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

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  66 ratings  ·  10 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...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 19th 2002 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2001)
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Sierra
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...more
jane
Jul 10, 2014 jane marked it as to-read
My next book that was given to me to read!
David Marxer
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
Rhonda
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.
Colleen
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.
Kennedy
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 4 of 5 stars
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.
Rachel
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.
Sandy
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.
Fran
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.
Mark
I loved it.
Kellie Chapman
Kellie Chapman marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2014
Brenda Barlup
Brenda Barlup marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2014
Teri
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Jun 23, 2014
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May 04, 2014
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Apr 03, 2014
Jieh Jieh
Jieh Jieh marked it as to-read
Jan 19, 2014
Marilyn
Marilyn marked it as to-read
Dec 11, 2013
Melanie Wadlington
Melanie Wadlington marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2013
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