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Ties That Bind, Ties That Break [School & Library Binding]

Lensey Namioka
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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School & Library Binding, Mar 2001 --  
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Book Description

Mar 2001
Third Sister in the Tao family, Ailin has watched her two older sisters go through the painful process of having their feet bound. In China in 1911, all the women of good families follow this ancient tradition. But Ailin loves to run away from her governess and play games with her male cousins. Knowing she will never run again once her feet are bound, Ailin rebels and refuses to follow this torturous tradition.

As a result, however, the family of her intended husband breaks their marriage agreement. And as she enters adolescence, Ailin finds that her family is no longer willing to support her. Chinese society leaves few options for a single woman of good family, but with a bold conviction and an indomitable spirit, Ailin is determined to forge her own destiny. Her story is a tribute to all those women whose courage created new options for the generations who came after them.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • School & Library Binding: 154 pages
  • Publisher: San Val (Mar 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613283775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613283779
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 11 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,447,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Lensey Namioka was born in Beijing and moved to the USA when she was a child. She is a full-time writer, living in Seattle with her family. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A 10 year old boy's point of view 28 Feb 2004
By A Customer
Ties That Bind, Ties That Break is by Lensey Namioka
This book is about a Chinese girl, set during the revolution of China. The girl, who is called Ailin, is against the ancient tradition of having her feet bound which immediately makes her future husband's family break off the engagement. After her father and grandmother die of a lung disease (two of the three people she loves most) she leaves her home and goes to work for an American family as a nanny. Then the family ask her to go to America with them.
In this book I really liked the way the author blended in so much fact with fiction, like when Ailin’s older sister (the third person she loves most) shows Ailin her moths and the silk cocoons that they spin .Ailin’s older sister embroiders with the silk from these cocoons .I also liked the teaching methods for girls in that dynasty. Even though I really liked this book there is one criticism I have to make which is I found the end. in which Ailin goes to America, finds her true love and starts a business with him, I found this a bit too far-fetched for my liking.
Although this book had a brilliant beginning and middle I found the end unrealistic, however I would recommend this book to anyone from7-12. Overall this was one of the best books I have ever read because it taught me a lot about ancient Chinese culture and some of their beautifultraditions, nine and a half out of ten.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and interesting 23 April 2007
An easily read, informative, young adult book, set in China early in the 20th century.

The description of Second Sister's unbound feet, 3 inches long, with the smaller toes wrapped under the foot, will be the image that stays with me from this book.

Ailin is lucky, her father senses change ahead and does not insist that her feet are bound like her older sisters - but is this lucky? As a result her marriage prospects are nil and her future is insecure.

Her ambition to become a teacher is also shattered when her father dies of tuberculosis.

But Ailin is a strong, determined character and she finds solutions of her own.

I agree with the previous reviewer that the last part of the book is a little far fetched, I also felt it was a bit rushed. Perhaps with a little more explanation it might have seemed a bit more believable.

In spite of this I would highly recommend this book, interesting both historically and culturally.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a brilliant book! 27 July 2008
A Kid's Review
This book is about a chinese girl who does not want to have her feet bound as is the old custom. The book made me take an interest in foreign countries history and customs. I liked the way the author blended the true cruelty of the custom with the fiction. I also liked the way the author told about the pain and did not try to pretend it did not hurt. I would reccomend it to girls aged 8 to 16. Also adults might enjoy it for the history.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wow, such amaze, many book. 24 Mar 2014
Ties that Bind, Ties that Break is a historical fiction set in 20th century China. Ailin, is the determined, headstrong protagonist in the novel, although she is only 7 years old when we first meet her. Even in her early years, she had been exposed to strong cultural and political change, making her rebel against the ancient tradition of foot binding, which many a child before her had been a victim of. The novel follows her life right up to her marriage.

I really enjoyed this book, as it opened my eyes to foreign cultures and history. It also explores issues that occur everyday even outside of China, for example, death, financial problems, peer pressure etc, etc.

I would recommend this book for everyone who has interest in other cultures. It's heart warming, eye-opening, and one that's sure to grab your attention.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 20 Mar 2011
By vk93
This book is simply written, but teaches us about the trials and tribulations that faced Chinese women for centuries before. It is set in modern day America, and is definitely worth reading.
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