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The Woman Who Lost China by Rhiannon Jenkins…
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The Woman Who Lost China (edition 2013)

by Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang

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4130542,856 (2.86)3
"The new, must read China book. Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang knows China and writes with insight and passion."-Daria Berg, Professor of Chinese Culture and Society University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.It is 1949 and the Chinese Republic is collapsing under Mao Tse Tung's communist onslaught.Manying, distressed and frightened and unsure of the fate of her soldier husband, must flee Nanjing with her baby. With the help of her beloved childhood sweetheart, she finds a place on the last train leaving the city and endures a horrifying journey to Hong Kong where she is taken in by her brother and sister-in law. Grief-stricken and destitute, she struggles to make sense of the world in which she now finds herself. As she recalls the cruel fate of her uncle at a provincial court half a century earlier and all that has been lost, she makes a discovery: the past shapes the present. Fate, however, has yet more in store for her.Love, war, sacrifice, corruption and revenge all play their part in this epic story that reaches its climax in twenty-first century Shanghai.… (more)
Member:jenniferjuni
Title:The Woman Who Lost China
Authors:Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang
Info:Open Books (2013), Paperback, 356 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:**
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The Woman Who Lost China by Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang

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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I had trouble keeping up with all the characters, and really I think if a book requires a character list, then maybe you should narrow your focus. ( )
  jenniferjuni | Mar 26, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Two chapters into this book I realized that it was going to be heavy on the romance - perhsps a bodice-ripper. I should have been able to discern this from the description given in the Early Reviewers listing, but I did not. My apologies. I think it unfair of me to rate it a book that I didn't come close to finishing.
  ParadisePorch | Jul 12, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It is 1949 and the Chinese Republic is collapsing under Mao Tse Tung’s communist onslaught.

Manying, distressed, frightened, and uncertain of the fate of her soldier husband, must escape Nanjing with her infant. With the aid of her childhood sweetheart, Manying finds a place on the last train departing the city and endures a horrifying journey to Hong Kong where her brother and sister-in-law take in her and the baby.

Grief-stricken and destitute, Manying struggles to understand the world in which she now finds herself. In the process of remembering the grim fate of her uncle at a provincial court half a century before, and all the consequences of that loss, she makes a discovery: the past molds the present.

Her lot in life still has more in store for her: love, affection, war, sacrifice, noble deeds, corruption, and retaliation all play their part in this epic saga that reaches its climax in twenty-first-century Shanghai.

Jenkins Tsang knows China and the changes that have taken place over the last generations. She writes with poignancy and power of the plight of Chinese women in the transformations wrought as China shifts from Empire to Colony to Trampled to Revolution to something, in some place, in-between that modified friendships, communities, households, livelihoods, faith, language, laws, as well as politics.

As Manying progresses through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood to become the family matriarch, mysteries and enigmas and emotional bonds are shared with the reader as necessitated to expose and explain the transformations in environmental and emotional landscapes. The control of words, images, and sensory perspicacity enables the reader to explore and examine the narrative from place to place and time to time.

Through the narrative of one family, Jenkins Tsang exposes the turbulence and tension that a change of regime and a turnover of military leadership can produce. The reader observes households cared for by others and families caring for one another, oftentimes with confidence, yet without comprehension. Drama, and even trauma, produce a shifting panorama of power and passion. This book is a boon to all families rent by civil war and civil change by an author that understands her subject.

RHIANNON JENKINS TSANG was born and educated in Yorkshire. She read Chinese at Oxford and made her first trip to China at the age of nineteen. She has worked as a freelance writer in Taiwan. One of her short stories was selected as runner-up in the Woman and Home magazine short-story competition. Another of her short stories about being an English mother with a baby in Taiwan was broadcast on BBC Radio Oxford. A non-practicing lawyer, she has worked in business in the UK and Taiwan. Currently at work on her next publication, Rhiannon lives in a traditional Nottinghamshire village with her husband and their nine-year-old son.

I received an e-copy of this book from Library Thing in exchange I have written my candid evaluation of this publication. ( )
  JorjaADavis | Jan 14, 2014 |
'The Woman Who Lost China' is an epic tale, stretching over more than a century and detailing the lives of a wide array of characters, their fates interweaving as personal and political circumstances shift and change. There are big themes here, of war, loss, love and betrayal, and as a fellow novelist I take my hat off to Jenkins Tsang for the scope of her storytelling and her natural talent for description. There are occasional inconsistencies in the finer details and, at one point, the sequencing, but there are some beautifully handled transitions as the narration shifts from one era to another, and there's a sense of authenticity throughout - this is an author who really knows her subject. For anyone seeking an accessible, believable and highly readable introduction to China's political and social challenges over the last hundred years or so, this comes highly recommended. ( )
  GregoryHeath | Nov 29, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed this novel. I enjoy reading Amy Tan so this was right up my ally as they say. I enjoyed the richness of the story being told and the struggles endured by the characters. ( )
  DeeDee10 | Nov 5, 2013 |
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"The new, must read China book. Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang knows China and writes with insight and passion."-Daria Berg, Professor of Chinese Culture and Society University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.It is 1949 and the Chinese Republic is collapsing under Mao Tse Tung's communist onslaught.Manying, distressed and frightened and unsure of the fate of her soldier husband, must flee Nanjing with her baby. With the help of her beloved childhood sweetheart, she finds a place on the last train leaving the city and endures a horrifying journey to Hong Kong where she is taken in by her brother and sister-in law. Grief-stricken and destitute, she struggles to make sense of the world in which she now finds herself. As she recalls the cruel fate of her uncle at a provincial court half a century earlier and all that has been lost, she makes a discovery: the past shapes the present. Fate, however, has yet more in store for her.Love, war, sacrifice, corruption and revenge all play their part in this epic story that reaches its climax in twenty-first century Shanghai.

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