Christine Hinwood: Bloodflower

Originally osted hereI ordered a copy of The Returning by Christine Hinwood because it s blurbed by two of my favorite authors Megan Whalen Turner and Melina Marchetta Of course I had to read it It also recently received the Printz Honor Plus both the remise and the cover looked intriguing The writing is certainly different from anything that I ve ever read I m not even sure what genre The Returning falls under I feel like it s a mix of both fantasy and historical fiction Fantasy because it s set in a different world made up locations Historical fiction because aside from the setting I feel like it could be a story set in the ast There s no magic in The Returning The whole book focuses on the aftermath of the war between Uplanders and Downlanders and how it affects the various characters I had a mixed reaction to this book I m glad I got to read it because I was intrigued but I didn t end up loving it as I expected It took me a while to get into the writing because of the shifting Fault Lines points of view I felt like I couldn t hold on to one character long enough for me to like him or her Also it s a uiet kind of novel in the sense that nothing big or dramatic occurs After all we re getting a glimpse of what life is like AFTER the warOverall I think it s a good book but I m afraid it s not something that every reader will enjoy Like I said I m not a fan of the shifting POVs At the start of the novel I felt like every chapter was narrated by a different character I think there were four or five various POVs Just when I was starting to root for a character the POV changes I did like how everything came together in the second half of the novel but I was surprised at how fast the latter chapters moved in comparison to the earlier ones The first half spanned months while the second half jumped a couple of years ahead I liked that it s a complex novel and that Christine Hinwood created so many layers to the story we see what it s like for a veteran soldier to go home what it feels like for the family he left behind how hard it is for him to make friends I also liked the bit of romance weaved into the story but it felt underdeveloped I think the narrative would have worked if the novel was longer because readers would get to know the characters As it is I liked the book a lot before I read it because it had so muchromise I feel bad because I could have fallen in love with The Returning but didn t If you re curious about this book I recommend that you still give it a try because you might end up liking it a lot than I did I ve seen mixed reviews for Christine Hinwood s debut novel some loved it while it didn t work for others so I guess it really depends on the reader Review originally Hunt for 901 posted hereI did something with The Returning by Christine Hinwood that I never do with debut novels Ireodered it Why Well if you look at the back of the US hardcover you will find uotes by two authors who raise highly the characters and themes of the story Those two authors are Megan Whalen Turner and Melina Marchetta Little wonder I wanted to read it I can see why the book would appeal to these two Hinwood has the same ability to convey much with few words and create fascinating characters that both of them havet is certainly a gripping novel Megan Whalen Turner also has a uote on the front cover which says Every detail evokes a fully realized world I would agree It took nearly half the book for me to figure out what direction the author was taking was it a book about class about returning from war about life in the vaguely Middle Ages about love both heterosexual and implied homosexual about culture clashes That it took that long doesn t usually bode well for the ending There were too many characters introduced with chapters all from their different oints of view this added to the confusion A couple of the characters at first appeared important but then virtually disappeared later on Set in a mash up of Japan and Scandinavia The Returning takes Morir por un iPhone - Apple, Foxconn y las luchas de los trabajadores en China place shortly after a war in which the Uplanders defeated the Downlanders Cam returns to his village the only one from there that does return so of course there s that tension why him why only him what happened to the others We meet his sister Pin along with his family his soon to be ex fiancee his boyhood friend and others We also meet his new Lord Ryuu and his son Gyaar who for some reason saved Cam s life and offered him aosition within his household See what I mean by confusingUltimately the strands intertwine but by then I was reading only to see if they would not because I was really invested in the storyARC Captain China Volume 1 provided byublishers 5 stars for uality 3 stars for ersonal enjoymentThe Returning isn t a book I would normally choose to read because a I try to avoid historical fiction as much as I can and b as a former literature student I ve read my fair share of literary fiction and unless it was written by Coetzee I have no desire to read any in the next five years or so Historical literary usually means I d rather eat dirt thank you very much However this isn t just any book Aside from being a Printz Honor it was blurbed by both Megan Whalen Turner and Melina Marchetta Here s what they wrote I loved this novel I cried through the whole last chapter from the sheer beauty of these characters and their world Melina Marchetta author of Jellicoe Road Printz Medal winner A beautiful examination of the complexities of love and loyalty in the aftermath of war Megan Whalen Turner author ot The Thief Newberry Honor winnerObviously with words like that these two could ersuade me to read a math textbook and actually enjoy it And I did enjoy The Returning for the most Cast On, Bets Off part The beauty of itsrose the skillfully crafted web in which so many characters were entangled the extraordinary use of language outdated to enhance the historical feel but slightly alien to match the non existent land all those things were even better than I expected And yet Hinwood didn t uite reach me on an emotional level not like an author endorsed by Marchetta and Turner should haveThe residents of Kayforl in Downlads are living a uiet hardworking life Several years earlier six healthy men marched to war against the Uplanders but only young Cam Attling wh. An intense story of love loss and turmoil in the aftermath of war A first novel by a uniuely talented authorVivid compassionate and totally absorbing Bloodflower follows the fortunes of young Cam Attling and all those whose fates entwine with his Cam has a hunger an always hunger; it drives him from hom.

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But lost his arm as he tries to settle into his old lifeand failing at that goes off to seek a new one That could be a fairly simple story but Hinwood chooses to tell this one in an unusual way from multiple Private Elisha Stockwell, Jr., Sees The Civil War points of view There s Pin Cam s younger sister Graceful Fenister his betrothed Gyaar the Uplander lord who cut off Cam s arm but spared his life and so onI love books that ask the uestion what happens when the war is over and I have a lot ofatience for narrative tricks so you might think this book was Past Lives, Future Lives perfect for me Not uite I found it very readable I went through it on one sitting on a sunny Sunday afternoon but I never became emotionally engaged in the lives of these characters Marchetta s work offers a good contrast here her books reliably leave me in tears by their ends I think I was distanced from the storyartly because I wasn t sure what to make of the backstory and worldbuilding here Cam is the survivor of a war between the Uplanders and the Downlanders The Downlanders are vaguely based on Love with Every Beat pre industrial European cultures and the the Uplanders vaguely based on East Asian cultures I suspect mostly Japan Neither of the cultures felt entirely authentic to me but that was especially true of the Uplanders and I am so so tired ofeople co opting Asian cultural details to do lazy worldbuilding Anyway an interesting effort but not something I feel like I can strongly recommend 45 starsI understand many readers don t like stories that stray away from formula or CPA Australia - Advanced Taxation predictable fantasy narrative structures but 313 stars average for this lovely collection of vignettes about the effects of war oneople s lives It hurts This is hardly an experimental hard to comprehend book I ersonally loved that stories felt so intimate and small while being at the same time so large in scope when taken as one whole Masterfully done IMO Why isn t Christine Hinwood writing anything else This is one of those books that is deceptively simple on the surface but is actually uite complex when it comes time to describe or classify it I ut it on the historical and fantasy shelf though it doesn t really fit on either of those shelves It doesn t fit on any of my genre shelves actually and it reminds me uite strongly of Meg Rosoff s How I Live Now in many ways not in its language of course but in its themes of war loss and family as well as its timelessness Rosoff s book takes Arcana Mundi place in the real world but the rural farmhouse in England could almost be anywhere and the war described could be any war we don t even find out who the invading army is or why they re invading and that s theoint so it is with this book which takes به سوی زبان شناسی شعر place in a non magical agrarian world that isn t our world but at least to me strongly evokes itsast They both resonant on the same freuency and make me think about and feel the same things and they both have sadness and hope in the way the war s survivors are Genesis portrayed of course the extremely different ways they are written mean thateople who love one won t necessarily be enad of the other but I think they make for an extremely rich comparisonOnce I am not so buried I will try to write a longer review and maybe I will go reread How I Live Now when I do so but in the meantime I don t think this slow moving odd but beautiful book will appeal to a wide audience especially among teens but those who have the Mirror Matter patience for it to unfold will find a lot to think about I m glad I didn t give up after the first 70 someages but I can t fault anyone who did it s a niche book but a good one Bloodflower is difficult to A Kiss of Shadows (Merry Gentry put into words It s a beautiful read full of complexity meaningful themes and natural character development Set in a country recovering from war turmoil and grief still aplenty with citizens displaced and a new ruler on the throne Cam returns to his familysychologically and hysically scarred from his wartime adventures and the town of Kayforl is wracked with tall tales of his supposed betrayalThere are many characters including Cam that are interwoven throughout this novel in a series of vignettes Initially this is a concept that easily confuses the combination of a Middle Ages derived setting with a lethora of Awareness people andlaces can muddle the brain Slowly and surely the tales of these characters from across the country start unravelling their connections breaking and reforming with others Hinwood has created a truly absorbing read that has the Cat Out of Hell power to move and entrance the readerThe characters are easy to invest in with their distinct voiceserspectives and cultural rhythms Expertly crafted these well rounded complex and driven individuals bounce off one another in intriguing ways Whilst Cam is the sun in which the other characters revolve it is his betrothed Graceful that entrapped me She s an unbecoming and Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work particularly dour character for a majority of the novel however there is something so relatable about her stubborness that I found myself very invested in her future Hinwood s characterisation is top notch and slightly reminiscent of fellow Australian author and endorser Melina MarchettaBloodflower is intriguingerplexing and emotionally rich Hinwood has debuted with a uality work that explores the strength of the human spirit the tenuousness of relationships and the lengths in which we strive for connection A distinct voice with beautiful language and rich characters Bloodflower is a fantastic fantastical read This series of loose Mother India poetic vignettes covers a span of years after Cam Attling comes home from war the only survivor of those from his village Though he tries to re accustom himself to his old life he can t he has to find out why he survived While Cam goes back North to Dorn Lannet and Lord Ryuu the enemy who spared his life his family friends and entire village change in unexpected waysThis book is just beautiful a series ofrose oems than a novel The emotional depth that the author creates in her characters is amazing Even though the book doesn t spend a long time on any one character you still care about all of them deeply There are so many books about war but not many about what it means to come home from one and live Pick up this one Recommended for fans ofThe Scorpio RacesAlways Coming Home by Ursula K LeGuin. S closest friend his betrothed his community and even the enemy Lord who maimed himWith extraordinary insight and literary skill Hinwood weaves their stories to create a tale of romance adventure and everyday life in croft and manor house and castle Her style is uniue Her characters will hijack your hea.

O looks suspiciously like an Uplander himself returned Their former enemy is now their new Lord and nobody failed to notice how highly Cam Attling speaks of him Cam Attling hasn t really been welcomed back by anyone but his family and his best friend Ban who is hopelessly in love with him He s lost an arm in the war and he suffers from survivor s guilt but he is unable to settle down His betrothal to young Graceful Fenister was broken by her father and Cam feels useless and unaccepted even by Ban Ban is struggling with his feelings for Cam and his responsibility towards his large family He is worried that his brothers are right and that Cam really is a bad influence but he is unable to stay away As Cam leaves Kayforl for the second time he causes ain and heartbreak than he could ever have imagined The Returning clearly isn t for everyone it reuires a lot of Passion for Christ, Passion for Humanity patience and it has to be read slowly carefully to truly appreciate all the layers the beauty and the heartbreak it has to offer I m very glad I decided to read it and I might even reread it at someoint I m convinced it will be even better the second time A copy of this book was kindly My Curvy Valentine (Perfect Fit, provided by theublisher via Netgalley for review Attainment (Temptation, purposesAlsoosted at The Nocturnal Library Although the average rating of 325 stars strongly indicated Beware this book is not for everyone I never would have guessed that I might be one of those unlucky specimen the book Hatred in the belly prefers not to talk to My conviction which even resulted in my ordering the book in spite of my friend Arlene s offer to include me in her book tour that Bloodflower and I would be very compatible had been sustained by severalowerful factorsA The cover is so very beautiful but in a different way than some suspicion arousing young adult covers that have no connection to Always Be Ready plot or characters whatsoever The richlyatterend red cloth in the background and that strong callused and sexily dirty arm encased in leather armor which clearly belongs to Cam the young main character recently returned from a war made me want to own exactly this edition and not the Encyclopedia of International Development pastel colored one by the otherublisherB Melina Marchetta one of the authors whose work I adore and who does not throw around blurbs and Gender Inequality in Our Changing World praise and advertisment about all hereers or tour mates work like it has become the custom among young adult novelists wrote I can t tell you how much I loved this novel I cried through the whole last chapter from the sheer beauty of these characters and their world which made me want to go on reading until the end so I could wring out my tear ducts in the same way that she did since in my experience life like and likable characters are the main ingredient in the majority of those books which made me love them I wanted to love the book and the world and I even glimpsed the shadows of the characters ability to become endearing to the reader in the very first chapter The first word which comes to mind when I think about Cam and his family and how they treat each other is tenderness Cam s small sister Pin who usually does not allow her family members to cuddle and Rooming in the Masters House pet her isn t shy at all around her big brother whom she barely knows and who everybody keeps his or her difference from since he returned from the war without his right arm and without all the other men from the village Her unconditional adoration and love is unspeakably cute Yet Theoint of view switches soon from the Attlings to Cam s betrothed Graceling the twelve years old daughter of the ruthless Fenister family and from there to a young boy whose dog is shot by a farmer and then to Cam s best friend Ban who is secretly in love with Cam or maybe only lusts after him and then to I forgot because it changed so often and so spontaneously At first I hoped the story would lead me uickly back into Cam s or Pin s mind but after a while I gradually lost interest and became rather bored althoughC The subject of the book is such an important and interesting one It shows in detail how war affects and changes both the soldiers who went out to fight and the families who stayed and hoped and went on with their daily lives as well as Media, Home and Family possible Cam has lost his arm and gained a war horse His lower limb count lowers his worth on the marriage market and the long standing betrothal is revoked Nobody understands why he wants to avoid talking about the various ways the other villagers died during the six years long war Thus when theestering about Uncle X and Sweetheart Y remains unsuccessful resentful suspicions make the round How did Cam manage to stay alive when everybody else did not Graceful had thought the only uncertain things about her future were the day of her death and the number of her children but suddenly she does not even know any whom she will marry Graceful s greedy father uses the war and the new overlord s taste for fine silk as an excuse to Multicultural Partnerships push hisroperty s boundaries into the woods the home of a nomad tribe and the game they live on Acton has become an war orphan and his dog turns into a farmer s nuisance whose nerves wear so thin that he finally A Convent Tale pulls the trigger I have stopped reading after 75ages and I will never find out whether the end would have moved me to tears or not But I do not really care A story with characters as wonderful as Marchetta s would never had failed to keep my attention Therefore in my opinion Bloodflower must be lacking in aspects that do matter But do not be disheartened It might be just me and not the book I am Contemporary Issues in California Archaeology positive that Melina Marchetta s falling in love with it happened on grounds that might work for others too PS I am giving away my copy If you are interested inform me via comment on this review or on myrofile until October 8th 2011 I will let an internet Ethics for Police Translators and Interpreters programick a winner randomly I tend to be cynical about romotional blurbs on a book cover I see enough of them to start noticing when a circle of writer friends gets caught in the endless let me blurb your book cycle But this book caught my attention because it had blurbs from Melina Marchetta and Megan Whalen Turner two of my favorite YA authorsand two who don t blurb every other book that shows up on the new shelf It s sort of an odd duck of a book It follows Cam Attling who survived a war. E to war from north to south When he returns from war alone all his fellow soldiers slain suspicion swirls around him He's damaged in body and soul yet he rides a fine horse and speaks well of his foes What has he witnessed Where does his true allegiance lie How will life unfold for his little sister hi.

Christine Hinwood was born in England and grew up mostly in Australia but also in England and America She's always written When she was very small she used to sit and make up stories in her head while cuddling her security blanket; she called it 'having a thought' then and told people she'd have to talk to them after she'd finished itChristine studied Professional Writing and Editing at RMI