Ursula, Under

by Ingrid Hill

Family Drama Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Ursula, Under

A half-Chinese, half-Finnish, miracle child (as far as her parents are concerned) falls down a misused mineshaft.  During the course of the rescue operations we are given some extraordinary stories from both sides of her family history, learning that it is indeed a miracle the child was born.  The book is fascinating although lacking a little in energy, I felt, but what is really amazing is that the author has twelve children and still had time to write this, and it’s not a short book!

Comparison: Amy Tan, William Kowalski.
Similar this month: Adele Geras, Marya Hornbacher.

Sarah Broadhurst

Ursula, Under Synopsis

In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a dangerous rescue effort draws the ears and eyes of the entire country. A two-year-old girl has fallen down a mine shaft and it is as if all hope for life on the planet is bound up in her rescue. Little Ursula Wong is the first and only child of a young woman of Finnish extraction and her Chinese-American husband. The Wongs live in a decrepit mobile home and their child is designated by one member of the TV audience as 'half-breed trailer trash', not worth all the attention and expense. Oh yeah? responds the story's narrative voice. Let's just see. And here the novel explodes into a grand saga of culture, history and heredity. By its end, we've met, among others of Ursula Wong's ancestors, a second-century-B. C. Chinese alchemist; an orphaned consort to a sixteenth-century Swedish queen; Professor Alabaster Wong, a Chautauqua troupe lecturer on exotic Chinese topics travelling the Midwest at the end of the nineteenth century; and Ursula's great-great-grandfather, Jake Maki, a mine worker who died in a cave-in at age twenty-nine.
 
Ursula's ultimate fate echoes those of her ancestors, many of whom so narrowly escaped not being born that any given individual's life comes to seem a miracle. Ambitious and accomplished, Ursula, Under is, most of all, wonderfully entertaining.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780099479864
Publication date: 05/01/2006
Publisher: Vintage
Format: Paperback (b Format)

Book Information

ISBN: 9780099479864
Publication date: 5th January 2006
Author: Ingrid Hill
Publisher: Vintage
Format: Paperback (b Format)
Pagination: 496 pages
Genres: Family Drama, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Ingrid Hill

Ingrid Hill has this to say about herself........."I was born in New York City, spent my early childhood as a navy-brat gypsy, and then settled in New Orleans until I was grown. I've spent half my adult life in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and half in Iowa City, Iowa, both university communities, with a three-year stint in Washington State, on beautiful blue Puget Sound. I have spent some time in Sweden and some time in China. While my writing career was late in starting, I was raising my children and consciously garnering wisdom over this time: I remember in my ...

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