Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly; Sun-Mi Hwang


Sun-Mi Hwang - 2013 - Penguin

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly is a fable that was originally published in Korea.  I was so moved by this story, I'll be recommending it again and again, and buying copies for gift giving.

At the heart of this story is Sprout, an aged, egg-laying hen who has spent her life caged in a tiny space. Her life has been spent laying eggs only to have each egg immediately roll away down an incline for the farmer to collect and sell. Her dream all the while has been to see life on the other side and to experience motherhood. She dreams of sitting on an egg, seeing it hatch and raising her young.

Aged and no longer of value to the farmer for egg production, she is culled and sent off to the "hole of death", but fortunately she manages to escape. Although she manages to experience joy of being free, she also must deal with the harsh realities of life on the outside. Saying anything more will spoil the story for others who have not read this one.

I know this is a fable, but it's also a pretty accurate portrait of life, not only for Sprout, but for humans as well.  I don't want to give away too much, but I was incredibly moved by this story. It's a thought provoking read about life, death, family and survival. I disagree with the reader who felt this story was targeted at younger readers. To me younger readers would miss the deeper meaning -- about believing in your dreams, acceptance and knowing when it is time to let go.  Trust me,  just read this gem for yourself - it is fewer than 130 pages . I think you will be glad you did. This book is a rare "keeper" for me.


5/5 stars
(copy received from & NetGalley & publisher)

21 comments:

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    1. oh it was so touching - maybe I was in just the right frame of mind for it, but it really left an impression.

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  2. Can't wait to get to my copy of it now, after hearing your praise. At first I was sold on the illustrations alone; you've made it that much more compelling.

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  3. After reading your review I feel drawn to reading this book. Thanks again Diane!

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  4. Diane, you've "sold" me on this book--it sounds touching and very worthwhile.

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  5. I would read this just based on the title.

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  6. This has been on my wish list but is getting bumped up based on your wonderful review. I felt similarly about Andrew Kaufman's The Tiny Wife when I read it a few years back - went on to buy six copies as gifts that year...

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  7. I thought about this one but it seemed like it would be sad. The illustrations look lovely though!

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  8. I hadn't heard of this one, but it sounds wonderful. Thanks for drawing it to my attention!

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  9. I enjoyed this one too. It's a small book it has a lot of substance and is well worth the time spent reading.

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  10. I have this one on my list, and I think I'll move it up to the top! It sounds fabulous.

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  11. Nice recommendation. Is this a kids' book or a grown up fable?

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  12. I will have to see if I can find this one. I imagine it'd be good for many people in my life, including me!

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  13. High Praise! I'll be looking for this one!

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  14. Thanks for your great review Diane. I've added this to my To Read list. This sounds like it would make a great gift.

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  15. After reading your review, I'll be on the look-out for this one. I just finished reading your "About Me" section and had to laugh since I am roughly the same age, and much of what you said applies to me. But now I'm worried about what stuff I might find in a well-used library book! Great review, Diane.

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  16. I'm really looking forward to purchasing this book and reading it. After reading your review, I probably should make it a top priority read.

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  17. Had not heard of this one before but sounds like a must read! Great review, Diane!

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  18. Goodness, the fax that this book that is something you'd consider for gift giving definitely makes me interested in reading it.

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  19. Wow - sounds like a great book club contender.

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