The Concubine's Daughter
An epic, heart-wrenching story of a mother and daughter’s journey to their destiny.
Lotus Feet. He would give his daughter the dainty feet of a courtesan. This would enhance her beauty and her price, making her future shine like a new coin. He smiled to himself, pouring fresh tea. And it would stop her from running away…
When the young concubine of an old farmer in rural...more
1. This book is supposedly historical fiction, but it doesn't have nearly enough history. This story could have taken place in almost any time during recent-ish Chinese history. I picked this up because I wanted to read about Hong Kong in the 1900s, but this story really didn't have much to do with that specific time period (WWII is only hinted at becoming a threat) -- or Hong Kong, for that matter. And the ending takes this book into fantasy territory, which i...more
I’ve read and loved books many historical fiction books about the East including The Joy Luck Club, Tai Pan, Shogun, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, etc. but this one failed to engage me from the start. The characters were flat caricatures. I never felt I was fully inside any one before we switched to a different person’s POV. The historical details seemed to be jammed into the story,...more
With that said, there are...more
I was excited about "The Concubine's Daughter" because the teaser write-up compared it to one of my favorite novels in recent memory, "Memoirs of a Geisha". Unfortunately, "The Concubine's Daughter" is not, in my opinion, anything like "Memoirs of a Geisha", and the best comparison I can offer is that it feels like a bare-bones, watered-down attempt at an Amy Tan novel.
"Memoirs of a Geisha", for all its faults, was populated by human beings, not carica...more
Anyway, I am very impressed by the quality of writing in this book. Pai Kit Fai has written a really spellbounding book, with detailed and beautiful (and sometimes ugly) descriptions of all the places and people, grand or dilapidated, beautiful or hideous, these three generations of strong women have b...more
The first part of the story, about Li Xia, the concubine's daughter, I very much enjoyed. I know that many of the characters lacked depth or were too black and white, but there were moments of nuance and insight that helped to progress the story and the development of the main character. I couldn't help cheering for her, feel...more
Overall, I thought the story of Li-Xia (daughter of concubine Pai-Ling)and interesting one. At times, it seemed too long and tedious. Her life with the mung-cha-cha, her "assigned' family while working on the silk farm for Ming-Chou flowed. The story seemed to bog down once she arrived at Sky House. I found...more
Reviewed on : 13 February 2011
I love the first part of this book very much. Li-Xia's plight was very real and vivid. I was really depressed to read of the cruelty of the people against her.
But the same cannot applies to the part of her daughter, Siu Sing. It seems so far fetch and like a scene out of those Hong Kong TVB Kungfu Drama where one go to learn martial arts up the mountains. As suddenly as she was whisked up the mo...more
I really enjoyed the writing and the descriptions of colors, sounds, and textures. The story itself was well written and kept my interest. There were peaks and valleys of emotions, which made the stories of the concubine, her daughter and granddaughter all the more dramatic and interesting. I did not like the character of Ruby and was put off by some of the scenes with her, they just seemed unlikely and sort of bordered on child abuse! But, hav...more
Differences were that a female character becomes a martial art expert on a spiritual level with the ability to kick ass, but of course she ends up in a woman's establishment before she can use this higher power to solve her problems. often fascinating and easy to read but because i sometimes had...more
Pai-Ling was an intelligent well-bred young lady who Yik-Munn was determined to "beat that foolishness out of her and change the insolent light in her eyes to one of gratitude and respect..."
The hatred of women in this culture is sadly sobering and the ease with which even an infa...more
Worst Chinese historical fiction, written by a white man Geoffry Morgan Pike. Can't expect much from this book, it starts by focusing a lot on Chinese culture and rituals jammed into a book and that all Chinese men are perverts/rapist. Not to mention that western men are angels from heaven, because they're so kind and wonderful.
The book is unrealistic, it doesn't fall into history context. The writing is fla...more
I actually decided to read this book rather than the others on my kindle because I loved the world of Eastern culture as shown in Memoirs o...more
Poignant and memorable, The Concubine’s Daughter is an epic tale that follows a mother and daughter through the early 1900s in traditional China. Li and Su Sing are headstrong heroines tossed into traumatic and undesirable circumstances, including being treated like (or worse than) cattle. In a time when men had numerous wives and wanted only sons, how will these two survive much less attain the literacy and education they crave?
This book is split acr...more
The Concubine's Daughter is beautifully and lyrically written. There are lots of details about what life was like for women in China during this era. I was really pulled into the setting and the surroundings by the author's wonderful descriptive voice.
Like others, my favorite part of this book was by far the description of life on the silk farm. Very detailed and, again, some beautiful imagry.
My problem with this book is that I had a difficult time feeling any connec...more
But in spite of good writing and some enjoyable descriptions, this book is not very believable.
I don’t believe t...more
The book started off well, by how a baby daughter would be killed for not being a son. That part made obvious sense for that time and so did Pai-ling's death.
But the story started getting more and more unrealistic by how Li-Xia seemed to always get out of complicated situations. She did thrive to make...more
Geoff Pike is a British-born, naturalized Australian writer.
Born in Tottenham Middlesex, he took an all-consuming interest in art and writing from the age of 3. His early years were spent in the German blitzkrieg of London and as an evacuee in the rural county of Essex. His letter to President Roosevelt thanking him for 'Bundles for Britain', was chosen f...more