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Sacred Country (1995)

Sacred Country (1995)

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3.89 of 5 Votes: 5
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0671886096 (ISBN13: 9780671886097)
washington square press

About book Sacred Country (1995)

"I felt my heart jump about inside my aertex blouse. I felt thirsty and very peculiarly sad. I thought I might cry, which was a thing I never did, but sometimes you cry with your face and your mind isn't in it, but somewhere else, watching you. It was like that. It was my face that felt sad" (14).“Cause so swift and foolish; effect so endless” (38).“Mary was repelled. She despised Miss Vista. She wanted to hurl her green tennis ball at her face. She wanted a real wind to come and swoop her up into the black universe” (41).“His address was Holly House, Gresham Tears, Suffolk and he thought this address very marvellous and cheering. It was the third thing that he loved in life” (46).“Miss McRae once said to me: ‘Living in a lighthouse taught me that not all wisdom comes from others, Mary. Some comes from oneself, if one can but hear it” (50).“I tried to pull it free but it was difficult to get my hand out, and then Cord farted twice, out of fear and exhaustion, and I thought, I can’t abandon him while he’s farting, I must be Martin and strong” (51).“Walter, on catching sight of Sandra, yearned to be Gregory Peck and to be able to raise one eyebrow without moving the other” (53).“Mary looked down at her feet. She was wearing white ankle socks and brown sandals. One of the things she was hating about this day was how stupid her feet looked” (68).“The shoulders of the ocean hurled themselves at the undefended shore and the cliffs at Minsmere began once again to slip and fall away” (93).“Timmy Ward hadn’t passed the Eleven-plus exam. Long division he saw as a queue of numbers at a gate. You had to open the gate and make them go through, but they would not” (99).“ ‘I’ve been in a terrible funk. Never seeing a soul. Will you come? We could stuff a capon with chestnuts, make some paper chains, play some Rummy. We could read Hamlet aloud, if that would please you, and I would let you be he.‘Do geese go away in winter, or return? You’d know a thing like this. Write to me with your answers to a)Christmas and b)the migration of water-birds’” (119)."Pearl began sobbing. She thought, I’ve been sobbing all day really but it’s just come out now” (183).“As the bus came down Whitehall, Walter decided that it was mainly the solidity of London that was so unfamiliar, so foreign. In Swaithey, when the October mists sat on the village and the tops of the hedgerows merged with the sky, you could imagine the whole place fading away in the dusk, never to reappear. But London felt eternal. It cast square shadows, black and wide. It felt like the capital of the world” (189).“Harker took off his panama and gave it a shake. He sometimes had the feeling, when he wore this hat, that there was a rodent trapped inside it that would start biting his head any minute. He examined the interior of the panama. There was nothing in it” (200).“Mary thought, silence is all right when you know what a person is thinking in it, but not when you don’t” (204).“My immediate thoughts aren’t often the appropriate ones to be having at the time” (210).“The things we learn in a single afternoon remind me that we live on the planet of the unexpected” (216).“The last thing we see is a display of fishes. The living fish swim around the coral reef of Australia, but these models, hung from the roof in a glass case on pieces of thread. You aren’t meant to notice the threads, but you do” (216).“ ‘It is worth learning things by heart. Then they’re there later, when you’re ready to understand them’” (222).“ ‘The English are damned nifty at drill. Drill is in us, like dancing is in the African. No one can say why, but it’s true’” (229).“In the afternoon they went to Victoria Station and watched cartoons. They seemed to have run out of things to say. It was easier to sit in the dark and look at pigs dancing and mice scheming with human cunning” (231).“There is something about the unexpected that moves us. As if the whole of existence is paid for in some way, except for that one moment, which is free” (232).“The houses were made of planks and every one had a plank verandah and a swing seat and a yard full of junk, as though junk were what grew here beside the highway instead of flowers” (263).“ ‘Accept hospitality whenever it’s offered. Southerners love to give. It’s their pastime. We make tea. They make friends. Unless you happen to be black’” (267).“And I know this—know it without knowing it: that for one person to love every last and least thing about another isn’t as rare as you might believe. What is rare is for all that to bring the person happiness. What it brings is exhaustion” (273).

It's a real masterpiece. I was overwhelmed by Rose Tremain flawless smooth style of writing in this book. I not only touched but lived each of the characters as if I were the angel watching him. I may even knew things about the characters that the angels watching them may didn't know about them. Well, if you are a guy who is fond of thrillers like me and you wanna read something different as a change, I recommend this book. you will find it wrote on the cover that it's about Mary finding her self a boy. Yet, when you finish the first 100 pages you will find out that it's far greater than a trans-sex issue. It's a life with its joy and sadness, falls and success. And it's not only about Mary Ward. It's about the Sacred Country.P.S. try to read the first 100 pages as quick as possible.. There's something greater waiting for ya :)

Do You like book Sacred Country (1995)?

I'm a huge fan of Rose Tremain's writing and her gift of storytelling, but I had overlooked this novel. So glad I discovered it, 20 years late. A young boy is trapped inside the body of a young girl during the era when changing one's gender was largely uncharted territory. Mary/Martin is not the only compelling character in this beautifully crafted story. Secondary and even tertiary characters come alive and linger long after this troubling, but supremely satisfying, book has ended. Highly recommended: A+.

This was the first Rose Tremain book I have read, and I found it utterly absorbing. Throughout the book we follow Mary, a young girl who early on in her life, has the realisation that she is, infact, a boy, and struggle to become Martin. However, is the also the story of a large group of interlinking characters trapped by their life and upbringing in rural Suffolk.The book for me said something about the rite of passage of finding freedom, and living your life as you need to. Everyone is born with an internal life, with dreams and desires that may conflict with the people who have raised us, and the expectations they hold. Ultimately, to avoid a life of ruin, these dreams and wishes must be listened to.

Mary Ward stands shivering in a Suffolk, England field in February, 1952 and realizes she is meant to be a boy. She is just six years old. Within its opening pages Sacred Country promises to take you on a literary journey that will be long and painful. Rest assured, it will also be beautiful and transformative. Although Mary and her quest for her physical identity are at the heart of Sacred Country, it is a book full of souls searching for emotional purchase. Mary's mother has a tenuous grip on sanity, losing her way at intervals and regaining her footing in a nearby mental hospital; Mary's father is in danger of losing the family farm and slips further into madness borne of anger and alcohol; her brother loses his dream of becoming an Olympic swimmer because he is too afraid to dive. A village friend, Walter, dreams of becoming a country-and-western singer, but must take over the family butcher shop when his father dies. It seems that there is nothing but heartbreak in gray and lifeless post-war Britain, that the future is alive in vibrant cities and on warm continents but in rural England the past rots in small and suspicious minds. Yet Tremain offers enough light in the gloom that hope propels you forward. Mary's awkward courage as she stumbles through her transformation from Mary to Martin makes her so lovable. And she is surrounded by a small but formidable defense of friends and loved ones: her grandfather, who accepts her unconditionally; her beloved teacher who embraces her intellect and shelters her when home life becomes unbearable; the cricket-bat maker who believes in reincarnation; his maid (who becomes his lover, then his wife) and her daughter, Pearl, who breaks Mary's heart and helps it to heal. Rose Tremain's writing is flawless. Although this is a narrative focused on character development, the plot moves steadily forward. Although there are numerous characters and several sub-plots, there is a sense of the whole within each part. Vivid details of time and place hold you firmly in each era, the characters evolving with their age, changing with the times. The characters' senses of humor and irony clear the air that could easily turn maudlin under the pen of a less-deft writer. This is a book about transformation, about letting go of those who cannot change and embracing those who try. Sacred Country touched me profoundly with its humanity, its hope, its brutality and its intense love. It is rare that I close a book and cry at its end. This is a rare book, indeed.

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