A dangerous rescue attempt in Michigan has captured the attention of the entire country. A two-year-old girl has fallen down a mine shaft. Ursula Wong is the only child of a poor family and referred to by one member of the TV audience as 'half-breed trailer trash', not worth all the expense. But Ursula is the last of her family line and her story explodes into a gorgeous saga of culture, history and heredity. Ursula's forebears include a second-century BC Chinese alchemist; an orphaned consort to a Swedish queen; and Ursula's great-great-grandfather, Jake Maki, a miner who died in a cave-in aged twenty-nine. Ursula's 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.
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Once in a while, a first-time novelist dares to write bravely and big. Ingrid Hill has done just that with her breathtaking first novel.
In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a dangerous rescue effort draws the ears and eyes of the entire country. When a two-year-old girl falls down a mine shaft 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 onlooker 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 2nd-century B.C. Chinese alchemist; an orphaned consort to a 16th-century Swedish queen; Professor Alabaster Wong, a Chautauqua troupe lecturer on exotic Chinese topics traveling the Midwest at the end of the 19th 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 that of her ancestors, so 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.
Ingrid Hill is the author of a collection of stories, Dixie Church Interstate Blues. The mother of twelve children, she lives in Iowa City.
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Book Description Vintage, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Next day dispatch from the UK (Mon-Fri). Please contact us with any queries. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000439474
Book Description Vintage Books, U.S.A., 2006. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. Ursula, Under.Hill, Ingrid.Condition: New, may have slight shelf wear. Bookseller Inventory # 003180
Book Description Vintage Books, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099479869