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Dawn O'Hara, the Girl Who Laughed

Edna Ferber

Book Overview: 

Dawn O’Hara, the Girl Who Laughed was Edna Ferber’s first novel. Dawn, a newspaperwoman working in New York, finds herself back home in Michigan on doctor’s orders. Years of living in boarding-houses and working to pay for the care of her brilliant but mentally ill husband, Peter Orme, have taken their toll. At twenty-eight, Dawn feels like an old woman with no future. But, the loving care of her sister Norah and her family along with the attentions of the handsome German doctor, Ernst Von Gerhard, slowly bring Dawn back to life. With Dr. Von Gerhard’s help, she obtains a newspaper job in Milwaukee and begins a year of new adventures among new people. However, the specter of her husband living in a mental hospital is always present and Dawn fears she may never be free to love again.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I've just had a wire from Ernst von Gerhard. He's coming, and you look like an under-done dill pickle. You aren't half as blooming as when he was here in August, and this is October. Get out and walk until your cheeks are so red that Von Gerhard will refuse to believe that this fiery-faced puffing, bouncing creature is the green and limp thing that huddled in a chair a few months ago. Out ye go!"

And out I went. Hatless, I strode countrywards, leaving paved streets and concrete walks far behind. There were drifts of fallen leaves all about, and I scuffled through them drearily, trying to feel gloomy, and old, and useless, and failing because of the tang in the air, and the red-and-gold wonder of the frost-kissed leaves, and the regular pump-pump of good red blood that was coursing through my body as per Norah's request.

In a field at the edge of the town, just where city and country begin to have a bowing acquaintance, the college boys were at footb. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Even though Edna Ferber is known for her stirring epics such as
"Giant" and "Cimarron", for her first book she turned to the
heady world of newspaper reporting, something that her work on
the Appleton Daily Crescent and the Milwaukee Journal prepared
her for.
I've never been a huge Ferber fan but this

Narrated by the sparky Dawn,a newspaper reporter in 1910s America, the novel opens with her ill in hospital. Her husband - the once charming Peter Orme - is in an insane asylum, and she has been struggling to pay for his keep.
Dawn goes to recuperate with her married sister and observes that 'being a

Dawn is funny, independent, quirky and very good at her job as a young newspaper reporter in the early 1900's. I loved all the settings but most especially that of the very German Milwaukee. (Dawn is amazed to stumble upon a shop that has a sign "English spoken here"!) The descriptions of her boardi

This is the story of Dawn O'Hara, who finds the humor in things. She's charming and witty and stubborn and likable. It's her tale of struggle with romance, growing friendships and relationships, sacrifices and overcoming her past and embracing the future. It is a wonderful, easy read and I recommend

A solid Ferber. My favorite is the description of food! Makes me crave good German.

لقد نُشرت هذة الرواية عام ١٩١١ ، زمنٌ بعيد اليس كذلك ؟ ...
ولكن كما لو أنها كُتِبت اليوم ، المرأة التي مهما ادعت الاستقلالية ، والرغبة في تحقيق طموحاتها ، او إنه بإمكانها النهوض مجدداً بعد سقوطها مكتفية بذاتها، يبقى صوتٌ مرتجف يردد بداخلها من حين لآخر إنها بحاجة إلى يدين تحتضن يديها ، ذات قبضة ثابتة

لقد عثرت علي هذه الحكايه ، لا شك ، فمن دون الجميع كانت دون اوهارا صديقتي المتعبه والتي لا تمل من الضحك .. رغم كل شيء
مثل حبات السكر جاءتني هذه الحكايه ، ناعمه ولذيذه وتعلق بالبال مطولا ، انها الحكاية الازليه ، وحدك في مواجهة العالم ، فلماذا لا تضحك ؟
هذه الروايه كتبت عام ١٩١١ ، لكنها تلمس الروح كأنه

لقد وجدت هذا الكتاب و قرأته باللغة العربية ، و لهذا فسأترك تعليقي باللغة العربية ... أحببت هذه القصة ، علني لأنني وجدت تشابهًا كبيرًا بيني و بين (دون )... إن (دون) بحسها الفكاهي الذي ورثته عن أجدادها ، و بقدرتها على الضحك في مواقف هستيرية ، أو حتى و هي تبكي ، تكاد تكون أنا . أحببت (دون) هذه القوية ا

الرواية من الادب الكلاسيكي الامريكي التي لا تحوي على حبكات قوية بين طياتها الا انها ستنساب الصفحات بين يديك بسرعة لرشاقتها وخفتها لذلك ستنتهي من قرائتها بسرعة .
لم أجد شيء في الرواية وغير بول اوستر فإنني لا اهوى قراءة الأدب الأمريكي وقد جربت كثيراً وفشلت .
الرواية مترجمة ومعربة من دار الرافدين اللبنان

What a wonderful, sweet and old fashioned... slightly melodramatic romance and human interest story. I loved it. Being of both Irish and German ancestry made the characters and funny/tragic and intelligent Dawn O'Hara herself especially dear and wonderfully drawn characters to me. Very well written,

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