A stirring historical fiction and an extraordinary epic. I liked this book very much. It vividly depicts how this terrifying revolution almost destroyed the country; and the happy ending has China giving up rigid Stalinism and following a more open and dynamic way to build itself.
I was often moved to tears by this moving love story. The lovers are so loyal that they are willing to die for their loved ones. I felt very happy that in the end the main hero, Zhang Feng, married his childhood sweetheart Dan Dan, but also felt sorry about the sad ending of Yu Mei, the first lover of Zhang Feng - she gives up her hope for life and becomes a Taoist nun.
A great book. I would like to recommend it to anybody who enjoys an extraordinary story.
by Nancy Green
A historical novel with a moving romance and more
Do not recall having come around to read a novel of romance since my teens. One with the Cultural Revolution background (1966 - 1976) makes the novel so much more interesting and worth reading, The reading brings back fond memories. The love story is beautiful, beautiful, it is an enchanting subtlety. The two lovers have been giving to each other from beginning to end, love of the two can stand the test of time but not the deep rooted traditions and culture. This is unlike the father and daughters in the Fiddler on the Roof musical which sets the stage in Russia around 1905, and wherein the father finally giving blessings to his two daughters who flouted tradition making their own marriage match. The settings were in different places, and it was 60 years apart, yet it still occurs to me most Chinese are still more traditional to our culture than others. Well, there is no right or wrong. The use of English is superb, and the vocabulary extensive. It is not always an easy job to write Chinese traditions in English, there are times when it is truly difficult to explain the culture when there can be no equivalent elsewhere. This is certainly not a problem with the author. The novel ends where it should, but as a reader, I somehow ironically wish it could go on.