When I downloaded Wild Swans, it was with curiosity as I was soon to travel to China. Little did I expect my heart to be flooded with life-changing empathy for China's oppressed millions and awakened respect for their resilience. Jung Chang's engaging narrative skilfully weaves personal experience with historical research. The listener is transported to Jung's China through Osmanski's thoughtful performance. A must-read for any who want to get under the skin of 20th century China.
I loved this book, and the way she told the story of post war China through the story of her family.
This book was interesting and understandably a passion for the author. It was the story of three generations. It's a blessing to have this much detail about the lives of those that came before us. My only complaint is, it was to long. It lost me in so many parts that seemed as if I had just heard the same story. In my opinion this book could have been cut in half. I am glad I read it. But I won't rush to read the next story.
Loved the book. A perfect merging of history with that which creates suspense, a panorama of emotion with a magnetic draw that makes any interruption agony. Thank you for your honest, panoramic history and well placed observations of past and present state of affairs in China.
I grew to care deeply about the people in this family and to root for them. I was so impressed by the survival of their spirits and dignity in the face of humiliation, deprivation, betrayal, and attempts to break them.
There were so many memorable and touching moments, where family members show their love for each other. One that showed tremendous courage was when the mother went to Peking to entreat the ruler to help her husband.
When the mother and father lock eyes as the mother is paraded through the streets by her captors.
I was deeply moved, sometimes to tears, and found myself wondering how I would feel and what I would do if the events that unfolded happened to me or my loved ones.
I wish all students were required to read this book. Readers can relate to the people in the story on a personal level and learn about the dangers of "group think," bullying, of forgoing the rational for a "cause," and, ultimately, of the impact of totalitarianism.
This is the most interesting and fascinating book I've listened to in quite awhile. I had no idea what life was like in Communist China under Mao. I'm going to buy the biography that this author has written about him.
I will highly recommend this book to my friends and family to read or listen to. The narrator was fantastic tool
I really don't understand how anyone could be bored by this! What a riveting story! And the narrator was just right. She did not try to express the emotion commensurate with the outrages. To do so would have been inadequate and not in keeping with the tone of the writing. I have for most of my life detested studying history, but as I grow older, books like this one have opened my eyes to the fact that history is really the story of human lives, not memorization of the names and dates of battles! I will be reading her book on Mao.
Tell us about yourself!
a historian, maybe
probably not, the flat somewhat nasal narration was more than i could take for hours. I gave up after 1 hour
maybe a good story but the format of a "tale told" was unappealing to me.