The Palest Ink

By: Kay Bratt
Narrated by: Will Damron
Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (196 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A sheltered son from an intellectual family in Shanghai, Benfu spends 1966 anticipating a promising violinist career and an arranged marriage. On the other side of town lives Pony Boy, a member of a lower-class family - but Benfu's best friend all the same. Their futures look different but guaranteed...until they're faced with a perilous opportunity to leave a mark on history.

At the announcement of China's Cultural Revolution, Chairman Mao's Red Guard members begin their assault, leaving innocent victims in their wake as they surge across the country. With political turmoil at their door, both Benfu and Pony Boy must face heart-wrenching decisions regarding family, friendship, courage, and loyalty to their country during one of the most chaotic periods in history.

The prequel to the beloved Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters series, The Palest Ink depicts Benfu's coming-of-age during the tumultuous years of the Cultural Revolution.

©2015 Kay Bratt (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Prequel to The Scavengers Daughter

It isn't necessary to read Palest Ink before SD but it gives a good background of Benfu. It reviews his teen years, how he got to the farm collective and details of his relationship with his best friend, Pony Boy. All these experiences mold him into the man he became, to have compassion and the big heart that allowed him to welcome abandoned girls. He meets Callie but because she is not welcomed by his parents he decides to become his own man, which in China, denying family is a very hard thing. Enjoyed the book very much, again it has some hard parts to read regarding the cruelty of Mao on his own people, but at the same time how thru fear, these same people are totally devoted to him even coming to turn in their own family. Don't think its quite as good as SD but nice to have Benfu's background.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The Palest Ink

Wonderful book, amazing story! So happy I found a new author. I am looking forward to reading the complete series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Palest Ink

Two young men. From different stations in life but sharing a strong friendship, is their story as their whole life is changed in Bejing with the advent of the Chinese Revolution with Mao Zedong. Through many hardships, cruelty, and pain, their love stays strong, and eventually leads to a romance.stronger than life for both of them. I wish all Americans would read this story and realize how blesse d we are to live in this country and how easily it could all be taken away.

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A beautiful piece of historical fiction

I enjoyed this book a great deal. The historical aspect was very well done and setting a coming of age story in it was lovely. Of course given the setting, it was sad as the history itself was, but it was a beautiful story that also included hope and love, not just tragedy.

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so enjoyable

I really loved this story. The characters were heartwarming . Set in China and it is just good. It makes you understand the Mao communism like no other fictional book I have read. Listen to it, you will like it

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great story.

this was a very sad, but great story. a prequel to the scavengers daughter books. this one and the first of the scavengers daughters books were my favorite. also the reader did a great job.

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very intriguing historical fiction

I learned so much about the history of this era through this book. There is so much I never knew. The combination of the history and the fictional story kept me so intrigued I didn't want to put it down. I read the rest of the stories in the series and loved them all. Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Empty ending

The last minute twist gets mixed feelings only due to a rushed empty ending to an otherwise well written story. Perhaps a prologue would've done the trick giving the history on the end of the revolution at least.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Historically interesting, but juvenile writing

Would you listen to The Palest Ink again? Why?

The story, and subject is interesting, which makes the book worth reading.

But the writing itself is rather juvenile.

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Reader Comments

I have learned a lot from reading The Palest Ink. I learned about oppression, courage, and personal change. Let this novel teach you these same things. This novel is well written, and researched researched. Please recommend this novel to everyone you know.