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Concubine's Children: the Story of a Chinese Family Living on Two Sides of the Globe [Paperback]

Denise Chong
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.66
Price: 9.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Australia; Reprint edition (1 Jan 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140254277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140254273
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 648,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Concubine's Children: the Story of a Chinese Family Living on Two Sides of the Globe Chong tells the story of her grandmother, brought from China as a young concubine by a sojourner to the New World, of the man's wife and children left behind, and of the author's incredible discovery of those children six decades later. "Beautiful, haunting, and wise".--New York Times Book Review. Photos. Full description

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The strength of this book is in the human drama of a family split apart. On another level, it is one of the clearest and most compelling descriptions I have ever encountered of the conflicting ties Overseas Chinese have between their adopted homelands and their ancestral homeland; the conflicting forces of family sentiment and the need to earn money to support the family; and the disparate economic opportunities at home and abroad. Like other economic sojourners who travel abroad to work, the author's grandfather faces tremendous pressures from those back home who expect him to give them the world on what are really very low wages; and he risks loss of face if he does not meet their expectations. The author paints her family members not as saints nor sinners but as real people and does an amazing, touching, fascinating job of bringing to life the story of a family pulled apart over the span of three generations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply one of the best books I've ever read. 4 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I couldn't put it down, and lent it to several friends who had the same experience. Brilliantly and honestly written, it will completely pull you in to a new "old" world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading 31 May 2013
By Orla
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was historical, a look into the past, a book that you had to read and couldn't put down. It would appeal to Chinese families and also to Canadians. I think it will be a book to keep on a bookshelf to read again sometime.
I have read many books about China and the families there, both fiction and non fiction. I would read the authors books again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's so good it almost made me cry 29 April 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I'm surprised that this book has been given so little publicity compared to Amy Tan's, Jung Chang's Wild Swans etc. Like the other reviewers, I have found this book to be a gem. Even better that Amy Tan's books or Wild Swans for that matter because this book has been written from the heart. Denise Chong has not held back in telling the stories of 3 generations in her family, the characters - warts and all. And that she has written this book from bits of letters, photographs and talking to her mother is truly an amazing feat. Reading it, was heart wrenching at times, it had its ups and downs and what an ending to the tale.

Because I am a man, I cannot truly and fully appreciate this book more than a woman would. I strongly recommend this to any of your female readers.
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