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The Danger Tree: Memory, War, And The Search For A Family's Past
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The Danger Tree: Memory, War, And The Search For A Family's Past

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  76 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Emulating the circuitous tales told by his mother's relatives, the Goodyears of Newfoundland, David Macfalane weaves the major events of the island's twentieth century--the ravages of tuberculosis; the great seal-hunt disaster; the bitter Confederation debate, and above all, the First World War--into his own tale of the ill-starred fortunes of his family. He brings to life ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 22nd 2000 by Vintage Canada (first published January 1st 1991)
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Some great writing. Wonderful beginning and end. But much of the book's interior seemed, sorry, like the same tale over and over again. At one point, certain I'd read something already, I even checked the page numbers to make sure I didn't have a bad printing. But I am left feeling a bit guilty here: Perhaps many good Canadians find this detailed telling of Newfoundland's past to be all worthwhile and my criticism sounding too-typically U.S. If so, sorry. But I wouldn't be very excited about sim ...more
I'm not sure if I "really liked" this or more "quite liked", 4 stars won out over 3. Things I didn't know: Newfoundland was it's own country as a colony of Great Britain; it barely became a confederate with Canada by a 52% vote to join the Dominion; in the generations before us (as it is less I'm sure with each passing generation) there were Newfoundlanders who still said they were not Canadian and if they had to choose a distinction other than Newfoundlander they would pick British. Huh ...more
I would've given this a two and a half if there were such a thing. I would've given it a lot more if it had been easier to read, and less circuitous. The writing was brilliant at times - the first chapter especially. "She has white hair, and her skin is still soft. It's the color of waxed paper, wrapped over the thin driftwood of her bones." It's a memoir of the author and his family, a history of Newfoundland, and of the First World War in which three of his family members were killed.

For a Can
Our lived experiences influenced in so many way.

An excellent read. Family history integrated so skillfully with both social history and the history of WW 1 . Emotions well described. Clearly describes how history impacts families and how families influence communities and future generations.

History, genealogy, war, business, relationships, what more could a reader want in non-fiction. Best juxtaposition of forest fires and bloody battlefields. Best description of fatal bullet wounds. Any book that makes me want to learn more about what I am reading independent of the book itself gets 4 stars. Not only will you learn where Newfoundland is you will learn how to pronounce it like a native.
Bravo MacFarlane.
This book, while very well written with some sections of beautiful imagery and prose, is also circuitous and confusing. I thoroughly enjoyed the parts pertaining to the war history, but the rest of the family history was confusing.

If you are interested in the history of Newfoundland families, give this a go, if you are looking for a straight history of the First World War, I would look elsewhere.
I really liked it and am glad I read it at this time of the year. Descriptions of the first world war were very evocative. The Newfoundland history was very interesting as were the stories of his family history.
Very engaging family history in a interesting time and place.Highly recommend!
Jan 30, 2012 John marked it as to-read
My friend Ned Wahl recommended this book. I am looking forward to reading it.
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David MacFarlane is a Toronto, Canada author, editor and magazine writer.
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