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The Girl from Purple Mountain: Love, Honor, War, and One Family's Journey from China to America
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The Girl from Purple Mountain: Love, Honor, War, and One Family's Journey from China to America

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  86 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
A family memoir set against the shifting tides of twentieth-century China, The Girl from Purple Mountain begins with a mystery: the Chai family matriarch, Ruth Mei-en Tsao Chai, dies unexpectedly and her grieving husband discovers that she had secretly arranged to be buried alone—rather than in the shared plots they had purchased together years ago.

For many years, Ruth's f
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 19th 2002 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 171)
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Mar 20, 2011 Sierra rated it liked it
Mr. Sierra picked this up in Half-Price Books because of the opener: when the grandmother dies, the family discovers she had changed her burial plans to be buried alone, not in the plot she and her husband had bought. No one knows why. In response, the husband changes his plot to be outside the gates of the mausoleum where she is buried so that he can watch over her forever. That’s a pretty good opener.

The book unfortunately didn’t follow the lines of a fantastic story but instead was a wonderf
Feb 28, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
Pretty interesting, if a bit on the long side. Effective structure, though a tiny bit confusing.
Jul 10, 2014 jane marked it as to-read
My next book that was given to me to read!
David Marxer
Jan 31, 2011 David Marxer rated it really liked it
I enjoyed every aspect of this book---the history, the multi-generational family ties and even the duel narative. I was at first worried about the daughter and father writing the same book, but soon came to love it for the richness of each of their styles and the way they 'filled in the gaps' of the story the other couldn't or didn't wish to tell. From the turn of the 20th century China, to the Sino-Japanese War, to Taiwan, to America, to returning to China in the 1980s, they lead the reader on ...more
Jan 13, 2009 Rhonda rated it really liked it
Good book that truly makes you realize more than ever that ALL families have to deal with crazy relatives, not just mine! :)
Beautifully told by the son and granddaughter of 'the girl from purple mountain', which is confusing at first, but neat by the end. A little too much history at times for me, but I tire easily in that area. It will stay in my memory, as some books just do.
Aug 01, 2008 Colleen rated it liked it
My first non-fiction novel in a long time. It was an interesting story of a highly educated family in china who struggled through the Japanese occupation and many warlord changes and eventually emigrated to the US. It was told by both the daughter and the father's persectives - which added a depth to the story that I appricated.
Jul 14, 2008 Kennedy rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is the story of a family moving from China to the US. It covers a great deal of Chinese history in the early 20th century while telling it in the context how history affects a family. W. Chai is funny and honest. This was a really interesting read.
Sarah Lin
Apr 08, 2007 Sarah Lin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Chinese Americans, anyone
Written by a daughter and father team about their different perspectives on their grandmother/mother who survived the Cultural Revolution and came to America. Writing is clear, beautiful, particularly the chapters by Winberg Chai.
Mar 31, 2008 Rachel rated it liked it
This was a fun way to learn more about China's recent history. I realized that this is a large gap in my education. I learned a lot China's transformation over the past century. It's an easy read.
Sep 01, 2011 Sandy rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Written by a father and daughter in their two different viewpoints. Learned a lot about the history of China and their life as a multicultural family.
Nov 09, 2011 Fran rated it really liked it
Shelves: china, biography
I found this story really fascinating. One of the more interesting biographical books I have read set in a particularly tumultuous time in Chinese history.
Oct 16, 2015 Bindee rated it really liked it
Loved it. great story told from different generations. gives an appreciation of what the Chinese people have had to endure
Jan 30, 2011 Mark rated it it was amazing
I loved it.
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