I liked the basic story of 2 handicapped people finding each other, however this book had major disappointments for me:
. even though most of the book is set in Burma, there's really not much about Burma;
. the writing is often predictable;
. the 'love story' includes dumping another woman;
. a lot reads like a romance novel; and finally....
. it's way too MUSHY for me!
That said, you may like it....I have friends who adored it!
I really found myself invested in the characters.
It starts out in the present and takes you back to the love story and then brings it back to the present. I really wanted to know how it could have started in Burma and ended in New York.
This book called to mind another popular romantic novel - The Bridges of Madison County. Both of them are over the top as far as unbelievable romanticism is concerned, with the main characters in both taking no responsibility for the betrayal of commitments in their lives. This book never explores why in the world Tin Win - committed as he was to MiMi - married an American woman and fathered 2 children, then abandoned them all. I was not at all moved by Tin Win and MiMi's love story - a lot of teen angst and incredibly repetitive. How many times was it necessary to narrate Tin Win's touching MiMi's body and the ecstasy that engendered in both of them. We know, we know...they're in love. A lot of this book strains belief - is hearing heartbeats (without a stethoscope) really possible??? And in the end, the fact that they, primarily MiMi, were so loved by the locals that on the 15th of EVERY month the townspeople form a procession to their home, bearing offerings, flowers, candles, etc. Oh, and what about the blatant plagiarism of John Denver's song, Shanghai Breezes (The moon and the stars are the same ones you see, etc.)
I did find parts of the book compelling - especially Julia's story - I wish that had been a bigger part of the book. I had to listen until the end just to see what happened. Not a boring book for the most part, but overly romantic and melodramatic.
Greedy, voracious reader since age five. After a number of eye injuries & surgeries, reading is hard. So now, I listen.
I AM listening to it a second time, just to lose myself in the gorgeous descriptions of country, customs, and love that is transcendent, read in the golden honeyed tones of Cassandra Campbell. Beautiful narration, and a fantastically beautiful story.
I loved Ms.Campbell's voice, the narrator, she was so gentle and smooth. The narrative kept bringing new surprises in the story that kept me engaged, for example: the story not only takes place in the rustic farmlands in Burma but also in the sophisticated life of a manhattan lawyer. I never thought twice about how it would feel to be blind - too foreign to my life experience but this book raised my sensitivity and awareness to these senses which I took so much for granted. This book is an extraordinary love story that surpasses all understanding, a love story that goes against all odds of tremendous strength and takes us back to our basic feelings and instincts as human beings.
Tin Ming was my favorite character. Why? because of his courageous spirit, wisdom and his transparent soul of a child.
I never heard Cassandra Campbell's and I very much liked this first experience.
No other way, the title is PERFECT!
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
This novel spanning more than 50 years is one of the most beautiful, heart wrenching stories I've ever read. And the daughter looking for the father and going to find him, learning all that happened in his past is unusual and touching. I can't recommend it enough.
The mystery in the story makes this a fun book to listen too. It has an unexpected twist.
The characters of this book are all so well developed. And each one on their own journey.
The scenery, the love, the sounds that were magnified during the telling of the story.
I loved the main characters from the beginning of the story thru the very end. I did not want the story to end.
Cassandra Campbell's performance was of a quality that made it very easy and pleasurable to listen to.
It made me cry and at the same time I felt joy.
This is a wondeful story of enduring love that I would highly recommend. There is nothing to which it easily compares. I loved it so much I had to buy a physical copy of the book.
3 children, 9 grandchildren, married 45 years to the same wonderful man. Love my dog and have loved reading since grade school.
This was an incredible listen. The narrator was perfect on all the voices. Loved the story and all the subtle nuances. There is really no way to explain how special this book is!