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Publisher's Summary

Facing challenges in an increasingly colonial world, Chye Hoon, a rebellious young girl, must learn to embrace her mixed Malayan-Chinese identity as a Nyonya - and her destiny as a cook, rather than following her first dream of attending school like her brother.

Amidst the smells of chillies and garlic frying, Chye Hoon begins to appreciate the richness of her traditions, eventually marrying Wong Peng Choon, a Chinese man. Together, they have ten children. At last, she can pass on the stories she has heard - magical tales of men from the sea - and her warrior's courage, along with her wonderful kueh (cakes).

But the cultural shift towards the West has begun. Chye Hoon finds herself afraid of losing the heritage she so prizes as her children move more and more into the modernising Western world.

©2016 Selina Siak Chin Yoke. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

mercy! wtf is going on???

What would have made The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds better?

uh get another narrator?

What was most disappointing about Selina Siak Chin Yoke’s story?

disappointing? how bout this: i don't even recognize the name(s)! i must've heard them, but...the way SOMEbody's asian pronounciations were so off the mark, it ruined the ambiance.

What didn’t you like about Christine Rendel’s performance?

buzzkill. i'm sure she would read Downton Abbey really fine

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds?

are you kidding me?? pshh no way. thank goodness #audible is so understanding. i'm not famous or anything, but i'm old. no time to waste..you get my drift?

Any additional comments?

again, i'm just an old woman, but i enjoy submerging myself in a great audiobook. i do not however appreciate being read to like a school child. am i wrong to yearn for the sound of an (authentic) asian-accented narrator?

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully told; perfectly narrated!

Performance is perfect. Narrator does unique voices for all characters. Even main characters voice changes over length of narrative as they "get older." If you have interest or experience in Malaysia and Chinese culture in that part of the world you will live this story!

The only reason story is not rated 5 is because it lacks clear singular crisis. Of course this is more realistic as it covers the life of a Chinese matriarch. Wonderfully told; perfectly narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

This book was very dull. It was a very flat storyline, just point a to b to c. No interesting turns, writing style was too simplistic. I do not recommend, had to force myself through it!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Totally diappointing!!

What would have made The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds better?

If it was 2/3 shorter than it was. And the tedium was arduous and painful. The names of all the characters were hard to keep track of. I had to force myself to finish it even though I liked the concept and was looking forward to learning about the culture.I guess what would have made it better was to not have read it~

Would you recommend The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds to your friends? Why or why not?

No....boring, arduous....repetitive and nothing of great interest. Nothing memorable or noteworthy.

What character would you cut from The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds?

I can't even recall their names!

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable story and good narrator

Usually not a fan of British accented narration, this was necessary to convey the tone of the time

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jumps out

it's about the struggle of the mother but also of the children. everyone has a magic sword!

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A historical, cultural tour!

Loved the exceptional imagery drawn up by the author throughout the book! I almost felt as if I were in the scenes observing the characters in the story!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

thoroughly enjoyed

I'm so glad I had this thru audible. the narrator brought me directly into the story in a way I dont think could with just reading it. the voice inflections and accent brought this novel to another level...I was in tears several times...and Im so sad it was over. I wish I could taste the Nonia quay and all the food described 😊 a wonderful book! I even listened while on my runs ... made me forget about running pains as I kept listening chapter after chapter. I highly recommend 👌

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting, character's very realistic

This story was entertaining and educational. I identified with the lead character and how she cared for her family. I highly recommend this book!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Tedious

Absolutely nothing interesting about this story. Nothing happened, no interesting cultural points,very shallow characters. I skipped chapters and still never got to anything interesting. I really don’t call a woman who loses her husband but is left with real estate (shops &land) in dire straights! Really?? Her desperation to figure how to make money,then setting up a “cake” stall, as a huge accomplishment is pretty lame. The worse thing is everyone’s dialog,but the narrator, is written/read in “pigeon” English! It doesn’t make ANY sense! Like they can’t even speak their own language in full sentences.
It’s just really lacking in culture of the times, traditions, description of geographical areas, just mundane, boring daily life that could actually be anywhere.

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  • Mel
  • 06-18-21

A story full of LOVE

I felt as if I gain a new world in this pages. It was magical.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • marie lee
  • 02-10-17

Wonderful Memories

At first I thought I wouldn't be able to get into the story because it was read by an English narrator. That soon changed as the narrator brought in the local way of speaking. I was enthralled.
I am an English lady in her seventies . My late husband was Hokkien Chinese originally born in Malaya. Later, the whole family moved to Singapore. We lived in Singapore with family in the sixties and seventies.
It was an absolute delight to read this story and brought back many wonderful memories of my time there. Of course I was familiar with the style of language and the mixture of the Chinese and Malay cultures. This fascinating book and the brilliant narration by Christine Rendel really brought back wonderful memories of our time there.
I can't wait to read another book by Selina Siak Chin Yoke.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • maura o hanlon
  • 11-23-16

Back to the past .

Beautifully written book . Takes you back to past time ,s . Great narration by Christine Rendel .