Friday, July 11, 2008


Author: Xinran
Genre: Fiction
Published: 2004
Personal Rating: 3.75/5
Yearly Count: 93

Shu Wen and her husband of four months, Kejun, were both in the medical profession. Kejun felt it would be honorable to join the Chinese army as a surgeon and help to unite China and Tibet. Soon after, Shu Wen received notice that Kejun was killed, but with no details. She decided to join the army herself to search for the man she pledged her life to. During Wen's relentless pursuit of finding the truth about her husband, she learned the nomad Tibetan lifestyle during a span of 30 years.

I wanted to like this more, but I think an almost "very good" read is still a worthy rating. Learning about the Tibetan's culture was fascinating, but too much political talk would begin to lose me. Also years would go by, but I didn't know how many, so I would lose my sense of time. Other than that, it was a compelling love story in the depths of Tibet with a cast of interesting people.


  1. I read this for the alphabet challenge last year (I read her other book this year - going to have to find a new X :( ).

    I think I liked it a bit more than you :) but I was quite sure when I picked it up that I wouldn't like it at all - not my usual thing.

  2. I have this lined up for my X author too and haven't been looking forward to it much but I'm very glad to see you a decent rating. And I have always been interested in Tibet so hopefully I'm going to enjoy it.

  3. Tammy ~ I read The Good Women of China (3.5/5) last year for my A ~ Z Challenge and wasn't going to read Xinran this year, but I checked out Xiaolong's The Death of a Red Heroine and discovered it was too long. (I do not like chunksters.) However, I still want to read it, so one day when I'm in the mood, I'll pick it up again. For now, Xinran, was the choice. Glad you liked it.

    Nicola ~ Oh, I think you will enjoy it. It's a fast read filled with interesting customs.

  4. I know what you mean about the whole time thing...I wish that would have been clearer, like how many of those years were spent with the family. Nonetheless, I really loved the book!

  5. I added a link to your review on my post. I was disconcerted by the lack of a sense of time too, but have come to the conclusion that perhaps it better represents the timelessness of that particular landscape and culture. Maybe I'm stretching it with that explanation, but thought I'd give it a try!

  6. Debi ~ I'm so glad you loved this book. I love when I love a book, too! :) Isn't it the best when you close a satisfying book and just revel in that leftover feeling?

    Terri ~ I think what you said makes perfect sense and gives me more appreciation for the lack of a precise timeline. Thank you. :)

  7. I've seen this one around a lot lately and it sounds like a really captivating and beautiful read. I'm putting it on my TBR list--thanks for the thoughts, Joy.

  8. Trish ~ Yep, it's been around and yep, most people liked it more than I did. :) I did enjoy it.

  9. I agree with Terri about the time element factoring into the timelessness of the country. The more I think of this one, the more I like it.

  10. Maw Books ~ Yes, Terri's thoughts make perfect sense. The book has continued to resinate in my mind, instead of ceasing to exist after I finished posting my thoughts. This is a good thing. :)


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