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The Language of Threads

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  6,043 Ratings  ·  347 Reviews
Readers of Women of the Silk never forgot the moving, powerful story of Pei, brought to work in the silk house as a girl, grown into a quiet but determined young woman whose life is subject to cruel twists of fate, including the loss of her closest friend, Lin. Now we finally learn what happened to Pei, as she leaves the silk house for Hong Kong in the 1930s, arriving with ...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published (first published September 8th 1999)
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I liked Women of the Silk much more than The Language of Threads . Maybe it was because I missed the primary relationship and the struggle against a clearly identified power to this book which was more about Pei's struggle to gain independence in a new place while simultaneously caring for an orphan and then survive the onset of war. I was left wanting more depth in how the characters thought about the impending and then current conflict with the Japanese invaders. There was the beginning of som ...more
Rachel Brand
May 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: Karen Andersen Miller
Read in Germany, July 2009.

* enjoyed a lot more than the prequel - the plot was more fluid, the characters (especially Pei) were more realistic and better developed, and the writing was also better (although there was a typo on the back cover!). All signs that Tsukiyama's writing had improved immensley.
* I liked the ending of this book more - it seemed to be rounded up better than in the first book.
* still a lot of sadness - Mrs F. and the orphan girl. I understood that it was realistic
The Language of Threads is the sequel to Women of the Silk, which should be read first. The story refers to events that happened in the first book, so I plan to go back and read it. Gail Tsukiyama writes well, providing insight into the customs in China and the lives of Chinese women.

This is the story of a young Chinese girl, Pei, who leaves China and flees to Hong Kong after the invasion of Japan during the Second World War. She worked in a silk factory in a small Chinese town (the first story)
Deanna Drai Turner
I don't grant 5 stars very often. This book duo deserves it. The first book is "Women of the Silk" the second "The Language of Threads." As I first engaged in this adventure, I stepped off with trepidation. I wondered if it would be yet another story of the horrors of how the Chinese treat their women. Foot binding. Discarding female babies. Slave trade. Dog worth. Etc...I have read many of these stories in my day, and just wasn't sure my heart was in a place to endure more of that just now. And ...more
Jun 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in women's friendships, or Asian cultures
Last year I got the opportunity to hear Tsukiyama speak at a banquet for the Willamette Writers in Portland. She is half Japanese-American and half Chinese-American, and most of her books center around Japan or China. After hearing her speak, I read her first novel, "Women of the Silk" (about women who worked in the silk factories in China) and loved it. "The Language of Threads" picks up where "Women of the Silk" left off.

I can see that Tsukiyama's writing has only improved in the interval betw
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asian-books
I very much enjoyed this story of Pei and Ji Shen, two Chinese girls whose family's gave them up to work at a silk factory. When the Japanese invaded, Pei and Ji Shen barely escaped to Hong Kong with their lives, leaving behind all that they knew. When I read stories like this, my first gut reaction is to feel blessed that I have not had to experience such hardship winning a random lottery not of my making to have been born in the United States of Swedish/Polish heritage. My second most prominen ...more
May 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sequel to "Women of the Silk", where we keep following Pei's life. However, didn't find this as brilliant as the first one. Somehow the characters didn't get so clear in my mind and they made me feel as if they were broadly the same from the first book, but undercover of a different name! Regardless, found this very engaging and could keep on reading about Pei!

Probably for the benefit of readers who have not read the "Women of the Silk" some of its plot is explained in this book, but
Beth Streit
This was a sequel to an earlier book that I haven't read. I think I would have enjoyed it more had I read the first book. I have read a lot of historical fiction about WWII but not about the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong so that was an interesting perspective.
Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now we finally learn what happened to Pei, as she leaves the silk house for Hong Kong in the 1930s, arriving with a young orphan, Ji Shen, in her care. Her first job, in the home of a wealthy family, ends in disgrace, but soon Pei and Ji Shen find a new life in the home of Mrs. Finch, a British ex-patriate who welcomes them as the daughters she never had. Their idyllic life is interrupted, however, by war, and the Japanese occupation.

Pei, a character and a women you will not forget. Her life is
M.M. Strawberry Reviews
My only complaint is that this book wasn't published in one volume with 'Women of the Silk', because both books didn't really feel like separate tales. Rather, they felt more like two halves of one tale, especially because of the way 'Women of the Silk' ended and this one begun. Still, it was a lovely and poignant tale as Pei has to deal with the tumult of the Japanese invading China (this book starts in the late 1930's) and shows that even no matter how tenacious and determined some people are ...more
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Born to a Chinese mother and a Japanese father in San Francisco, Gail Tsukiyama now lives in El Cerrito, California. Her novels include Women of the Silk (1991), The Samurai's Garden (1995), Night of Many Dreams (1998), The Language of Threads (1999), Dreaming Water (2002), and The Street of a Thousand Blossoms (2007).
More about Gail Tsukiyama...
“The eyes mirror the heart of a person. An entire life can be seen through them. Love, sorrow, deceit, pain. If you look closely, it’s all there.” 22 likes
“In the end, it doesn’t matter what words are said or unsaid. . . .Life’s mistakes are made whether you can see them or not. What counts is how we learn to live with them.” 15 likes
More quotes…