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When looking at the book sample and reviews, I very nearly didn't but this book which was my Prime Choice for September. I am so pleased I did read, 'A Single Swallow,' as this book was beautifully written and engaged my interest throughout. It was almost imperceptible that this work of historical fiction was translated from Chines to English. It was a good read!
I loved this book from the moment I started reading it. Beautifully written, rich characters ,a story that will stay with you long after you finish reading. This writer has the skill to make you care about her characters instantly, the story taking you away to China in war time and losing yourself there effortlessly. I highly recommend this book, and look forward to reading more by this author.
I found this book a bit hard going, but I stuck with it and ended up sort of enjoying it. I did find it a bit strange because the narrators are people who have died and met up again in the afterlife to tell their stories. I wouldn't call it a page turner or very exciting, but if you're looking for something different to read, this might suit.
A very moving story beautifully written and translated with an unusual story structure. This made it difficult to read initially, but as the characters were introduced through their individual chapters, I became more engaged in the narrative and the characters themselves. I eagerly read the second half of the book to discover Ah Yan's fate.
Difficult, dark, sometimes dreadful but this dirge is wonderful at times, filled with little whims and peculiar regrets. Those notions, those simple eulogies, the ephemeral nature of the tale is the only thing that keeps it going as it would be churlish and dross otherwise. I think that you will have to convince your self that this is good. I am unconvinced (other than some well worked passages) still worth a read.
Admittedly I nearly gave up on this book in the early stages as I found it a bit dry and ponderous but I was glad that I stuck with it because as the story slowly unfolded I became more and more invested in it. Would I read it again? Probably not, which is why I haven't given it 5 stars, but in the end I didn't consider it a waste of my time.
Rich in sensitive analogy and metaphor, seeming so close to the land, to nature, set in a culture and history foreign to me but fascinating, I have followed the story and enjoyed the voices that have carried it. Like the ghosts, I need to return. I want to savour some of the language and descriptions. And then maybe like the character, Ian, I’ll find myself just too taken up with the ease and trivia of my western life and I won’t. Above all this book and it’s characters reminds me that we are only human after all.
A relaxing but energy packed read that will stimulate the interest of any reader, providing historic interests of life in China in war years, an understanding of the Japanese invasion, an insight of how lives are mingled during troubled times and how love can overcome the worst of times. By love I mean not only romance but the love of others and how caring can lead to attachment and sometimes emotional pain and frustrations of not being in control of one's destiny Who ever you are, what ever your interests you must read and enjoy
It has taken me some time to read this book - as I slowed my reading pace to fully engage with the characters the story and the detail. It was so worth reading though and in the end I liked the slow progress as the tale unfolded and all was revealed. I thank the author for this book which engaged me and challenged me also
I knew nothing of American-Chinese collaboration in the war so it was fascinating to get enlightenment, most compelling for me is how this author has employed the post mortem characters to deliver the narrative, a technique of storytelling typically found in fantasy, or pulp crimes novels that this author masterfully introduces and combines with 3rd Person techniques us just fantastic and thoroughly believable . Excellent.