life was about a girl named Susan, as tall and skinny and freckle faced as I was. Unlike her shy, self conscious creator, however, Susan was a leader who lived the life I wanted to live -- my ideal self, in other words. Although I never finished Small Town Life, it marked the start of a lifelong interest in writing.
In high school, I kept a diary. In college, I wrote poetry and short stories and dreamed of being published in The New Yorker. Unfortunately, I didn't have the courage or the confidence to send anything there.
By the time my first novel was published, I was 41 years old. That's how long it took me to get serious about writing. The Sara Summer took me a year to write, another year to find a publisher, and yet another year of revisions before Clarion accepted it.
Since Sara appeared in 1979, I've written an average of one book a year. If I have a plot firmly in mind when I begin, the writing goes fairly quickly. More typically, I start with a character or a situation and only a vague idea of what's going to happen. Therefore, I spend a lot of time revising and thinking things out. If I'd paid more attention to the craft of outlining back in elementary school, I might be a faster writer, but, on the other hand, if I knew everything that was going to happen in a story, I might be too bored to write it down. Writing is a journey of discovery. That's what makes it so exciting.
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