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

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  2,229 Ratings  ·  128 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

Paperback, 480 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Harper Perennial (first published 1981)
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Eskana Well, there's always Amazon. I found it at a used book sale- there were several copies.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jun 17, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it liked it
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
Bodosika Bodosika
Jan 21, 2017 Bodosika Bodosika rated it liked it
Shelves: china
Spring Moon is a novel about the history of China and Chinese cultural revolution from an empire to a communist state.
Spring Moon is a novel about the house of Chang in Soochow and the house of Woo,in Peking.
Spring Moon is a novel about a young girl called Spring Moon and the house of Chang.
Apart from the difficulties I had with some of the names like 'Bold Talent',Noble Promise Fragrant Snow, Lotus Delight, Glad Promise and the initial confusion I had about the Chinese hour,day and year like 't
Dec 12, 2008 Ronda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 22, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 11, 2014 Michelle rated it liked it
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
M Strawberry Reviews
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
Sep 09, 2008 Jodi rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dawn (& Ron)
May 12, 2011 Dawn (& Ron) rated it really liked it
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
Sep 30, 2014 Nick rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 22, 2007 Irishcoda rated it liked it
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, particula ...more
Jul 22, 2007 Emma rated it liked it
Shelves: quest-into-china
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
Tammy Downing
Sep 30, 2013 Tammy Downing rated it it was amazing
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!
Jun 25, 2016 Cholera rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: litterature
Stopped at page 131. Couldn't read any more. I thought it boring and badly written. So much chinese stories and even the main character is annoying ! Give me Pearl Buck and "Pavilion of women" any day !
Je n'ai pas dépassé la page 131, je m'ennuyais trop. J'ai lu de très bonnes histoires situées en Chine, l'auteur est très loin d'y arriver. Le fait que le personnage principal soit antipathique... Je préfère de loin Pearl Buck et "Pavillon de femmes".
Jan 31, 2008 Kathryn rated it really liked it
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.
Mom (Melanie)
Feb 03, 2008 Mom (Melanie) rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 27, 2007 Morgen rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 22, 2013 Anne rated it it was amazing
Something I was reading tonight reminded me of this book. I read it at least 20 or more years ago and remembered loving it. Much later, I read Amy Tan's " The Kitchen God's Wife" and "The Joy Luck Club". I loved all of these books; they are really excellent.
Trixie Fontaine
Feb 05, 2013 Trixie Fontaine rated it it was amazing
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.
I have the 1983 edition by Sphere books. brought home to re-read sometime.
Bill Meehan
Note to millennials out there touting Bernie Sanders policies, shutting down free speech by those you oppose, and reveling in the propaganda released daily by the free press. What all this does is greatly increase the power of government, an in the case of communism, which policies supported by Sanders and the like would bring in, establishes a very tiny, powerful, and extremely wealthy elite, while everyone else is powerless and poor.

Spring Moon's daughter in the book, Lustrous Jade, who dev
Jun 01, 2016 Graziano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: verona-library
Per chi vuole conoscere la storia recente della Cina (ultimo secolo) da un altro punto di vista - ma non si racconta solo di quello ...
Pero’ i gigli d’oro per le donne e il codino per gli uomini avrebbero preso, in ogni caso, il sentiero che conduce oltre le sorgenti gialle...

La traduzione / spiegazione di alcuni termini sarebbe stata utile (senza dover ricorrere obbligatoriamente a wiki-monopolio-pedia).

Alcuni brani:

Il respiro di Pan Ko divenne i venti e le nuvole, la sua voce il rombo del tuon
Lauren M
Feb 24, 2017 Lauren M rated it really liked it
Heart breaking. Ambitious. Satisfying. A peek into a long span of China's history. The love story was a little distracting.
Dec 02, 2016 Robyn rated it it was amazing
I read Spring Moon despite my antipathy to Chinese culture. I am not racist, but the culture, as I understand it, is incomprehensible and alarming to me. Given that 99% of such books I've read were written by Asian women, I know I'm not being mislead by western propaganda.

Books based on Asian culture distress me more than any other kinds of books I've read. The treatment of women leaves me feeling so exposed & vulnerable. I'm not sure why I react this way. Perhaps it is because there is suc
Oct 10, 2015 Eskana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
HAving studied modern Chinese history, I recognized a lot of the events, struggles, and themes in this book. China had a heck of a time modernizing... and actually it never really got that much better, what with the cultural revolution and all. However, I feel like anyone teen and above could pick up this book and comfortably settle into what was going on- it's not one of those that you need to know what was happening at the time before you can start reading.

"Spring Moon" tells the story of Spri
Carole Rae
Sep 14, 2011 Carole Rae rated it it was ok
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 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
Aug 29, 2010 Marla rated it liked it
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
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
This book reminded me of all the historical fiction that I read in high school. My high school librarian didn't have much YA, so I read a lot of Victoria Holt, John Jakes, and other romantic historical fiction.

This author was born in Shanghai in 1938 and, if it weren't for that, I would have concerns about this title. I loved the Chinese myths and legends that were included at the beginning of each chapter, but the life of the rich Changs seemed unbelievable at times. So odd to think they were l
Sara G
Jul 04, 2016 Sara G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of a Chinese family, spanning about 100 years from the late 1800s to Nixon and Kissinger reopening US relations with China. Our focal character, Spring Moon, is the daughter of a wealthy family, complete with bound feet and an arranged marriage. She's a strong lady and definitely lives through some tough times. The book basically shows how the tumultuous history of those years impacts her and her family. It is pretty interesting, but I think the author attempts to cram too much ...more
Mar 28, 2011 Melanie rated it it was ok
Shelves: borrowed
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
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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
More about Bette Bao Lord...

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“The Hanlin named his granddaughter Lustrous Jade, for jade was the fairest of stones and possessed five virtues: charity, for its lustre; rectitude, for its translucence; wisdom, for its purity of sound when struck; equity, for its sharp edges that injure none; courage, for it can be broken but not bent.” 0 likes
“Remember that we are not gods who can fashion events to our desires. We are mere mortals who must learn not to contend with life but to yield to it.” 0 likes
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