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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
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • squishy
  • Hemphill, TX, United States
  • 02-17-16

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.

5 of 5 people found this review 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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

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    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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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.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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China a country I never want to visit

The Palest Ink is a good book about the beginning of Mao revolution. In my opinion the best book in this subject is Red Azalea by Anchee Min, this book really tell you what happen in China during the years a Mao.

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A perfect book, at a perfect time.

Is CHINA'S PAST OUR FUTURE.. This story comes alive , I feel like I lived through the cultural revolution.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

loved it!!

The history was sad and amazing. The reader was very good. I really enjoyed it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful