I did not like it at all because of the narrator. the book is written as a narrative and it comes across like a school teacher reading to her class. I found it hard to connect to the drama of the story. The lack of dialogue requires an exceptional reader to bring this story to life and this reader was far from exceptional. Obviously the book is full of interesting history but her lecturing style was bland and boring.
Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy, by Lisa See, These were absolutely spellbinding and provided good depictions of recent Chinese history
Definitely not!! I already wasted a credit on this one.
This was highly recommended to me as a good read and I am sorry I did not buy the book.
This story was a rare uncensored look into the lives of everyday Chinese during the Mao era. It was a moving story with a lot of interesting revelations. The performance was wonderful, and I really enjoyed hearing the narrator's voice. However, it really bugged me that she mispronounced a lot of the Chinese names and place names. Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book.
This would have been a great book if it had been fictionalized or dramatized. Instead, it reads like a newspaper; the characters are flat without dialogue; and the story confusing. While I have loved books by Lisa See and Amy Tan, this one was a dragged out mess. I appreciate the struggles of the Chinese people under Mao and with the antiquated customs and mores, this didn't really invoke empathy. I kept waiting for the characters to come alive, but they never did. The narrator is flat, my mind kept wandering. Skip this one and read Lisa See instead.
The book tells the story of several generations of a family growing up in China during the 20th century. It is not easy to live in China even if you are a revolutionary on the right side.
You are subjected to self criticism and often brutal conditions and punishment.
The book starts during the "revolution" and fighting and continues through all the changes and experiments of the twentieth century under Mao.
Very touching story told through the eyes of 3 generations of white swans (strong Chinese women) I understand the culture better in light of this book. Loved the character development
I am the first to admit I get distracted when confronted with names and cities with which I am unfamiliar. I had trouble with names and places in this book. I think the story is very poignant and historical, but I finally gave up halfway through. For those who are familiar with China and various names, places, and regimes, this book would be fascinating. I was unfamiliar and couldn't keep up. My bad....not the book's
This book brings Mao's repressive regime down to a very personal level. It was well written with much emotion and good details. Worth a listen.
The 3 generations of women in this book had such different lives and times, yet all of it is true. Those of us from the West can learn much from this reading, not just about history but about humanity. There is a lot of detail, which occasionally gets tedious but it helps the listener understand the difficulties the women and their families endured. How I admire their stoicism and fortitude!! I was glad that there was a nice outcome for Jung and her Mom, and the brothers too. I have been to China and will be there again soon. It is an amazing and interesting place, and the insights I gained in this book will no doubt affect me while I am there.
"Amazing historical memoir of 20th century China told through the lives of 4 generations of Chinese women."
I enjoy historical fiction because I can learn so much about a period while being swept up in a good story. This book had all that and more because it was not fiction but memoir. The author's account of 20th century China through the tragic but inspiring lives of 4 generations of Chinese women was engaging and compelling. For most Americans, the world has been painted in vet black and white terms - communism is bad and anything that counters it is good. I found it very interesting to learn how the promise of communism wa so appealing in the early 20th century to many who suffered under the oppression of feudal China, and the corruption and brutality of the post WWII government. This was particularly true for women who were essentially treated as property. The author's first hand accounts of the all encompassing cult of Mao and the devastating repression of the Cultural Revolution were profound and shed light on how a demagogue like Mao was able to abuse his power and control the lives of millions by using those same victims as his weapons of destruction. It is no surprise that this book is still banned in China today.
This is an excellent book and narration. Books on Chinese history by Chinese authors who write from personal experience are rare. Well written books, like this one, are rare also.