Three Souls

A Novel
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An absorbing novel of romance and revolution, loyalty and family, sacrifice, and undying love.

We have three souls, or so I'd been told. But only in death could I confirm this....

So begins the haunting and captivating tale, set in 1935 China, of the ghost of a young woman named Leiyin, who watches her own funeral from above and wonders why she is being denied entry to the afterlife. Beside her are three souls - stern and scholarly yang; impulsive, romantic yin; and wise, shining hun - who will guide her toward understanding. She must, they tell her, make amends.

As Leiyin delves back in time with the three souls to review her life, she sees the spoiled and privileged teenager she once was, a girl who is concerned with her own desires while China is fractured by civil war and social upheaval. At a party, she meets Hanchin, a captivating left-wing poet and translator, and instantly falls in love with him.

When Leiyin defies her father to pursue Hanchin, she learns the harsh truth - that she is powerless over her fate. Her punishment for disobedience leads to exile, an unwanted marriage, a pregnancy, and, ultimately, her death. And when she discovers what she must do to be released from limbo into the afterlife, Leiyin realizes that the time for making amends is shorter than she thought.

Suffused with history and literature, Three Souls is an epic tale of revenge and betrayal, forbidden love, and the price we are willing to pay for freedom.

©2013 Janie Chang (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

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

Worth the listen

Though I personally wouldn't put this novel in the magical category of Murakami or David Mitchell, it was worth the time. I found the book engaging and at times emotional with the characters effortlessly springing to life in my imagination. The story made me wonder about the realities of the history where the brutal conflict of 1930s China saw the communists striving for power.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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lovely story telling.

well told saga of human frailty & hope during pre- war china. reader most excellent.

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Slow to start but worth the wait...until the end

I throughly enjoyed this book but I did struggle a little for the first couple of chapters.
My main complaint is the ending...so many loose ends. I'll apologize if a second book is on its way

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So rich in culture!

Absolutely beautiful! Absolutely loved it! So rich in Chinese culture! Great read! I highly recommend it!