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The Thorn Tree Paperback – July 7, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: MP Publishing Ltd (July 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849823073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849823074
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #998,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Originally from Kilmarnock, Scotland, Heather G. Marshall is a writer currently based in the foothills of South Carolina, where she lives with her children, dogs, a set of bagpipes and a Royal Enfield motorcycle. Her fiction and creative nonfiction are published in a variety of periodicals — mostly recently in Northwords Now, Prime Number and Six Minute Magazine. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
She calming leads you through a complex relationship story, each scene building up to the resolution.
Roger Kilpatrick
With the gentle hand of Agatha, Hope and her mother learn how to forgive and to love one another again.
K. Simmons
I was totally enthralled with the characters, descriptions and the visual images painted by the author.
cjrinsc

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By kenneth naismith on April 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is not my usual style of reading matter, but having read some of the author's short stories in New Writing Scotland 31 and in other publications, I was interested in reading a lengthier piece by her.
The author, Heather Marshall, has a distinctive style, that delves into the greatest of detail and makes you want to go and find out more about the topics touched upon in her writing.
The book itself is based around the interplay of three generations of family, all female and all with their own stories to tell. It is thought provoking, insightful and as all good books should, encourages you to read just a little more when You reach the end of a chapter.
Set in Arran on the west coast of Scotland and in South Carolina in the USA, it also reflects the differences in culture and upbringing in the two countries and over the generations as well.
If you are looking for a though provoking story with strong female characters, this should definitely be near the top of your reading list. 4.5/5 But I'll rate it as a 5 as 4.5's are not allowed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Deb Richardson-Moore on July 13, 2014
Format: Paperback
Exquisitely written --

I started Heather's book during a trip to Scotland so I was ready for the gorgeous setting on the wild coast of Scotland. What I wasn't prepared for was such a beautifully written, fully developed story. This is a sensational book. I ached for all three of these women as they tried to find their place in the world. Congratulations to Heather on an amazing read!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Heather Marshall’s The Thorn Tree is a complex book, a family chronicle with a strong narrative cord woven from three separate filaments. It is, among other things, a novel that deals with addiction in its various forms while addressing the questions of when to move on, when to stay, and when to journey backwards to reconnect the past’s frayed loose ends. Throughout this mesmerizing juggling act, Marshall displays her devotion to her heritage through beautiful descriptions of the rugged coastline of Arran, an island off the western coast of Scotland.
The story unfolds through the vastly differing perspectives of three generations of women—great aunt, mother, and daughter. A revolving narrative voice is used with alternating chapters committed to and named for each of the women.
I use the term women loosely, as Hope is a girl just entering her teen years. She is a complex character—strong-willed, athletic, and cynical. She misses her dad and blames her mom for his disappearance. An “alternative” skater type, she’s a lovable, tough little mess. Marshall does an excellent job of showing adult readers what it feels like to be thirteen, angry, and confused. Her mannerisms, clothes, speech patterns, and irrational mental leaps are spot on.
The other principals are equally well drawn. Margaret, Hope’s mother, is caught in the middle, torn between her love for and loyalty to a man bent on destruction, her need to protect her daughter, and her own personal needs.
Agatha, Hope’s great aunt, is and has always been the anchor for the family. Even injured and infirm, they need her more than she needs them. It’s the discovery of their mutual need that provides the pathway for love, healing, and a hopeful future.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LFin48 on September 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Heather Marshall's debut novel, The Thorn Tree, is an enchanting tale about three generations of women learning to move beyond loss and pain to discover personal strengths, unique identities, and common bonds. Set primarily in modern day Scotland, the author does a beautiful job of weaving together the historical and contemporary threads of the plot. Marshall's attention to detail and pacing kept me engaged from page 1. There were times when I would swear I could feel the sharp edges of the rocks and smell the ocean. The Thorn Tree is a satisfying read - one that had me longing for a spot of tea and a fireside chat with my own Aunt Agatha.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By cjrinsc on August 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was totally enthralled with the characters, descriptions and the visual images painted by the author. The development of the characters, their personalities, their vulnerabilities and how this was all woven into the fabric of the novel had me wanting to continue reading while skirting real world responsibilities. I was sad to come to the end. I wanted the story to continue. In the end, feel it is such a brave and honest book for the author to write...exploring the boundaries of human frailties with each character, their journey, and their capacity to overcome. I'm looking forward to the next book by Ms. Marshall.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Simmons on June 28, 2014
Format: Paperback
This enchanting novel tells the story of three generations of women. Hope is sent to Scotland to live with her great aunt Agatha after her drug-addicted father leaves the family and mother and daughter's relationship becomes toxic. With the gentle hand of Agatha, Hope and her mother learn how to forgive and to love one another again. Set against the charming and beguiling backdrop of Scotland, Marshall masterfully weaves together three lives of love, loss, forgiveness and hope. A beautiful read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MGirl23 on November 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wonderful book which does an excellent job of digging deep into the feelings and choices made by three generations of women. I loved the character development and the will each woman/girl had in the story.
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