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Spring Moon: A Novel of China
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Spring Moon: A Novel of China

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,576 ratings  ·  99 reviews
At a time of mystery and cruelty ... in an ancient land of breathtaking beauty and exotic surprise ... a courageous woman triumphs over her world's ultimate tragedy.

Behind the garden walls of the House of Chang, pampered daughter Spring Moon is born into luxury and privilege. But the tempests of change sweep her into a new world -- one of hardship, turmoil, and heartbreak,
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Paperback, 480 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Harper Perennial (first published 1981)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jun 17, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those Interested in Chinese History and Culture
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
I've recently read three novels set in China from a list of recommended historical fiction: Min's Empress Orchid, See's Snowflower and the Secret Fan, and Bao's Spring Moon. All three are written by Chinese-American women about female Chinese protagonists born in the late Ch'ing Manchu Dynasty--the times of the Opium Wars, the Taiping Rebellion and in the case of this novel, Spring Moon, taking us to the ending of that dynasty to the Communist Revolution. The three books paint a rather consisten ...more
Sara
Spring Moon was a powerful book. It has been almost a decade since I read it and some passages I have never forgotten. The book follows the life of a young girl who is born into a wealthy family in Imperialist China and has her feet bound and ends with her life under the communists when she is an old lady. There is drama and heartache and rare moments of happiness. There are difficult decisions that must be lived with. I learned quite a bit about China reading this book and have never forgotten ...more
Ronda
This book was required reading in my 10th grade combined studies (English/History) class (though it could have been 11th or 12th grade--don't remember for sure). What's really wild about this book is that, 20 years after I read it, when someone asked me about historical fiction, it's one of the first titles that popped into my head. For someone interested in finding out more about growing up in another culture in another time, or in Chinese history or women's history--this book has it all.
Michelle
A promising novel that tells the story of the House of Chang from the 1890's till the early 70's but that doesn't seem to fulfill its promise. It seems that Bette Lord tried too hard to fit this family's life into the history of China and although all the incidents are interesting, they don't seem to develop as deeply as I had expected them to. She wanted each of her characters to play an important role in the shaping of China's history but it didn't all ring true - it seemed somewhat contrived ...more
Toni Mckain
One of the Masterpieces in historical fiction of an unjust Dynasty, culture and change. Spring Moon was so well written, I read it twice. Kept it to my self for weeks, because I wanted to digest it without a lot of questions and debates (1982). I don't know what happened to the gifted author, Bette Bao Lord, this is the only book that she wrote I am aware of.
* Update, Bette Bao Lord wrote a book titled Legacies: A Chinese Mosaic, around 1989.

Spring Moon is the story of a young Asian girl who gr
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Dawn (& Ron)
Aug 07, 2012 Dawn (& Ron) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: China, Asian historical fiction readers
Rating Clarification 4-1/2 stars.

I remember this being a sweeping read, which left me with that feeling of having been on a grand journey. Starting in the late 19th century, the reader follows a pampered daughter of Imperial China, Spring Moon, through the sweeping changes of China in the 20th century, and those of her personal life, covering almost 100 years and multiple generations. Despite its big scope, it is the small things that left the biggest impressions.

I read the republished 2004 edi
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Jodi
Dec 21, 2008 Jodi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Irishcoda
I enjoyed the first part of this book very much. From the title, I assumed the main character would be Spring Moon and that the story would be told from her point of view. I read somewhere that it's been compared to Gone With The Wind but I have to disagree--except to say that it concerns a family torn apart by civil war. Other characters were introduced into the story and subsequent chapters would go between Spring Moon's point of view and some of the others. I found it distracting, particular ...more
Delicious Strawberry
When Spring Moon was little, it was foretold that she would live to see five generations, and her life unfolds in this story. The family is typical Han Chinese - footbinding and all. The story ends in the late 19th century when the Qing Dynasty still ruled China (but barely) and moves on through the years as the dynasty is abolished and China goes through its revolutionary upheaval. Spring Moon was so sheltered at first, pampered and cared for, and then she goes through all these changes in her ...more
Emma
Someone else on Good Reads who read this book said that it is a borderline romance novel, but she still throughly enjoyed it. I have to agree. It does have substance, however, as a work of historical fiction. In the late 1800s many people in China were struggling with the introduction of foreign ideas into China. It is the beginning of a divide that will have much greater implications. Through this novel we see this unfold in the lives of three generations of a wealthy family. I think it is loos ...more
Nick
When I told my wife I was giving up on Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, she looked at the cover and asked me why I even started reading it. Looking back, I think I was vaguely remembering another novel I'd read as a teenager, and thanks to Amazon, two days later I had that very same novel in my hands. Spring Moon is everything Snow Flower isn't - authentic, readable, gripping, full of real characters I found myself rooting for.
The book follows our heroine from her childhood through her life as C
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Tammy Downing
Nov 07, 2013 Tammy Downing rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes history woven into a story
I really enjoyed reading about the ups and downs of the Chang family dynasty as the years went through WWI, the Communist takeover and then the visit of Henry Kissinger and his entourage including one of the Chang family members. Spring Moon is the central character and she has a very interesting life. I have had this book since 1981 and finally got around to reading it. I'm sorry I waited so long!
Kathryn
I read this a long, long time ago and still remember it as a wonderful true story. Bette Bao Lord is China-born and ended up marrying an American diplomat and moving back to China (I hope I've got it right...) and this is her very well told story.
Again, I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in China.
Morgen
Jul 28, 2007 Morgen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone looking for good historical fiction with a side of trashy romance
I learned a lot about China. Betty Bao Lord has an incredible way with words. The way she writes women is fantastic. Her women, while they are not what we generally believe to be strong, have enormous strength and inner spirit. I was in love with this story after the first page.
Mom (Melanie)
I loved this book which spans different generations of a family in China before, during and after the Maoist revolution. Very interesting background on the culture, especially as it pertained to women.
Lisa
Simple editing decisions would have made this a solid 4-star rating to me. The 100-year history of China told following five generations of a family was ambitious but I think the author did it well. I learned a lot about the class system and how it changed over time. I learned more about China's history and the interactions with international affairs. But it was way too much work to follow characters and to figure out the timeframe. I'm ok with working hard with a book. But this was unnecessaril ...more
Trixie Fontaine
I think I was still a teenager when I read this . . . don't remember a ton about it except that I really enjoyed it / it was a total pageturner.
Velvetink
I have the 1983 edition by Sphere books. brought home to re-read sometime.
Carole Rae
This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for a LONG time. Nearly four years now...*bows head in shame* Finally I decided it was time to take this from my bookshelf and read it.

It took me a while to finish this, but there was so much going on, my poor brain needed a rest. I will also admit at some spots it was rather dry. So yeah...it did take me some time to get through it. There was a lot going on and China went through many changes over such short amounts of time. It was a lot to take it, b
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Marla
I thought I wrote a review on this already, but I guess not. Anyway, I picked this 'cause I was in the mood for historical fiction (as I am frequently) and Chinese history is something I knew next to nothing about. From a historical point of view, I found the story line of the family culture VERY interesting. The book goes back and forth between the fictional, family story line and the historical facts of Chinese politics during the lifespan of the main character (Spring Moon). Politics, though ...more
Jeanne Mixon
I'm not sure if this is book is a guilty pleasure that you really enjoy but don't admit to anyone you really enjoyed it or not, but I really liked it. I liked all of the quotations from famous Chinese philosophers and poets. I liked the way the story was woven around Chinese history. I liked all the cultural details about how people lived their lives before all of the revolutions. So a guilty pleasure book with a lot of Chinese history woven through it.
Maya
In theory, I should have loved this novel - set in a fascinating place during tumultuous times, with some strong female characters, and a theme of seeking balance between preservation of worthwhile tradition and adaptation to worthwhile modernity . In practice I struggled with connecting to any of the characters. Partly, maybe, because of the extreme class-consciousness (expressed, for example, in privileged individuals being called names like Fragtant Snow and Lustrous Jade, while servants have ...more
Arya
While this book is not completely horrid, the slow progression and lack of focus made me slowly dislike it. The summary says that it tells the story of a Chinese girl named Spring Moon, born in a rich family living in Soochow province, amidst the traditional Chinese culture of showing respect for their elders, bonding their feet (practice they called "golden lilies"), not choosing whom they married. And yes, Spring Moon's life spams form the traditional Chinese life until the Chinese Revolution ...more
Bonnie
This is a very interesting novel covering the period of time from 1892 till the 1970's in China. It follows the life of one girl as she grows up, marries and experiences the tumultuous events that occurred in that country. The author manages to give us a peek at the different idealogies and cultural norms that clashed and evolved into present day Chinese society. That sounds like a lot, but she does it skillfully, as a good story teller does.
Joanna
My dad gave this book to me when I was a teen. I read it then and loved it. Just re-read it and still loved it. A beautiful, interesting book. During this second reading, I learned that Disney heroine and major inspiration of mine and Genevieve's, Mulan (Mu Lan), is based on a true Chinese heroine, perhaps mythological, but her story is a part of the collective psyche. I love that!
Margam
This was a fascinating look at the history and culture of 20th century China during the nine decades of the title character's life. Bette Bao Lord takes sweeping historical events and relates how they impact one family in an intimate, personal way.
Megan Rebekah
Great read. Is both intriguing, horrifying, and engaging.
Amy Young
Pleasurable read for a business trip -- follows a family in China from the 1890s to 1980. Engaging story, the only thing that drove me NUTS is that instead of using pinyin (the Romanization system that is now commonly used) and instead used the Wade Giles system so I was never totally sure on historical names and places. One of the school officials I was visiting in Tibet saw me reading it and wanted to read it as well ... so my copy has been mailed to her and who knows where it will land next! ...more
Falina
I knew very little about Chinese history before I read this book, and it was definitely more enjoyable than reading a history text. However, "A Chinese Gone with the Wind" it ain't. Gone with the Wind, while devastating, was also uplifting because of the attitude of Scarlett and Rhett, and because of their love for each other. Spring Moon I found mostly just devastating. No optimism, just resignation. I understand that from a historical perspective, but it was still a little exhausting.
Monique
I liked learning about the history of China in the historical fiction format. It was hard for me to keep straight all the different Chinese names though and I got lost a few times trying to keep it straight. Overall I liked it.
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Bette Bao Lord is a Chinese American writer and civic activist for human rights and democracy.

With her mother and father, Dora and Sandys Bao, she came to the United States at the age of eight when her father, a British-trained engineer, was sent there in 1946 by the Chinese government to purchase equipment. In 1949 Bette Bao Lord and her family were stranded in the United States when Mao Zedong
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More about Bette Bao Lord...
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson Legacies: A Chinese Mosaic The Middle Heart Eighth Moon: True Story of a Young Girl's Life in Communist China The Chinese American Family Album

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