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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

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  180 Ratings  ·  27 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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Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is so much to love about this book. It excels as the history of a family that remained connected, if not close, over many generations. It also excels as a history of Newfoundland and of the Great War. It is a work of great insight and humility, and captured me from beginning to end.
The story is detailed and focuses on human lives and relationships, but in doing so the narrative becomes more universal and wise. The book never lectures, but there were many truly wonderful passages that summ
Mimi Attleson
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Possibly one of the best books I have ever read. If I could write, this would be the book I would have wanted to create.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Come From Away

This was a totally engaging family history which also encompassed the history of Newfoundland.

David MacFarlane tells the story of his mother's Newfoundlander heritage by assembling family stories of his maternal great-grandparents and his great aunts and uncles. The often tragic stories include deaths in the First World War, from which the title "The Danger Tree" comes from. "The Danger Tree" was a marker in the no-man's-land between the Allied and German trenches where the Newfoun
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: newfoundland
"But it was three on a match that was said to be bad luck, and this had as much to do with the significance of the number as with actual fact. Threes were everywhere. They still are: three meals; three wishes; three chances; three witches; three cheers; three reasons why. There's morning, noon, night; faith, hope, charity; lower class middle class upper class; blondes brunettes, redheads. Dante divided his universe into hell, purgatory, and paradise. We speak of time past, present, future. There ...more
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A book that should be required reading in Canadian history courses in every school.

It gives insights into Newfoundland as a part of Canada that are remarkable.

For example, how many Canadians (and all Canadians must take at least one mandatory Canadian history course in school) would have realized that, when German subs were a problem in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland was British territory? Or that western Newfoundland is not much farther from British markets by sea than from Toronto? Or
Oliver Cadam
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Heart warming and tragic, melancholic and hilarious all at the same time!
This is a cleverly and beautifully written real-life drama exhibited through the prism of an unfolding family history in one of the wildest, roughest places on earth. The broader canvas, the incremental details, the impact of local and global events on generations of Newfoundland Goodyears, all of this is sensitively woven into a captivating, engaging, personal tale with much dry wit and tangible, modest pride.

Thoroughly r
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
A rambling disjointed story. History of Newfoundland? - not really. History of the family? - not really (actually a family tree might have helped). History of the Newfoundland forces during WW1? - not really. A hodgepodge of tidbits that sometimes hangs together and often wander through time. Also some extraneous factoids that dumped in since they were on hand. I believe in the author's truth, but it was not a clear or informative read.
François Carrière
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Bits and pieces of the same story told over and over again. This book could be a much shorter work with same editing.
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David MacFarlane is a Toronto, Canada author, editor and magazine writer.
More about David MacFarlane...