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This story is very touching-and at the same time, I am wondering the same thing as Ms Jung Yang-when the people cried for Mao's death, who knows whether those tears were real or just forced out?

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Really enjoyed this book. I can't believe the suffering that went on and Ms. Chang presents it from the viewpoint of the people who lived through it. I would have given it a 5 except that the ending was weak, in my opinion.

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just finished the book wild swans , was given to me by a very close friend , we have know each other for years , the book i found i could not put down ,i was feeling very down , at the time , after reading this book , seeing how strong they was , how brave , makes me think im not down ,just weak , lifted me up in hope that live can change for the better , brillent reading and learned more about china then what i thought i knew ,  

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Absolutely amazing story... stunning, brave and totally engaging. Could not put it down.

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I read this after visiting China. I wish I could have read it before. It explains so much of life there. I was riveted by every account and have read it several times since. Because it is so rich, there is much to be discovered the next time I read it.
For those who don't know much about Chinese history of the 1900's, and even if you aren't that curious, I recommend it. You won't want to put it down.
 

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I got pretty sick of the communists!

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Magnificent book, impossible to put down!

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As one of the people that were born during the 1980s, I only heard of the Cultural Revolution from my grandparents and parents. The vivid stories of the author's own experience and those of the author's closest family members seized my interest immediately and stroke me greatly while I was reading. There was no history about the chaotic period of China taught openly in school throughout the whole education I received in China, not even in the most prestigious universities. Only when I came to the States did I start to realize that there has been such a hidden yet crucial struggling period which involved everybody's life back then before I was born. The book is so dramatic, eye-opening, and involving that I really enjoy reading it again and again! 

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While I've read about China in bits and pieces in fiction, this is the first comprehensive nonfiction book I read China's history in the twentieth century as told through a family's harrowing ordeal. What struck me the most is how the shifting political alliances meant that anyone could be an "enemy" at any time. I also came to admire Jung's parents for sticking to their principles even when it meant exile and harsh punishment. 

User ratings

5 stars
35
4 stars
26
3 stars
14
2 stars
0
1 star
1

All reviews - 77
5 stars - 31
4 stars - 24
3 stars - 14
2 stars - 0
1 star - 0

All reviews - 77
Editorial reviews - 0

All reviews - 77
Kirkus - 1