Mary Mehan Awake by Jennifer Armstrong

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Synopsis

In a compelling sequel to the highly praised The Dreams of Mairhe Mehan, Mairhe, who has now taken the name Mary, leaves Washington, D.C., to take a position as a domestic servant in upstate New York. The Civil War has ended. Mary's brother, Mike, has been killed at Gettysburg, her father has returned home to Ireland, and, after two years of nursing wounded and dying soldiers in the capital's hospitals, Mary is emotionally exhausted and physically defeated. But in her new life on the shores of Lake Ontario, Mary finds renewal and her senses gradually re-awaken. Each of the novel's five sections focuses on a different sense--as Mary learns to assist explorer and naturalist Jasper Dorsett in photographing birds, she begins to see things with a photographer's eye; as she falls in love with Dorsett's stable hand, a veteran left deaf by the war, she learns to describe the sounds she hears for him; and so forth, through the renewal of smell, taste, and touch. This challenging and poetic young adult novel concludes Mary's story with a mixture of sparkling language, thematic richness, and emotional depth.  
 

About Jennifer Armstrong

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Mary GrandPré has illustrated many fine picture books and is the creator of the artwork for the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. Ever since the first grade, Jennifer Armstrong knew that she would become an author. She loved making up stories and sharing them with others. Her family treasured books and this led her to become an avid reader of all types of fiction. It was no surprise when she chose to study English and American Literature at Smith College in Massachusetts. Armstrong is the author of over 50 books for children from kindergarten through high school. Best known for writing historical fiction, she has also been successful in creating picture books, easy readers, chapter books, young adult novels, as well as nonfiction. Armstrong, who grew up outside of New York City, now lives in Saratoga Springs, New York. Jennifer Armstrong is the winner of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World. Many of her books have been designated as Notable Books by the American Library Association and the International Reading Association. For more information on Jennifer Armstrong, visit her website at www.jennifer-armstrong.com, or read her blog at www.jennifer-armstrong.blogspot.com.
 
Published August 26, 1997 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. 119 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mary Mehan Awake

Publishers Weekly

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In this text-laden tale, a seamstress, ""a slim schooner of a woman, driven by strong winds and a broken heart,"" lands at the edge of a prairie town where the villagers have no use for her finery.

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Publishers Weekly

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The first, The Dreams of Mairhe Mehan, recounts an Irish immigrant's experience living in Washington, D.C., during the Civil War.

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Publishers Weekly

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The sequel to The Dreams of Mairhe Mehan follows a young Irish immigrant in the years after the Civil War, as she falls in love with a veteran, a former musician who cannot hear.

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