Under the Hawthorn Tree

Paperback | February 14, 2012

byAi MiTranslated byAnna Holmwood

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Yichang municipality, Hubei province, China, early 1970s. High-school student Jingqiu is one of many educated urban youth sent to the countryside to be "re-educated" under a dictate from Chairman Mao. Jing's father is a political prisoner somewhere in China, and her mother, a former teacher branded as a "capitalist," is now reduced to menial work to support Jing and her two younger siblings.

When Jing arrives with a group at Xiping village in the Yangtze River's Three Gorges region, she meets geology student Jianxin, nicknamed "Old Three," who is the son of a high-ranking military officer, but whose mother committed suicide after being branded a "rightist." Despite their disparate social backgrounds and a political atmosphere that forbids the relationship, Jingqiu and Jianxin fall desperately in love. But their budding romance is cut short by fate...

A sensitive and searing love story, Under the Hawthorn Tree is sure to become an instant classic.

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From the Publisher

Yichang municipality, Hubei province, China, early 1970s. High-school student Jingqiu is one of many educated urban youth sent to the countryside to be "re-educated" under a dictate from Chairman Mao. Jing's father is a political prisoner somewhere in China, and her mother, a former teacher branded as a "capitalist," is now reduced to ...

Ai Mi is a pseudonym. She lives in the United States, and grew up in China. Anna Holmwood is a translator and academic specializing in the study of classical and modern Chinese literature. She lives in England.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 5.31 × 8.5 × 0.82 inPublished:February 14, 2012Publisher:House Of Anansi Press IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0887842917

ISBN - 13:9780887842917

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Why did he die? Having been to China I was entralled by this book, but i wished for a different ending, but dont we all
Date published: 2015-07-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A profound ending The book the is longer than it needs to be. But the ending makes the book a very thoughtful and worthwhile read.
Date published: 2015-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding! I loved this book and couldn't put it down. I've bought it as a gift for others.
Date published: 2014-11-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Under the hawthorn tree I found this book long and tedious to get through. I'm glad I did finish it. But found the language and culture hard to understand at times.
Date published: 2014-02-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Under the hawthorn tree It was an interesting read but found it be slow at times.
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Under the hawthorn tree Not a bad story but I had a hard time staying interested when they went on about political history of China.
Date published: 2013-12-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst Heather's pick ever I usually enjoy reading Heather's picks, as well as novels set in China. But this book was a huge disappointment to me. The plot was predictable and the writing style, perhaps due to the fact that it was translated, was uninspiring. I kept hoping the book would get better as I continued to read but by the end, I was simply aghast at how terrible it was.
Date published: 2013-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart Breaking I enjoyed this book a great deal, although i found the beginning a tad on the slow side the ending had me swinging back and forth between sad, angery, and hopeful. A warning for readers out there: have tissues ready for the end, if your like me you'll need them.
Date published: 2013-01-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from only alright I had high hopes for this novel, but was disappointed after the 1st few chapters. Reads like a teenage romance novel and lacks any depth to its characters. The protagonist is constantly pining for the boy she likes, yet whines and plays hard to get - seriously ! for an adult novel.
Date published: 2012-12-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Overwrought Romance Our book club did not enjoy this book at all. It read like a particularly bad Harlequin romance. This was a big disappointment as it is a Heather's pick and we have generally enjoyed most of those in the past.
Date published: 2012-12-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Tad Too Fairy-tale but Still Great! I absolutely loved this book except for one fatal flaw. It really screamed fairy-tale to me. I read through it in 2-3 days, I just couldn't put it down! I won't lie either, there were points where I did cry. You should also keep in mind that this book takes place in China. I know it seems counter-intuitive but I've had many friends who stated they disliked a book because they didn't understand cultural differences. There are some things that you will read and think are bizarre or backwards, but this is indicative of the culture and not the author making up some strange world. Now to further explain my fairy-tale stance. I love romance, but I like it to seem realistic. Most of the time I was reading and would think to myself that this would never happen. Maybe this falls under the cultural differences clause, but I had a hard time believing in their love. I will reiterate though that I absolutely loved this book and I would read it again in a heartbeat. Despite its sense of real-ness, it is truly a sweet story. And warning, you WILL cry.
Date published: 2012-08-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it... til the end This book was a very good read. I loved the storyline and the characters. A lot of it was a bit of a culture shock and an eyeopener of how the cultural revolution in China affected so many people in different ways. I don't want to compare it to Shanghai Girls but I have to. In some ways the characters in this novel were harder to indentify with. It was bizarre to read a book about this time and to have the people living in it accepting their fate for what it was and not wanting to do anything about it. THis book was well written and I didn't want to put it down, until the end. I felt that it ended too quickly. There could have been more development in the final plot concerning "Old Third". I also would have liked more backstory on our heroine's future.
Date published: 2012-05-24
Rated out of 5 by from I just came across this book and it looks like it would be a good read.... Has anyone read this one?
Date published: 2012-05-12

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Editorial Reviews

"In Under the Hawthorn Tree, the period is drawn with convincing detail, evoked to illuminate how political repression and strict social mores affect two characters engaged in one of China's favourite literary themes." - Isabel Hilton, Guardian"... moving ..." - John Sunyer, Financial Times"This is the stuff of Romeo and Juliet: romance and tragedy ... this book should be read." - Michelle Berry, Globe and Mail""...a great addition to the reading list and an excellent representative of modern Chinese literature."" - Across the Litoverse Blog