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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Honest
Liang grew up in China during the repressive Cultural Revolution and spent years in a labour camp when her parents were exiled from the city. Her childhood experience helps to explain her utmost desire for truth and freedom. Lake With No Name tells a story of a young woman’s journey of love and loss, when her country was embroiled in the biggest political conflict...
Published on 8 July 2003 by kate_mallone

3.0 out of 5 stars Lake with no name
I ordered this after seeing the author interviewed by Michael Peschardt. I enjoyed the book and found it moving. However her style is not particularly good; I think it is obvious that English is not her first language. I do not think I shall be reading any of her novels.
Published on 7 Sep 2009 by Ms. V. J. Walker

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sidestepping one of the important events of Chinese history, 21 April 2009
I was interested in this book because novels about the Tiananmen Massacre are a rarity and I had read that Diane Wei Liang had been the room mate of Tiananmen student leader Chai Ling and must have had an unparalleled insight into the student movement and a front-row seat on the unfolding events.

While I loved the story of the author's life in the labour camp during the cultural revolution, and was mildly interested in her romance with Dong Yi, the Tiananmen part of the book and her relationship with the western journalist was frankly disappointing. The build up to the student demonstrations at the Beijing University campus was gripping and but on the very day tanks roll into Tiananmen Square the author is not in Beijing at all and we hear about events only through her interaction with her journalist boyfriend who has taken a break from covering the story and come to meet her. He has to rush back to Beijing leaving her behind and she does not actually witness one of the most important events of the narrative. For me, it was a real let down.

The author also fails to provide real insight in to student leaders Chai Ling and Feng Congde and the way they think. The narrative seems more intent on telling the basic story as it was unfolding (which anyone could have read in the newspapers of the time) and did not try to give us a more informed picture of the students' thinking and motives.
This could have been such an important and enlightening book on those important events but it as if the author is not yet ready to tell the tale head-on with honesty and insight. It is an opportunity missed.
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The Lake with No Name: A True Story of Love and Conflict in Modern China
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