When the Bough Breaks

When the Bough Breaks

by Irene N. Watts
     
 

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Millie’s is a small family — just a mother, a father, a small brother, Hamish, and her. Both her parents had been orphaned (and were introduced in Watts’ novel Flower), but the family they created was tight-knit and loving. When Millie’s mother announces that she is pregnant, it seems life is perfect. They have each other, and, although…  See more details below

Overview

Millie’s is a small family — just a mother, a father, a small brother, Hamish, and her. Both her parents had been orphaned (and were introduced in Watts’ novel Flower), but the family they created was tight-knit and loving. When Millie’s mother announces that she is pregnant, it seems life is perfect. They have each other, and, although the Great Depression has brought hard times to their small town, Millie’s father’s services as a blacksmith are still in demand. But when her mother dies, suddenly everything changes. Her father retreats into depression and Millie, only thirteen, finds herself responsible for a newborn baby. When a stranger appears and threatens the remnants of the family even further, Millie musters courage she never dreamed she had to rebuild the home that means so much to her.

Irene N. Watts’ memorable story is as complex and as comforting as family life itself.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5-7 During the 1930s, hard times hit the Carr family. Millie is nearly 13 and Hamish 10 when their mother announces that she is going to have another child. While the girl dreams of going to business school, the chores and demands of daily living make even her part-time work at the drugstore difficult-and then nearly impossible when her mother dies shortly after giving birth. Details of their Ontario community are interwoven into the narrative, and one of the novel's strengths is the depiction of how economic struggles have affected everyone. Early on, an impoverished "traveling woman" enters the story; she tries to pay for her handout of bread and tea with a reading of the family's frightening future. Their father's taciturn grief, Hamish's acting out, and Millie's responsibilities make life complex. In this somewhat internal story, the unfolding of events quietly ratchets up suspense as Millie realizes that the Gypsy woman wants the baby. Millie's struggles to be patient, to become a homemaker, and to fulfill her own dreams contrast with today's ideas about gender equity. This novel provides a good sense of the work that has long been regarded as part of women's role, and it offers a great example of the acceptance of family demands while underscoring the cost.-Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library

From the Publisher
Praise for Flower:

“Irene Watts movingly explores the issue of family identity in her latest novel, Flower, with the same poignant sensitivity she brought to her series of novels about the Kindertransport…”
Quill and Quire

“The story is sure to send young readers dashing off to the attic in search of family treasures.”
CM Magazine

“Sensitively and thoughtfully written, the book tells a convincing and moving story linking past and present in one discovery.”
— Okanagan University Library

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781770490260
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
01/12/2010
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Irene N. Watts is a writer and a playwright who has worked throughout Canada and Europe. She is a life member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. Her play “Lillie” based on her novel, Flower, was awarded first prize in UNESCO’s Biennial Playwriting Award for Adolescents in 2006. She is also the author of three award-winning novels about the Kindertransport; Good-bye Marianne, Remember Me, and Finding Sophie, which have all been published in the United Kingdom and translated into Italian. She also co-edited Tapestry of Hope: Holocaust Writing for Young People with Lillian Boraks-Nemetz. Irene N. Watts lives in Vancouver.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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