A Hundred Flowers

A Hundred Flowers

Book - 2012
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A powerful new novel about an ordinary family facing extraordinary times at the start of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

China, 1957. Chairman Mao has declared a new openness in society: "Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend." Many intellectuals fear it is only a trick, and Kai Ying's husband, Sheng, a teacher, has promised not to jeopardize their safety or that of their young son, Tao. But one July morning, just before his sixth birthday, Tao watches helplessly as Sheng is dragged away for writing a letter criticizing the Communist Party and sent to a labor camp for "reeducation."

A year later, still missing his father desperately, Tao climbs to the top of the hundred-year-old kapok tree in front of their home, wanting to see the mountain peaks in the distance. But Tao slips and tumbles thirty feet to the courtyard below, badly breaking his leg.

As Kai Ying struggles to hold her small family together in the face of this shattering reminder of her husband's absence, other members of the household must face their own guilty secrets and strive to find peace in a world where the old sense of order is falling. Once again, Tsukiyama brings us a powerfully moving story of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with grace and courage.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780312274818
Branch Call Number: TSU
Characteristics: ix, 288 p. ;,22 cm


From the critics

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Jul 21, 2017

I liked the book. This was another one that was easy to listen too. The author did a good job in developing the characters.

Jun 30, 2015

A disappointment after the wonderful "Samurai's Garden".
I found the writing jerky - jumping from one character's perspective to another often within one or two pages.

Jun 12, 2013

Told from the different perspectives of the characters, this was an enjoyable and quick read on an interesting period of China's history under General Mao - the hundred flowers campaign. Glad I picked it up.

mrsgail5756 May 29, 2013

The book was okay – but not one of my favorites.

booklady413 Mar 27, 2013

This book is excellent. Gail Tsukyama's words flow like a waterfall. If you take my recommendation and read this book, make sure that you read the Street of a Thousand Blossoms also by Gail.

Dec 21, 2012

I'm so glad I stuck with this book! Had some trouble following the story in the first few chapters, but it soon became very difficult to put down. The daily life of the Chinese up to the takeover by modern government has such a richness of time and texture. Relationships have such history and expectation that to be Chinese is everything.

Sep 24, 2012

This was a wonderful story! Although fiction, it is so closely connected with the terrible hardships suffered under Mao. The characters were so very life-like it felt like I knew them and rejoiced with their successes and felt bad about their challenges. First of her books that I've read and I will definitely rent all of them.

rowanquincy Sep 05, 2012

Nice read. Liked the way the author used the viewpoints o the individual characters.


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mrsgail5756 May 29, 2013

“One person can make a difference and every person should try.” –John F Kennedy

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