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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    103
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    119
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    97
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    2
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

loved the story every word took me to a new world.

loved the story every word transported me to a new world. I was disappointed when it was over.I wanted more.

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

I felt like I was right there!

What a wonderful story rich in culture. I felt as if I had traveled abroad and visited the family in person.

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

Beautiful culturally rich story

This book is incredibly detailed in Chinese - Malaysian culture and traditions. The story of Chye Hoon's life was mesmerizing and her strength of spirit is beautiful. The Audible brought this story to life!

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

Malayan world and s time machine

wonderful narration. love listening and imagine how much I felt, transported in time in a different country

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully told

This wonderful literary work was brought to audio by a fine storytelling voice. I enjoyed it very much.

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

Taming the Tiger Spirit Within

Hair combing ceremony very touching. This is a story set in a foreign land, and, in past eras. Told from main characters point of view which evoked empathy in me as I listened to a venerated elder share her life. Relationships can sometimes be difficult in any culture, and they also give life meaning when traditions are shared from old to young and then again from young to old. I became enamored with the intricacies of Malayan courtesies and customs and with the struggles in this woman's life . I valued the explanations regarding language at the end of the audible version. I mourned her passing with her family but it was a gentle conclusion which made it easier. I will listen to this many times....

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

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