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Of Nightingales That Weep
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Of Nightingales That Weep

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  560 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
The daughter of a samurai never weeps. But Takiko, whose warrior father was killed in battle, finds this a hard rule, especially when her mother remarries a strange and ugly country potter. To get away from her miserable home, Takiko eagerly accepts a position at the imperial Japanese court. There, her beauty and nightingale voice captivate the handsome young warrior, Hide ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 7th 1989 by HarperCollins (first published 1974)
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(showing 1-30 of 992)
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May 30, 2014 Ash rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 16, 2012 Savvy rated it it was ok
Shelves: japan
I understand that this book was written in YA's infancy, when it did not know if it wanted to be a more advanced children's section, or a watered down adult section: so this little novella flickers schizophreniacally between both. At times the the descriptions and dialogue will border on juvenile, while at other times it presents ideas and concepts that are even hard for adults like rape and suicide and child murder.

The main character while at times likable in her determination, is usually bland
Mar 13, 2009 Karen rated it liked it
I don't really know what to make of this book. It's a historical fiction that is set in 12th century feudal Japan and is written by someone who I thought of as a children's author (same author as Bridge To Terabithia). I liked the first half a lot. At some point I got disillusioned with the plot around the shallow love story and was about to dismiss the book as immature when BAM the book took a whole new direction that I definitely did not see coming. I can't really say that the ending left me f ...more
Angie Fehl
Dec 06, 2015 Angie Fehl rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Of Nightingales That Weep takes place in feudal Japan, specifically the era of the Genpei War (1180-1185). In this story, Takiko, age 11, suffers the loss of her samurai father. Takiko's mother, discovering that there is little money left to her to live off of, sees little option but to quickly remarry, which she does. Takiko finds she is forced to accept Goro, a local potter, as her new stepfather. Goro does his best to win over Takiko, but well, when your biological father was a freak
Sep 03, 2014 Tristan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Surprise, surprise, this wasn't as good as Bridge to Terabithia, but it was extremely good. I thought it was a fascinating picture of Old Japan, and it certainly seemed to be well rooted in history (not that I am a scholar of twelfth century Japan). I thought Takiko was intriguing and understandable; she behaved as one would believe she would, trying hard to live up to the code of the samurai, but also being a young woman who thinks and feels like the adolescent she is. I thought the story devel ...more
Jun 03, 2014 Veronica rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Crawford
Jan 29, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it
The vast majority of this book was interesting. Takiko is a young girl that grows up in the novel. She has a great ability playing the koto, a stringed musical instrument. The book follows her life through the various political dangers and problems she encounters. The events are during the feudal period of Japan where various clans could go to war at any time, and the wars were very, very brutal.

She's with one clan that is the target of another and she has to flee, relocate, flee again, relocat
Feb 27, 2009 Leslea rated it it was amazing
A very deep and moving story about how hardship and circumstances can turn a thing of beauty into something raw--and then into something of beauty once again, in a different aspect.

Also taught me a lot about feudal Japan.

A hard sell for an elem. school kid!
Jun 11, 2010 Justin rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-420
This historical fiction is set in medieval Japan during one of the biggest civil wars in Japanese history. There are two different clans warring for power and control of Japan. Takiko, a young 11 year old girl, is the daughter of a samurai warrior who is revered for his bravery and honor. But when her father is killed in battle, Takiko's mother needs to remarry, and her choice does not please Takiko. Takiko's mother marries a simple man who makes pottery at this home kiln. Takiko moves in with t ...more
May 18, 2013 Gale rated it liked it
Shelves: asian-setting

Twelfth century Japan proved a dangerous time for people--from peasants in the rice paddies, and potters at their wheel, to members of the Imperial court. More of an adult novel than a typical YA book despite its adolescent heroine, this tale of a samurai's daughter with her emotional and spiritual coming of age is a well-woven tapestry of love, feuds, betrayal and family loyalty. Both the Genji and their mortal enemies, the Heike clan, ravage the island country in t
Megan Nolf
Mar 07, 2012 Megan Nolf rated it liked it
I thought that the more I read this book the better it got. At the beginning I didn't really like the book. I don't think I liked it that much because the words were hard to understand. But the end of the book was very interesting. This book is about a girl who goes though many changes in her young life. So much twisting and turning goes on in her life. She goes from being a daughter of a Sameri to having a step dad that is a potter. She falls in love with a man who likes her for her looks and n ...more
May 12, 2014 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I like to go back and read award books from earlier decades. There are some great, forgotten treasures that are worth reading again or for the first time. This is a solid story worth reading together with a child, probably upper elementary and up. The different names get confusing, but really, it just isn't that important to the greater story of love and redemption.
Erin S.
Mar 08, 2012 Erin S. rated it liked it
This book is about a Japanese girl who lives in 12th century Japan. Her father was a samurai who died. Life changed for her dramtically. Her luxuries were taken away. Throughout the book she changes as well. She falls in love. She falls out of love. Music becomes a very important thing her life. All these new experiences in the "real world" helped develope her. The book also has a surprising twist that might catch you off guard.

I liked this book but it wasnt as great as i thought it would be. It
Amber the Human
Mar 25, 2014 Amber the Human rated it really liked it
Amazing. So good. I really love this author. This was only her second book, and it's so well written and tugs at your heart strings and you're right there, every step of the way with this girl. You understand her choices, even when she doesn't. SO GOOD!
Dec 28, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sarah
Fascinating but oh-so-tragic story about the beautiful daughter of a revered samurai warrior in 12th century feudal Japan who, due to her beauty and exquisite singing voice, is caught up in the intrigues of imperial court life.
Nov 23, 2014 Chelsea rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 22, 2014 Elzbeth rated it liked it
This wasn't either good or bad, it was just alright. I liked it well enough until the end when she married her step-dad. And I get it, that wasn't seen as odd back then and there, but that one part certainly took away from the entire book for me.
John Miller
Sep 09, 2013 John Miller rated it really liked it
An unheralded work by Katherine Paterson that is a well-done historical fiction that seeks to understand a coming of age story of a samurai's adolescent daughter as she experiences the changing attitudes of differing classes and factions of people within Japan as it grows through simultaneous pains of change.
Often overlooked as a children's book, but the themes are more related to a young adult coming to terms with love and relationship. A fine snapshot into the period of Japanese history in wh
Chelsea C
Mar 07, 2012 Chelsea C rated it liked it
The story was not all that bad. It isnt something I would usually read though. It was kind of confusing to read because she was constantly changing. Meaning that she was never with the same people, she was constantly with someone different. I do not know how it feels to lose a parent, but for her mom to be pushing someone different on her right away that would be hard at least for me. The book didnt really interest me until like the end of the story. It was not the best ending that could of hap ...more
May 17, 2014 Alessandra rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I read this book in middle school, but the writing and description was so good that I still remember certain pieces of it! It'd be great to read it again.
Dec 29, 2015 Iris added it
Shelves: for-school
Required reading for seventh grade in my school district. Make of that what you will.
Jan 05, 2016 Aubrey rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite books as a young girl, I wore my copy out.
Morgan Sohl
Oct 22, 2014 Morgan Sohl rated it it was amazing
amazing book one of my favorites from childhood
Jul 21, 2014 Cathryn rated it did not like it
This is the most boring book and it has the STUPIDEST ending!!!
Ew. Ew. Ew.
Nov 26, 2010 Marsha rated it it was ok
I might have like this more if it wasn't in the children's section in our library. It was definitely, in my opinion, too disturbing with too many innuendos for kids. Like "Memoirs of a Geisha" (which I loved) but geared to kids?! Takes place in 11th century Japan, and I am sure that all the awful stuff really did happen--women and girls treated like possessions, concubines, rape, young girls marrying their stepfathers--but for some reason I was just yucked out by it in a children's book.
Rebekah Hammond
Mar 07, 2012 Rebekah Hammond rated it it was ok
I would recomend this book for people who like Japanese caulture. Because their is a lot of things that has to do with Japan. This boook was not one of my favorites because i really enjoy reading romance and scarry books. Alough the book does have some romance the ending is not very good. I think this book deservs a better ending.But i guess it wasn't a total waist of time to read. So if you like reading about Japanese Caulture then i recomend this book for you.
Paterson recounts the story of Takiko, the daughter of a samurai, who lived in Japan during a war between clans in 1180. Paterson describes the lifestyles of the three major classes of people: merchants, peasants and nobility.

The story engages the reader and the descriptions reveal a world of beauty and hardship.

The issues and political situation are complicated and require a more experienced reader—even high school would perhaps be best.
Feb 08, 2016 Megan rated it liked it
Lots of things about the story and period were interesting, but things go south toward the end and get weird
Abby Cashen
Sep 12, 2015 Abby Cashen rated it it was ok was a book...

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From author's website:

People are always asking me questions I don't have answers for. One is, "When did you first know that you wanted to become a writer?" The fact is that I never wanted to be a writer, at least not when I was a child, or even a young woman. Today I want very much to be a writer. But when I was ten, I wanted to be either a movie star or a missionary. When I was twenty, I wanted t
More about Katherine Paterson...

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“I have been mocked by beauty, too. But
it was the beauty which cost me nothing
that in the end turned upon me.”
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