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Publisher's Summary

"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole lives would change." (Buddha)

Coming of age during China’s Cultural Revolution, Benfu survived the cruel years, but he did not emerge unscathed. The Scavenger’s Daughters is the story of Benfu and his beloved wife Calli, chronicling their attempts to build a life in the turmoil and aftermath of Maoist China. At the heart of their struggle lies the pain of losing their only child. To fill the terrible hole in their lives, they take in abandoned girls - the unwanted "weeds" - as their own, lovingly caring for them as flowers in a garden. Linnea, the oldest of the scavenger’s daughters, embarks on a struggle of her own, as she falls in love with the son of a wealthy family.

Inspired by a true story, this poetic tale of modern-day China chronicles Benfu and Calli as they turn their path of hardship into a beautiful field of flowers.

©2013 Kay Bratt (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 12-16-14

China's Discarded Baby Girls ... Chosen and Loved

This (fictional) tale of Chinese baby girls abandoned in various places, then picked up, cared for and loved by a gentle man and his wife who had lost their only child is one of the most moving, heartrending stories I've ever heard. Although fiction, the details of China's cultural revolution, during and after Mao's reign are factual. The Scavenger (trash collector) begins bringing home abandoned baby girls and he and his wife, name each one after flowers, raising them as their own. But never forgetting their own first little girl, Dahlia. Americans cannot fathom life in China. But The Scavenger's Daughters will give you a glimpse of it. It is rich in detail. You will begin to understand how things got the way they are in China, and you will shiver at the thought of it.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Gripping Tale to the End

What does Will Damron bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Very good narration of a wonderful story. The only downside is that Will Damron has not dug very deep to find out how the simple Chinese terms used in the book are actually pronounced. This won't bother many people, but for those of us who speak Chinese it was a bit annoying at times.

Any additional comments?

I am already into the sequel. Ms. Bratt knows how to tell a story and the characters are very compelling. Can't wait to find out what happens next.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Tears of sorry, tears of joy, for this male reader

This male reader absolutely delighted in this tale of a financially poor Chinese couple who raised more than 20 orphaned girls. Girls unwanted because of poverty, medical conditions, China's one-child policy or simply the preference - shared by many cultures - for male babies.

For fans of authors such as Catherine Ryan Hyde (Pay It Forward and many others), Charles Martin, or Nicholas Sparks, this is a must read book.

Also, for men who treasure children. Just saying, guys.

My disclaimer: I don't know the author, and I wasn't asked to review the book, which I purchased.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • SusanKC
  • Kansas City, MO (for now)
  • 06-13-15

BRILLIANT!

This is one of the best books that I have ever read. It's content and presentation are poignant, life affirming, and restorative to one's soul. I eagerly look forward to listening to the remainder of this series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Touching story of love and devotion

A beautifully written and preformed story of a Chinese man who is one of the most selfless, generous, loving, individuals I have had the opportunity to learn of. He came through tremendous adversity and lives barely above the level of poverty, but he is RICH! And so is this tale. I loved it! So heart warming, touching, and reminds the reader of what is truly important in this crazy world. Also gave an excellent background in the Chinese Cultural Revolution under the cruel and crazy dictator Mao Tze Tun! I will NEVER EVER UNDERSTAND how or why people fall for or follow the ideology of Communism!?! To keep our Freedoms at Any Cost is something we should all be willing to fight for until our last breath! For the education alone, this book was worthy of 5 stars and should be Mandatory Reading for All High School and College World History and Social Studies Students! As it is a beautiful, entertaining way to enlighten students as to some of what happened in China, and to become more compassionate and appreciative individuals.
Look forward to more books by Kay Bratt

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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book needs a chinese speaking narrator

Have you listened to any of Will Damron’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Will Damron is a great narrator, but it's such a shame they didn't have someone else narrate all the Chinese, or at least teach him that "yeye" is not pronounced "yay yay"... "xie xie" is NOT "shee shee"... these words are throughout the entire book and it pains my ears to hear him butcher such a beautiful language.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Scavenger's Daughters


THE PALEST INK was one of my favorite reads last year. While that story centers around a young Benfu, Bratt begins the TALES OF THE SCAVENGER'S DAUGHTERS series with an older, much wiser Benfu. His golden years (should they be called that?) are much different than those of his youth, when things came to him easily as the son of wealthy, respectable parents. Having cut ties with his privileged past, Benfu spends his days scavenging. He's a junk collector. Benfu collects and sells other's unwanted trash. Along the way, he has also rescued discarded and orphaned girls that have been thrown away like yesterday's garbage. It's no mistake that Bratt chooses this profession for Benfu and the meaning behind this decision is not lost on me.

Understandably, Benfu is resentful and angry at the government that betrayed him as a young man. The communist revolution of Mao Zedong stole young Benfu's life, changing him forever. Benfu's bitter resentment causes him to make decisions that are not always in the best interest of his loved ones. His pride may be the undoing of the family he's worked so hard to protect.

THE SCAVENGER'S DAUGHTERS, narrated beautifully by Will Damron, was a great Audible listen. I have all three ebooks in this series but thought it would be interesting to start the series with the audio version. I wanted to get the feel of things. Damron puts a lot of emotion into his storytelling and was believable as Benfu. He didn't do too bad as Benfu's daughters either.

I highly recommend reading the prequel, THE PALEST INK, first. I had this series on my kindle for a couple of years. You know how it goes; I really wanted to start the first book way back when. Then, Bratt released the prequel and I'm glad I waited. I feel like the reader will better understand the reasoning behind Benfu's decisions to live life as he does. Besides, I'm not really a fan of going backwards in stories. Every reader has their method. Mix the series up if ya like. There are four books in the series. TANGLED VINES Book Two, BITTER WINDS Book Three, RED SKIES Book Four.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Promising story, but too saccharine and fell flat

Any additional comments?

The plot and characters in this story had promise, and I wanted to like it due to the beautiful themes of the story. However, it was far too saccharine and sappy at times, and I was immensely disappointed at the pervasive superficiality which ruined the deep themes that were explored by expunging them of reality. All of the main characters were Very, Very Good and one-dimensional to the point of being completely unbelievable, which is a tremendous downside for a book that has so little plot and relies so heavily on character development. The writing was poor and flat, and I found myself frequently (and accurately) predicting the next line, especially with the dialogue. There were also a number of times when the author repeated earlier passages or events for no apparent reason, which was distracting. The theme of rescuing orphaned children and the history and depictions of Chinese culture were redeeming qualities for this book, but even so I could barely make it to the end. I will not be reading/listening to the others, despite how much I respect and appreciate Kay Bratt's humanitarian work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Touching, Insightful and Educational Story

I learned a bit more about Chinese history and quite a bit more about unsurprisingly carrying and generosity!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Reader Comments

The Scavenger's Daughters is recommended to all of those who are orphans. This novel will give you hope that you can have your own family some day.

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  • M J
  • 03-31-17

The Scavenger's Daughters

A wonderful story, a descriptive and emotional view of China's poor though rich in love and how they cope with life, did not want it to end. Beautifully read.!