Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Song of the Silk Road” as Want to Read:
Song of the Silk Road
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Song of the Silk Road

3.13  ·  Rating Details ·  486 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
In this richly imaginative novel, Mingmei Yip--author of Peach Blossom Pavilion and Petals From the Sky--follows one woman's daunting journey along China's fabled Silk Road.

As a girl growing up in Hong Kong, Lily Lin was captivated by photographs of the desert--its long, lonely vistas and shifting sand dunes. Now living in New York, Lily is struggling to finish her graduat
ebook, 368 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Song of the Silk Road, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Song of the Silk Road

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 25, 2011 Debbie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Where to begin? I grabbed this book at the Honolulu airport while in a very big rush to walk the thousand miles to our gate. I admit that I totally judged a book by its cover and thought about how I typically love all novels that involve some sort of Asian history. This book was, well, awful. And yet, I still made myself finish it even though I have decided (after making myself finish 'The Corrections') that I am a grownup, and as such, I don't have to complete books I don't want to! However, si ...more
Apr 24, 2011 Gmr rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adult readers
**WARNING: This title is not for younger readers despite the Fiction moniker.**
First off, the cover art. Can I just say that although the set up is simple, it's rather stunning. The shade of green used to color the overall picture and then the stunning pink/red of the flowers provide a wonderfully eye catching contrast. Moving within the cover, we find a journey indeed...

I loved the main characters inner monologue and narration of the scenes. She had an interesting way of viewing the world, both
Apr 16, 2011 Patty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have long been fascinated by China and her culture so this book was immediately interesting to me. I was looking forward to a tale of China's past merged with her future all tied in with a young woman's search for an aunt she did not know existed.

Lilly Lin is seemingly alone in the world. Her parents are dead and she is living in New York and trying to write a novel. Lilly is having an affair with a married man and working as a waitress in a Chinese restaurant when she receives a mysterious le
Aug 02, 2011 Natalie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asian-fiction
I normally love books about Chinese culture but this was honestly one of the worst books I have ever read in my life, and I'm writing this mainly to remind myself never to read anything by this author again. The plot was weak and unrealistic, as were the characters, and the ending was just ridiculous. That's several hours of my life I will never get back.
Wendy Hines
Jan 16, 2012 Wendy Hines rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Song of the Silk Road is a novel of finding who you are and all of the avenues open to you. Lily Lin, a writer and waitress, is shocked when a letter arrives stating the has inherited three million dollars, if she meets the stipulations. Lily finds this hard to believe, considering she had to scrape the money together to bury both of her parents and also because she has never heard of this aunt, Mindy Madison.

But eventually the lawyer tracks down Lily in person and she decides to try and meet t
Jul 25, 2011 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I enjoy reading about Chinese culture, this book was disappointing. The main character is Lily Lin who is in her late 20s. She received a letter from a lawyer stating that a long lost aunt wants to give her 3 million dollars if she travels to China along the Silk Road and complete some very odd tasks along the way. Once completed, she will get the money. I ended up not really liking Lily because I couldnt believe she would even do some of these tasks. The book to me was so far fetched ...more
Grace Morris
Sep 03, 2011 Grace Morris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this would be a great novel with some information about the Silk Road and China. Little did I know that it would be more like a Harlequin novel with a lot of sex thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately we were traveling and I had only this book to read or else I would have tossed it.
My recommendation: Give this book a wide pass unless you are looking for something with an unrealistic plot and a lot of fluff.
Madeleine McLaughlin
Totally a book of surprises, you never can figure out how this will end or wind down. Satisfying story about a girl who's Aunt she does not know asks her to go to China and complete a set of tasks on the Silk Road. Then she can receive three million dollars. It sounds like a greedy premise but the MC is so engaging that you'll find yourself rooting for her all the way. Ending a surprise.
May 20, 2016 Neri. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
At first, I thought that this book is going to be kind of amazing but I got disappointed along the way. It was actually pretty terrible.
Nanette Williamson
Tried, just too silly.
Tom LaVenture
Jun 11, 2012 Tom LaVenture rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Song of the Silk Road from Mingmei Yip
AAP staff writer

Mingmei Yip has a new novel coming out, Song of the Silk Road (Kensington Publishing, April 1, 2011), a spiritual, physical and emotional adventure of Chinese most remote desert region.
Lily, an unpublished professional writer working as a waitress in New York City, is alone in life, with both parents now passed away – the abusive father gone since childhood and the mother who sacrificed for her to leave Hong Kong for America
Susan Ash hanson
Dec 10, 2016 Susan Ash hanson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed it
Leah Lisee
Oct 15, 2016 Leah Lisee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book for the idea behind it. Enjoyed the journey and the quaint village Lily Lin stayed in, and the description of the scenery. I liked the ideas of yin and yang and qi. I felt like the conversations were very poor and Lily's interaction on her way to find out who Mindy Madison is, were short and stunted. More "meat" could have been given to the various interactions. I think that the concept for the book is a good one, just not very well executed for my particular liking.
Paige [eastIndies.]
While I enjoyed the cultural aspects of this story, the plot was very inconsistent at times and the protagonist, Lily Lin's, values were undeniably questionable.
When I began reading, I was immediately drawn into the book by Mingmei Yip's creative voice. Yip's writing style is mostly quite unique to me, with the only exception being that her language was sometimes redundant, with some of the same phrasing appearing quite often within a short amount of pages, or even paragraphs, in between the re
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
This review first appeared on my blog:

Meet Lily Lin, an aspiring novelist currently working as a waitress at Shun Lee Palace in Manhattan. She lost both of her parents when she was 28 years old. Her lover Chris Adams is her former creative writing professor, and he is also married with a son.

When she is 29, Lily receives a letter that she has a bequest of $3 million dollars from an aunt named Mindy Madison that she had never known existed, and dismisses i
Jun 09, 2011 Louise rated it it was amazing
Twenty-nine-year-old Lily Lin lives in New York and works at the Shun Lee Palace as a waitress and makes $25,000 dollars a year. She lives in a small, rent-controlled studio apartment only 3 blocks from work, had a married boyfriend, Chris Adams, and was happy with her life except for her maxed out credit cards and an unfinished novel she was writing.

A year before, Lily had buried both her parents. Her father died of liver cancer and her mother of a massive heart attack a few months after her fa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deborah Sloan
Apr 25, 2011 Deborah Sloan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was so intrigued and anxious to read Song of The Silk Road, mostly because of my interest in China's fabled Silk Road and all of the journeys made by merchants taking this sometimes deadly trek to buy or peddle their wares. I'm such a history nut! But I truly found myself really getting into the story line as I read more and more. Just what would you do if you had a chance at a fortune? Would you undertake a journey like this that could be filled with dangers or required you to do something a ...more
Apr 23, 2012 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: china
The plot of this book had a lot of potential--but it fell short of a good read in several ways. The premise that a penniless but talented writer is given the opportunity to gain a huge inhertance if she will accomplish the tasks set forth by an unknown relative. The tasks involve traveling to the mysterious far west of China to find and rescue ancient artifacts. Now that is interesting--but I was dissapointed in the book.

First, a travel book should ALWAYS have a map. Some illustrations of the pl
Kate L
Apr 05, 2011 Kate L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I honestly have no idea where to begin with this review, because I loved this book sooooooo much, I'm having trouble putting it into words. Anyone who knows me knows that if I can't find words, it's a big deal. I guess I'll just start with Mingmei Yip's literary voice. It is so difficult to describe, but she has an absolutely enchanting way of writing. I almost feel like I'm being lulled into a trance, a very rich and wonderful trance. Even when the action happening in the book is not super inte ...more
Keilani Ludlow
I would like to have rated higher, I think she's probably a good writer, but I just can't stomach the F-word used repeatedly or the sexual descriptions.

I read the first few chapters, turned off quickly by the F word and the affair between the main character and her married/father college professor. I thought that maybe once he was out of the picture (she leaves the country) then it would be ok, but after skimming through and finding a short masturbation comment and more F word, not to mention t
Nov 05, 2011 Rose rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The best thing about this book was the cover. I hate to write negative reviews because this is someone's work & their art & after all who am I to knock it? But we do write reviews here & I must be honest about my opinion. This book was awful. The writing was awkward & I found myself searching the inside cover to see if, hopefully, it had been translated from another language thus the bad writing. No such luck. The many metaphors were so awful I cringed every time, the dialogue wa ...more
Anne Doyle
Oct 13, 2013 Anne Doyle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
(Warning: Might be spoilers in here)I really wanted to enjoy this book by Mingmei Yip... It was superbly reviewed on the cover but I should have checked into the credentials of the reviewers... As an avid reader, it is only the second time this decade that I find it impossible to finish a book. I read les than half, I kept hoping it would get better but alas, it was not to be. The book promised a story of a young woman's quest across China fulfilling one of her lifelong ambitions in part, but re ...more
Kelsey Witt
I read this book because I was hoping to be immersed in the culture and history of the Silk Road. The synopsis suggested that the book had a slightly outlandish plot (travel the silk road and do specific things to earn 3 million dollars), but I was willing to give it a try. I'm pretty sure the author describes sex scenes more than she describes the silk road, and the characters were laughably unrealistic and the plot more absurd than I expected. The plot sort of jumps from point to point without ...more
I gave this book 3 stars because I was compelled to finish it. I took one away for the gratuitous and unimaginative sex scenes and another because I could not picture the story (characters and scenery) in my mind.
If the author had used her extra words on bringing the settings to life instead of the pathetic nature of the men in the story, I would have enjoyed it much more. (Alex is so needy and condescending I wanted to gag!)
The premise of the story really had promise for me and I was looking fo
Kathy Chung
Feb 29, 2016 Kathy Chung rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book is about Lily Lin. A Chinese girl in New York who is struggling to finish her degree and at the same time also a lover to her Professor.

out of the blue, she was offerred USD3.0M to go on a journey at the Silk Road . she was fascinated by the desert since she was young. Immediately she grabbed the offer and went on a bizarre journey where she had to seduce a monk, steal a piece of ancient artifact , climb up a mountain to get a herb and a few others.

what i like about this book is her
Kristi (Books and Needlepoint)
I don't think that I have read a book set in China before. I really liked the story line as it was peppered with descriptions of beautiful locations and much cultural history. It moved along pretty quickly, changing locales and "tasks" and keeping me interested in to where Lily would have to go next and who she might meet along the way. There were many colorful characters from monks to fortune tellers to other travelers.

After starting it, I was not readily invested in the character of Lily Lin.
Apr 21, 2011 Doret rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
29 Lily Lin lives in NYC. One day she is contacted by a lawyer on behalf of an unknown wealthy aunt. Lily will receive 3 million dollars if follows the same journey her aunt took down China's Silk Road. This started off very well. There was adventure and a bit of danger trying to pull off some of the aunts task. Though it was time to put this book down when Lily slept with her stalker. If a person is travelling and they run into the same person. The first time its a coincidence. The second time ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Monica Sheffo for

Lady Luck hasn't always smiled down on Lily Lin. At just 28, she has lost both of her parents and is working at a dead end job in a Chinese restaurant.

But that all changes when a letter from a mysterious distant relative names her as the sole heiress of a 3 million dollar fortune.

All she has to do is retrace the steps this relative took along the famed Silk Road and complete a series of tasks. So she packs up her life and leaves for an adventure that
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Moon Pearl
  • In the Land of the Living
  • Water Ghosts
  • The Ginseng Hunter
  • Sword
  • Along the River: A Chinese Cinderella Novel
  • Four Reigns
  • Inheritance
  • Luke And Jon
  • Leche
  • Home is a Roof Over a Pig: An American Family's Journey in China
  • The Three Daughters of Madame Liang
  • An Illicit Temptation (Tang Dynasty, #3.5)
  • A Different Sky
  • The Serpent's Children (Golden Mountain Chronicles, #1)
  • The Reeducation of Cherry Truong: A Novel
  • Sweet Mandarin
  • The View from Here
Mingmei Yip was born in China, received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris, Sorbonne, and held faculty appointments at the Chinese University and Baptist University in Hong Kong. She's published five books in Chinese, written several columns for seven major Hong Kong newspapers, and has appeared on over forty TV and radio programs in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and the U.S. She immigrat ...more
More about Mingmei Yip...

Share This Book