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A White Heron

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,123 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Sarah Orne Jewett places her most famous short story, "A White Heron," in her native Maine. Originally published in 1886, it's a coming-of-age story about a young city girl now living with her grandmother in the country. She comes out of her shell in nature, more comfortable with creatures than with people. A visit from a young bird hunter awakens her interest in the oppos ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published December 20th 2016 by American Roots (first published 1886)
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3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,123 ratings  ·  91 reviews


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Bettie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Petra, Wanda and Bettie
Recommended to Laura by: Constant Reader
You may read online here.

Opening lines:
The woods were already filled with shadows one June evening, just before eight o'clock, though a bright sunset still glimmered faintly among the trunks of the trees. A little girl was driving home her cow, a plodding, dilatory, provoking creature in her behavior, but a valued companion for all that. They were going away from whatever light there was, and striking deep into the woods, but their feet were familiar with the path, and it was no matter whether t
...more
Lori
May 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
Nature in this story is really symbolic of the feminine and the Hunter is symbolic of the masculine. The hunter's offer of money was a lure to have Sylvy submit her independence to man. The money was a lure to the symbolic love of man. By choosing to keep the location of the White Heron a secret she is choosing to remain independent.

Independence to a certain extent is good in my opinion, but I don't think that being dependent is bad - in fact in many things related to family and the gospel it i
...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
What was impressed upon my mind while I was reading this was the ambivalence of the character of the young hunter whom Sylvia, the young woman, met in the woods while she was leading their cow home from pasture. First I thought he is danger, a massacre in the woods. Then I felt he is love, young Sylvia's first, and he would break her heart. But it turned out he is really interested more in finding the white heron. The rare bird Sylvia could deliver to him. But will she?
Sally
"A White Heron" is a short story that reveals the importance, yet difficulty, of making decisions. The main character, Sylvia, must decide whether to tell the hunter, who is staying with her and her grandmother, where the white heron is or save the heron by keeping its location a secret. However, Sylvia and her grandmother are not wealthy and the hunter’s reward proves to be tempting. Sylvia must make an important decision before coming home to the impatient hunter.

This short story could be the
...more
Rina
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Lisa
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the loveliest stories I have ever read. I will re-read this many times.
Sasha Ryzhova
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elliemoo3
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Liza
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A White Heron is a pretty good story about a brave, kind-hearted girl named Sylvie. I enjoyed reading the story because it was written in a nice, interesting way, but at the same time it was a little boring. The story has a great moral and it can teach people a lot about defending animals and being kind in general. To sum it all up, the story is pretty good with the moral, but it could've been a little more exciting.
Minji
Shy little Sylvia, driving Mistress Mooly home one day, (her cow) runs into a stranger who asks for lodgings. He adores birds, and stuffs them. There is a paticular bird he is looking for..... a white heron. Sylvia knows this bird, and has an inner argument on who she loives more. the stranger, or the bird.

Sylvia should be older, for her matureness. I cant believe how much story is in 50 pages.GASP!
Becky
I really enjoyed the many dimensions to this text, even though it is a short story. The ability to read it as a child-like fairytale, on a simple level, or on a deeper metaphorical level... I found the tale quite powerful with a protagonist that stayed true to herself and her female independence, even though she is still a child.
Mayda
This charming short story is akin to a fairy tale for adults. A case may be made for deeper metaphorical meanings, but this tale should be enjoyed simply for what it is. A girl, when asked to betray a beautiful creature, is not swayed by gain but makes up her own mind. A wonderful tale of trust and right.
Becky
Jun 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like "Daisy Miller," this story reads like early Jewett--Jewett before she put it all together and fleshed it out in "The Country of the Pointed Firs." Or maybe she's just better at longer works. Still, this is a fair piece about a young woman's desire and resistance to it.
Pat
Mar 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Best Book ever written. Does a nine year old give up her soul symbolized by a White Heron? I read this in 1974 and it still reads as great in 2008.
John
Mar 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Power of choice and whats better for life over all. Nice little story with far more meaning than some might realize.
Tim Wilks
I thought the length of the story affected the detail in the story
The story is in third person.
I think the third person gets well with the plot
Audrey Snow
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite short story in the world! I want to name my future daughter Sylvia after the outdoorsy, inquisitive, animal-loving girl in this story. Definitely one to pass down!
Nicole
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful coming of age story. I loved the imagery of her world. When she reaches the tree top, I felt like I could see the world down below with Sylvia.
annika
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to annika by: n/a
The story was short, sweet, and simple. Nothing amazing, but I really liked it. It was cute, had a good ending, and was intriguing. Loved Sylvia.

Content: G- No inappropriate content.
Hannah
Jul 31, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Clark
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short, purposeful read. Great short story.
Maryam
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sofia
Jan 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really like the story because I thought it was a little bit dull and boring because I think the story should have been longer so that she could have put more detail and depth into the it. But she did make it clear to the reader what was happening throughout the story.

Plot: The story starts when a girl goes to her grandma's house to help her. Then she meets a man in the forest Who is looking for a special bird to kill for his collection, but she does not understand because she says how
...more
Ameya
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was ok because there wasn't much but interesting enough because, I don't want to spoil anything so read it yourself and write what you think.

Here's what I think:
The book was great, technically not much in the book, but great for a small book. I really like the way of having a protecter and a killer. The protecter is the protagonist, the main character. The killer is the antagonist, maybe even the heron is the antagonist, causing tension to the protagonist. The protagonist is always the
...more
BananaRockstar
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Esteban
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wordy, yes, but it is very moving. It makes you feel how a part of your life that you had wished to live has been taken away an how much you have been deceived by the modern world and its scheme of values. It is a terrible loss, at least it was for me. This story breaks you on the inside and is devastating, although the story is not grim at all, on the contrary, but maybe is that what it makes it even more hard. I needed to take some air
and shake my head after I read it, and above all, holding b
...more
Rosie
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this story, a young girl named Sylvia meets a hunter while coming home. The hunter is interested in looking for a white heron and asks Sylvia, who is familiar with the woods, if she has ever seen the bird. At first, Sylvia does not offer any information. The hunter offers her money in exchange for showing Sylvia where the heron is, leaving Sylvia with a difficult decision to make. This story shows the importance and value of nature as well as how making decisions can be an ambivalent process.
Sierra
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cute little story that presents a great moral conflict. Though the story starts off quite simple, since it's from the point of view of Sylvia (a nine year old girl), not long into the story does it take a turn. When the "stranger" is introduced, Sylvia is presented with a moral conflict. This causes the story to hold more depth than one would originally think.
Very good read with great imagery and moral conflict.
Callum
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because the short story is in third person you’re more likely to stay on track with the story as it goes along.
Therefore, for me this story is rated a 4 out of 5 for it's a short story with a short climax or a climax not at all to me. The couple of sentences that don't make sense to me are "He could give Sylvie and her grandmother ten dollars. He had promised to do this, and they needed the money." they don't make sense to me because the ten dollars that the young man offered the winner
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Sarah Orne Jewett was an American novelist and short story writer, best known for her local color works set in or near South Berwick, Maine, on the border of New Hampshire, which in her day was a declining New England seaport.
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