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The Sunflower Forest Paperback – 1 Dec 2008

28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (1 Dec. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007260946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007260942
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 213,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Torey Hayden is an educational psychologist and a special education teacher who, since 1979, has chronicled her struggles in the classroom in a succession of bestselling books. She currently lives and writes in North Wales.

Product Description

Review

''Torey Hayden deserves the kind of respect I can't give many people. She isn't just valuable, she's incredible. The world needs more like Torey Hayden.' Boston Globe

About the Author

Born in Montana, USA, Torey Hayden has spent most of her adult life working with children in distress. Now living in Great Britain, she divides her time between writing and volunteer work with several British charities. Torey is author of numerous internationally best-selling books about her experiences as a special education teacher and therapist. She has also written two novels and two children's books.

Find her at www.torey-hayden.com


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on 30 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
Knowing how much I loved Torey Hayden's other books, I decided to give this book a try. I was very optimistic.

I loved the book at first, I thought it was well written, as with all her other books. I liked all the characters and I was gripped by the narrative. However, after a while the story began to drag and I started to get annoyed with the dialogue and lengthy descriptions about everything.

I really started to dislike the book when I got to the middle, the story held no interest to me and I think it needed more action. I hated the ending. It left me wanting more questions answered and I feel like i've wasted 3 days reading the book and not gained a clear ending to the narrative. So her mother lied about the name of the forest? So what. I thought it was pretty pointless. Maybe I was missing the whole message of the story though.

What I did like about the book, was the writing, I liked the characters, especially Paul and Owen. I also liked in when Lesley went to Wales. I didn't hate the book, I just think that I pefer her non-fictional writing more than her fictional work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Jackson on 14 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
I started reading this book thinking, yes a good choice I will whizz through this in no time, only to find it getting very interesting and then extremely slow. It is not easy to pick it up and read a bit. I find long stretches are needed to keep your interst and follow the story. This is one of a terrible tragedy which befalls the mother during WWII where she was taken from her family against her will, then an innocent 17 year old, to be a 'breeder' for the Nazi's. After a incident takes place she is cast out of there, only to be then taken to a concentration for women. There she endures starvation and countless 'experiments'. This experience mars her life with tragic consequences. I did enjoy this book, but I don't want to read it again.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Miss C. Valcin on 23 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
I am a huge fan of Torey Hayden. I have read most of her other books and was happy to hear that she was branching out and trying something new with her writing. Although this book is something very new for Hayden she still writes with the captivating loveliness which fill her books. The story is told about a young woman who having lived through the second world war is left psychologically scarred and is a huge burden for her family. Being classed as one of the 'Aryans' by the Germans she had to undergo months of rape as she was being used to produce `pure' children for the Germans. After killing one of her own children she was then sent to a concentration camp and lived out the rest of the war there. As the story develops through the eyes of her oldest daughter Lesley, we are taken on a journey which is filled with many shocking moments. The story takes place in America but we are also taken on a journey through Wales where Lesley is to discover some more of the truths about her mothers past. The plot is also filled with undertones of the importance of family life and the struggles that we need to go through just to love one another.

I would definitely recommend this book to and Torey Hayden fans as you definitely won't be disappointed with this book. My only criticism of this book would have to be that at times some of the narrative can seem a little bit out of place in the flow of the novel, but overlooking this tiny hitch it comes together as a great story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Caddy on 12 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
I was unsure about reading this book as have read many of Torey Haydens books and saw this was not a true story. However this book was brilliant and is definitely worth a read, I never expected what happened in it to happen and it kept me gripped to the end waiting to see what would happen and whether things would be resolved.
Highly recommend this to anyway, but especially Torey Hayden fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Wright VINE VOICE on 3 July 2010
Format: Paperback
After reading many of Torey Haydn's books about her work with children with Special Educational Needs, I was intersted to see what a fiction book from Haydn would be like. Firstly, I could hardly tell the books were from the same author. Apart from the significance of Wales, there would be little to tell that the books were indead from the same author.

The Sunflower Forest tells the story of 17 year old Lesley and her family, growing up in 1970's Kansas. Lesley's mother Mara is a Holocaust survivor and as the book develops, Lesley learns more about Mara's experiences during WWII, before travelling to Wales to see where her mother lived after the war.

The build up of the book and of Mara's secrets was extremely convincing and I was eager yet wary to find out about what dreadful events has moulded Lesley's family life. The main problem however was that it began to drag in the middle and towards the end, particularly when the setting moves to Wales. I also found Lesley to be an unconvincing 17 year old and her little sister Megan was irritating.

Overall I am glad I have read this book and would consider reading more fiction from Torey Haydn, however I prefer her non-fiction work and would like to read more of this in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alison Hart on 11 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
Some reviewers have critised this book for being a bit long-winded, but i think it needs to be to create in our minds the tedium and frustration Lesley feels whilst staying at home to look after her mother. I think the story progresses well, defining the characters and how their lives have been shaped around the mother's moods. I thought I had predicted where the plot would go, but I was wrong!I also liked the fact that it was not sentimently sweet; Hayden could well have chosen to end the book with Lesley's feelings toward her mother changed; but instead we had what some might call a "non-ending"!I shall search out more of Hayden's books......
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