Up a Road Slowly MOBI Ä Up a PDF/EPUB or

Up a Road Slowly MOBI Ä Up a  PDF/EPUB or
  • Paperback
  • 197 pages
  • Up a Road Slowly
  • Irene Hunt
  • English
  • 22 November 2018
  • 9780425202050

Up a Road Slowly❮Reading❯ ➷ Up a Road Slowly Author Irene Hunt – Essayreview.co.uk The Newbery Awardwinning novel From the author of Across Five Aprils and No Promises in the Wind comes her most beloved story of a girl's coming of age

After her mother's death, Julie goes to The Newbery Awardwinning novel From the author of Across Five Aprils and No Promises in the Wind comes her most beloved story of a girl's coming of ageAfter her mother's death, Julie goes to live with Aunt Cordelia, a spinster schoolteacher, where she experiences many emotions and changes as she grows from seven to eighteen.

10 thoughts on “Up a Road Slowly

  1. says:

    Without a doubt, beyond compare, my favorite book ever. Up a Road Slowly is the book sent to me by my closest aunt the fall after my father died. It came with a note telling me how much she treasured the book and hoped that it would find a place in my heart too. Whether it was because the book came from such an influence in my life or because I was still emotionally raw when I read it, (or maybe because it's a Newberry Award winning novel,) Up a Road Slowly struck a chord within me that has never ceased to play on my heart. I try to read it once a year or so, and nearly twenty years later, it still speaks to me.

    Up a Road Slowly is the coming-of-age story of Julie Trelling, a girl of seven who's sent to live with a spinster aunt in the country after her mother's death. The story follows her elementary school experiences of friendships forged and lost, classmates who are both mercilessly teased and teasers, and the painfully real outcasting of a mentally handicapped girl. The story of Julie's first love and its loss is poignant and completely relatable. (Who among us hasn't out of loneliness fancied a rather shoddy love into something beautiful?) My favorite passages in the book are the one in which Julie learns life's lessons. Irene Hunt, the author, has a way of injecting the truths I wish someone had told me in a way that is neither preachy or unbelievable.

  2. says:

    I first read this book in high school, when I found it while shelving books at the public library (I have that job to thank for so many favorite reads!) and I'm sure I read it 5 times between then and graduating from college. I just reread this book for the first time since college this past week, and was not disappointed.

    This book is sweet, sincere and touching. Julie's innocent, earnest journey from confused seven-year-old to confident seventeen-year-old. In short, manageable chunks we observe her struggles with her very similar and strong-willed guardian, her struggles to feel loved, her first boyfriend and subsequent understanding of the difference between love and enabling. What I like about it the most, though, is the reliance on family, functional or dysfunctional.

    Julie's family supports Aunt Cordelia through her first meeting in years with the boy who broke her heart. Cordelia gently asks about Julie's father's feelings when considering where Julie should stay through high school. The joy when Julie recovers from the scar of first love lost. Julie's consideration of her niece's feelings.

    Maybe because my family is so important and vital to me, I understand how you can love the very things about your family that drive you crazy, and how precious it is to have a family when the road we walk is sad or confusing. They don't always do the right thing, but sometimes the littlest gesture is the one we remember for years.

    I cried this read-through, in that very early chapter where Julie is crying inconsolably in the closet and Cordelia crawls in and holds her and cries with her. When I came home for Thanksgiving right after Cori died, I got into my parents water bed and went to sleep. When I woke up, my sisters were there, one on each side, and we just talked quietly, remembering when Cori visited and just being together. I love this book because it reminds me of moments like that, when being a family is what's holding you together, imperfections and all.

    Wow. Um. I don't know if this is a coherent review at all, but I feel like I should mention one more thing. One of the main negatives mentioned in other reviews about this book is Aunt Cordelia's statement that a woman becomes a woman when she loves a man. Perhaps, being a bit on the old-fashioned side, I don't find fault with this because I agree with her, but I think this statement is more than just an strong support of marriage. This statement is made in a context of not just love, but of self-sacrificing love. Not love that annihilates an entity, but a gracious love like that of Cordelia for Jonathan, a love that encompasses his frail, dying wife and supports him long after her hope of being his wife herself has died. I don't think Cordelia is suggesting that a single woman is incomplete, so much as that a person who has never truly loved someone more than themselves is incomplete. And you know, loving someone else unconditionally is a challenge that everyone should try to live up to, single or married, young or old.

    And that is what I have to say about that. Katie, I hope this isn't too verbose for you. Talk about being a chatterbox.

  3. says:

    The book is written in the style of a memoir, which gives it feel (at least to me) of really being a book about childhood and growing up for adults.

    I was very frustrated by the lack of placement in time or place in the text, which was not assisted at all by the cover of the paperback copy that I read which features a pretty modern looking (if on the sentimental, traditional side) teenager. For a book published in the middle of the 1960s, it seemed to me to extraordinarily nostalgic of a simpler, more innocent time. I think the latest the setting could realistically have been was the 1950s.

    I did not think it was well constructed at all. There were several points at which the author talks about things apparently have been going on for years but not a single mention of them is made until suddenly it becomes part of the plot (such as it was). For instance, it is not until Julie is a teenager and debating over going back to live with her father (who apparently, being a man, was constitutionally unable to raise children younger than teenagers on his own after his wife's death) that we suddenly hear about all these visits Julie has had with her father over the years. Then, near the end, Julie confides as if it should be obvious to the reader by now that she has always secretly wanted to be a writer when the only writing Julie has ever been shown to have any interest in are her high school English essays (and that is only brought up, it seems because her boyfriend has been getting her to write his essays as well).

    I literally cringed when the message of the book was blatantly revealed as being a woman is not complete until she is in love. And then indeed Julie suddenly manages to become that ideal perfect never-losing her-temper-always-doing-things-for-others-perfectly-understanding-of-others' feelings woman when she and Danny finally become a couple.

    Yes, I absolutely loathed this book. I read it as a teenager in the 1970s but it didn't (thankfully) make much of an impact.

    Having said that, however, I do recognize that there was a period in my life (ages 10-12) when I would have absolutely relished the good girl message, the sentimentality, and the soft understated romance. And, in the very conservative and religious community in which I work, I know that many parents and their tweens and possibly teens would be very appreciative of the traditional message in this Young Adult novel. (And, I do feel it was probably honored in 1967 at least in part as a Young Adult novel that deliberately stuffed the realities of life back in Pandora's box and showed instead a sweet, innocent, and, oh, so sentimental view of a girl's coming of age before the 1960s.)

  4. says:

    So I am of course well aware that Irene Hunt’s 1966 novel Up A Road Slowly won the 1967 Newbery Award. But from a personal reading pleasure point of departure, I have indeed and nevertheless found main protagonist Julie’s coming of age journey and story totally and utterly disappointing in almost every way and have indeed also found so many (at least to and for me) problematic issues with Irene Hunt’s presented text that in my opinion (and the novel’s Newbery Award notwithstanding), Up a Road Slowly definitely does rather leave everything to be desired.

    Now first and foremost, I do very much consider the rather obvious lack of a sense of specific time in Up a Road Slowly both annoying and majorly frustrating. I mean from the publication date, Up a Road Slowly was written in the 1960s. But there is nothing in Irene Hunt’s narrative that specifically points out that this is actually the case, that Up a Road Slowly is set in the 60s, and conversely, there is also really nothing that somehow places Up a Road Slowly into an earlier era either, leaving a story that feels rather temporally floating and removed at best and for that matter not even all that realistic regarding a sense of geographic place. And really, and for me personally, a coming-of-age story truly does need to have a sufficiently realistic time and place background and setting in order to feel authentic, but from where I am standing, Up a Road Slowly does not ever really demonstrate or achieve this.

    Furthermore and even more troubling, with main protagonist Julie, I have truly within the pages of Up a Road Slowly found her a mostly rather infuriating and unappealing character, and how she has been conceptualised by Irene Hunt as rather strange and often not all that realistic (with Julie’s thoughts and musings at the age of seven feeling much too mature and nuanced for that particular age but with her emotions and attitudes as she, as Julie, enters her teens often seeming woefully immature and not all that age appropriate). And yes, even though much of Up a Road Slowly is obviously meant to represent a display of Julie’s innermost thoughts, dreams and points of view, of Julie being in her own head so to speak, I still do tend to find Julie rather majorly annoying for all that, not all that likeable and also therefore do consider partaking of her innermost musing rather tedious and uninteresting.

    But indeed, what has finally decided me on only rating Up a Road Slowly with but one star (and not the three stars I was originally toying with) is actually and definitely twofold in nature. For one, while I obviously (and as already mentioned and sufficiently explained above) do not tend to find Julie and how she presents herself in Irene Hunt’s narrative as all that appealing and relatable, if the secondary characters, if the supporting characters encountered in Up a Road Slowly had also not been so stereotypical and generally lacking in textual depth, I probably could have handled and stomached Julie being so very much personally unappealing as a main protagonist much better and more lastingly (but really, an unappealing to and for me main character, combined with cardboard flat and totally on the surface secondaries, this was and remains just a wee bit too much reading aggravation). And for two, I also and equally cannot and will not (and even with Up the Road Slowly having been penned over fifty years ago) accept that horrible message of Julie’s Aunt Cornelia that a woman is supposedly only a true woman once she is in love and has found herself a man (a future husband). Because sorry, but such an attitude is (in my opinion) both totally insensitive and also basically relegates all women who are unmarried or who have in fact chosen to remain single onto the proverbial manure heap of life, and there is simply NO WAY, I am ever going to even remotely be accepting of that kind of an attitude (and I in fact do believe that Irene Hunt in Up a Road Slowly considers Aunt Cornelia to be speaking the truth here and for Cornelia's viewpoint of women needing to fall in love and to get married in order to be truly considered fulfilled as bona fide women as something to unfortunately be actively copied, as to be emulated).

  5. says:

    Well .... unfortunately I wasn't overly impressed with this book. For one thing, it bothered me that I couldn't quite ascertain the era in which the story takes place. The characters seemed to hold values of a bygone era (the importance for a woman to keep her house clean, the idea that it's a man's world [I think Uncle Haskell said that] & the notion that the aspiration of all young girls is to get married and become a good wife) and seemed old-fashioned even within the context of the story. I wanted to know more details regarding Julie's mother - so I could understand Julie's actions and emotions, especially early in the book. And I guess I wanted a little more drama - it seemed like some of the things that Julie reacted to were often trivial (I thought she was a little oversensitive, although not due to being egotistical, as suggested by one of the characters)- and a little less predictability (of course her family didn't like Brett). Although some characters were well-developed (Aunt Cordelia for example), others were not (her brother Chris, her father) Also I wanted to see more of a plot line develop around Aunt Cordelia and Jonathan Eltwing - everyone seemed just a little stifled and repressed in this book to me. Not quite what I expected for a Newbery winner, based on the winning books I've read so far.

  6. says:

    After I posted a story of a telephone interchange I had as a girl shortly after my mom's sudden death, a friend remarked that my story reminded her of this book.

    Last night I needed some escapist literature. I always say, Better an excellent children's book than some shoddy pulp fiction. I was in the perfect melancholy mood to appreciate Irene Hunt's novel in a minor key. I read it in one sitting and my responses have been brewing ever since.

    Will it be a five star book for you? I don't know. The beginning and middle were superb, the ending a bit predictable and on the edge of facile. I was relieved it wasn't too tidy.

    I had read Across Five Aprils twenty years ago. But Irene Hunt is surely on my radar; I will definitely read more.

  7. says:

    Up a Road Slowly is a love story. Not a boy meets girl kind of story, but a girl meets maiden aunt kind of story. Julie is seven when her mother dies and she and her older brother are whisked of to live in the country with Aunt Cordelia, a spinster school teacher with a ram rod posture and a ram rod distinction between correct and not. Julie and Cordelia are instantly at odds. They rub against each other for the next ten years where they find that they have rubbed off on each other to the betterment and delight of both.



    I spent the first three quarters of this book in giddy-sycophantic love. Hunt's writing is lovely and precise. Her character development three dimensional to the point of yearning to look for real estate next to the Bishop homestead. Uncle Haskell is the unrepentant alcoholic black sheep of the family. He is painted with an affecting clarity and humor. When he writes Julia a note after the death of a school mate, its honesty and grace broke my heart into a million pieces.



    It took awhile for me to realize that even if I had read this book as a child there is no way I could have appreciated it as I was at present. I believe that a child and an adult will walk away with completely different experiences. I'm afraid to say that there may not be much to keep today’s young readers enthralled. For all of its beauty, it is a quiet story.



    The one element that drove me to distraction was that I could not determine what time period the book was set. It won the Newbery in 1967 but seemed much to sedate for the time period. I couldn't tell it I was reading a period piece or if Hunt was consciously being coy with the year.



    I might hand if off to one of my students, and then hold my breath that she would appreciate a fraction of what I found to love.

  8. says:

    This book was first published in 1966, and it shows. Like, you can definitely tell from the get go that not only does the story take place a while ago, but it’s definitely written in that young-adult style of the past. Do you know what I mean? To me, the stories and characters in most YAs from 20+ years ago feel more removed—like, the emotions feel more sugarcoated and distant or something. Anyway, while there’s nothing wrong with that style, it did take me a while to get into the book because of it. Everything just felt like I was seeing it through the haze of the years rather than living it with Julie.

    And really, that could’ve been entirely deliberate on the author’s part, since the story is written as Julie looking back on her childhood and teenage years, which she spent living with her older, unmarried aunt. To me this story felt a bit like the “Anne of Green Gables” series. Nothing too crazy happens—rather it’s a year-by-year account of her growing up and the normal adolescent things, good and bad, that she goes through as she matures.

    The story generally felt quaint and sweet, and I thought it would stay that way throughout. And it does, but towards the end, you get a few glimpses of Aunt Cordelia and Uncle Haskell that give them surprising but much needed depth. And I think that depth catches Julie herself off-guard a bit, as she’s used to seeing them through the eyes of her childhood rather than the eyes of a near-adult. And that depth towards the end made it all more satisfying than I think I would have found it otherwise.

    Overall, a book that’s short and charming, if a little slow. If I had a 10- or 11-year-old daughter, I think this is the kind of book I’d want to read out loud with her.

    Rating: 3 / 5

    Originally posted at Book Light Graveyard

  9. says:

    (Spoilers ahead!) This Newbery Medal book came out in 1967 -- but I never read it until now. When seven-year-old Julie loses her mother, she also loses her home and her sense of security. She goes to live with her mother's sister at the family homestead. Aunt Cordelia has never married, but her brother (a narcissistic, essentially harmless alcoholic) lives in a separate house on the property. Aunt Cordelia teaches in a one-room schoolhouse, where as a young woman she coached her beau into higher education. But all that aside, this is essentially a coming-of-age novel about Julie, who has to negotiate her identity. Is she more like Aunt Cordelia or Uncle Haskell? And what roles do her father and older sister now play in her life? When Julie is in high school, she falls in love with a cad who eventually dumps her. She then takes up with a chum from the old days at Aunt Cordelia's school -- the boy she has really loved all along. Julie wants to be a writer and makes several attempts at dramatic short stories. She must learn to write what she knows. She is finally published when someone else submits one of her stories without her knowledge. The End.

    So, this turns out to be one of many coming-of-age stories, written by female authors, about a girl who wants to be a writer. (See Little Women, Harriet the Spy, etc.) Somehow it reminds me of one such story in particular . . . but the difference between Anne Shirley and Julie Trelling is their motivation. Anne just wants scope for the imagination, some kindred spirits, and a bosom friend. Julie, whose orphan story is a bit more serious-minded than Anne's, wants to be the apple of someone's eye. Anne must learn not to make so many mistakes; Julie must learn to love and be loved.

  10. says:

    I love this book. I have loved it since I first read it back in third grade, and continued to love it this week. What I don't quite understand is WHY I love it. A lot of reviews here liken it to Anne of Green Gables, but outside of the very basic plot (girl goes to live with stern older woman), it's not at all similar, in plot or style. It's incredibly old-fashioned, in thoughts and terms and story. The language and how it flows is very 1960s, and reminds me a bit of Madeleine L'Engle's precocious teen characters. In any other authors, the prose would set my teeth on edge for being almost too cloying and self-aware. But damn, I don't care; I love this book, I love Julie and Danny and Aunt Cordelia and even Uncle Haskell. Go figure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *