- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Lexile Measure: 570L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (October 23, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0689861761
- ISBN-13: 978-0689861765
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.1 x 7.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #586,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 23, 2007
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"Spellbinding." -- Kirkus, starred review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Donna Jo Napoli is the acclaimed and award-winning author of many novels, both fantasies and contemporary stories. She won the Golden Kite Award for Stones in Water in 1997. Her novel Zel was named an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, a Publishers Weekly Best Book, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon, and a School Library Journal Best Book, and a number of her novels have been selected as ALA Best Books. She is a professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband. Visit her at DonnaJoNapoli.com.
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Top customer reviews
It's pace was rather slow, which I honestly don't mind, except that in this case, the book is 300 pages where nothing happens. The book doesn't even finish Melkorka's story. It ends with her reaching Iceland and finding out she's pregnant. She never meets her owner's wife and no one discovers she can speak.
And honestly, Mel drove me nuts the majority of the books. At the start, it was because she was so haughty. "How dare he compare the life of a servant to that of a prince?" "How dare he try and make my little sister see the evils of slavery?" "Slaves have no brains in their heads."
But then, while being praised as a strong female character, Mel really didn't do anything. Yes, she refused to speak to her first captor. But that was after she listened to her 8 year old sister which is the reason they were captured in the first place and missed her chance of escape, abandoning her sister to the freezing waters as a result. Yes, she keeps up a ruse to convince Clay Man that she's a magical creature, and helps her fellow slaves, but she doesn't escape and ultimately doesn't save anyone's life. And for a woman who at the beginning of the book was bent on becoming a warrior, it was a let down.
When she is sold to Hoskuld, she does absolutely nothing impressive or strong. Rather, she appears to be a victim of Stockholm's syndrome. This man rapes her - takes the very thing she herself says is most precious - night after night. Only for us to see her enjoying it - Hoskuld drunk, barely able to stand up - after a month or so. The book ends with readers to believe she's fallen in love with Hoskuld; her owner, rapist, slave-trader and a married man. She is even happy - not that she's pregnant - but that she's pregnant with <i>his</i> child. Perhaps Napoli was trying to paint a picture of Stockholm's syndrome, but it wasn't done very well. It was incredibly disturbing.
The fact that this story was never finished irks me. The author's note tells the end to the real story of Melkorka, but this story spends 300 pages on the boring middle and never ends. There is a companion book which tells the story of what happens to her sister after she jumps off the ship, but I was disappointed in this book that I won't be reading the next one. Will that one even finish the story?
There's a lot of rape in this book; not explicit, but enough for your imagination to paint the picture. And lots of slavery. But little action aside from the slave traders smacking their "cargo" about or capturing new slaves. And the few times where there would have been action - such as the beginning with Mel's brother - Mel is absent and only finds out about it at the end.
This book is not spell-binding, it's not a thriller, it's not even that well written. It's nothing that the reviews said it would be.
Melkorka was a princess that turned into a slave. In the story you really get a good look at different types of culture. Melkorka choose to become a mute under her new settings and you got to see her views grow and developed throughout the story.
‘HUSH’ was a heartbreaking tale that made me hurt alongside Melkorka. The only reason that I cannot give ‘HUSH’ five stars is because I felt that the beginning was drawn out. I felt that some of the pages used for the beginning could have been used to answer the loose ends at the end of the story. Now people have said this story doesn’t end like most fairy tales but I think for that reason I was drawn into it. This was a great fairytale/historical-fiction read and I recommend it for anyone.
Now I’m off to research a little more into the historical events that were presented.
The author has potential, but this story was disappointing.