The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly
Sun-mi Hwang & Nomoco
Penguin, 2013 (2013)
Reviewed by Jessica Maguire
n this modern Korean fable (translated by Chi-Young Kim), Sprout, a hen on an egg farm, dreams of being free from her cage to roam the outdoors and hatch her own egg and raise her very own chick.
er wish comes true, but not in the way she thinks. Sprout, past her egg laying prime, is culled and left for dead. She finds herself suddenly thrust into the outdoors, a place cold, cruel and not at all as she had imagined it to be.
ut friendship comes in strange places and the sacrifices of friends means that Sprout soon finds herself with an egg of her very own to care for and hatch. When the chick hatches she comes to realize that he is not of her kind; he is a duck. But she loves him all the same.
ogether, Sprout and Baby face many hardships and prejudices as Baby grows from a cute, fuzzy duckling into a stunning mallard.
t is Sprout's very name that perhaps best sums up this hauntingly touching novel as '
a sprout grew into a leaf and embraced the wind and sun before falling and rotting and turning into mulch for bringing fragrant flowers into bloom.
he target audience being readers aged eighteen and up, this novel, as Sprout's name suggests, embodies the very circle of life: birth, life, death, and a return to the earth to repeat the cycle.
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