The Danger Tree

The Danger Tree

Memory, War, and the Search for A Family's Past

Book - 2001
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McMillan Palgrave
Emulating the circuitous tales told by his mother's relatives, the Goodyears of Newfoundland, David Macfarlane has crafted a masterpiece of history and memory that will remain indelibly in the minds of its readers. Macfarlane weaves the major events of Newfoundland's twentieth century-the ravages of tuberculosis; the great seal-hunt disaster; the bitter debate over whether to become part of Canada; and above all, the First World War-into a saga of the ill-starred yet heroic fortunes of his family, who were rarely in control of events but often at the center of them. With deep affection, he brings to life a multigenerational cast of characters who are as colorful as only Newfoundlanders can be-heroes and charlatans, pirates and dreamers, whose humanity manages to illuminate and enrich our own.

Book News
Macfarlane tells the stories of his ancestors in Newfoundland in a vivid style, often using the point of view of the small boy he was when he first heard them, and including the larger-than-life embellishments of a child's imagination. Through this family's history we experience the hardships of the early 20th century in this remote province, whether caused by illness, nature, or WWI. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York : Walker & Company, 2001
ISBN: 9780802776167
Characteristics: 307 p. : ill., map ; 20 cm


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WVMLStaffPicks Dec 22, 2014

This little noticed book is a wonderful blend of family story and Newfoundland history. From the early days of the twentieth century, through the tragedy of the war, MacFarlane evokes pre-Confederation Newfoundland with its memorable characters and amazing events.

Aug 21, 2014

Originally quite impressed, first few chapters quite good.
However author kept returning to same themes/stories/even phrases throughout sections of book that were a re-hash of the early comments. Thus extending the pages, but not really bringing greater depth or meaning to the story.

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