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Trials of Life

(Journey to the West #2)

by
4.38  ·  Rating details ·  21 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
This thought-provoking novel is the sequel to The Same Moon, as we continue to follow Pearl in her education and cultural adaptation to the UK, with snapshots of her memories of China. It is about transition, from East to West. It deals with clashes of culture, sexual harassment, bullying and falling in love. The story is told in the voices of different characters, paintin ...more
ebook, 444 pages
Published April 24th 2011
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Vanessa Wu
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I spent a good while reading this book and returned to it many times to re-read passages and think about what I'd read. It stirred up many emotions because the situations were very authentic and reminded me a lot of my own life.

Although it's a novel and the events are fictionalised, it has the feel of a documentary. There is a fly-on-the-wall realism about it, giving us slices of the characters' lives. As the title suggests, these lives do not run smoothly. There are upsets and problems.

Confli
...more
Katy
Jun 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who enjoy reading about people who overcome and rise above adversity
Recommended to Katy by: Junying Kirk
Shelves: ebook, i-edited
Please Note: I originally read this book in exchange for an honest review after receiving a copy from the author. I later edited this book for the author. I do not receive any remuneration based on sales. All thoughts and opinions are my own. My review is based upon the original edition of the book, prior to having been edited by me.

About the Book: “Trials of Life” is the second book in the Journey to the West trilogy by author Junyung Kirk. Like the first book – The Same Moon – this is not the
...more
Junying
May 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Although this is my second in my Journey to the West trilogy, it was the first book I completed, following a very traumatic and harrowing experience which ended up in an Employment Tribunal. Writing about it helped me to deal with what has happened and its lasting impact on me psychologically and professionally.

Bullying and sexual harassment happen every day and in ever corner of the earth, but not everyone would report it or confront it, the way Pearl Zhang did in the story. It takes courage t
...more
Tabitha Ormiston-Smith
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Anatomy of an Harassment Claim

This wonderful book dissects and lays bare the entire course of an harassment claim, from the events leading to the claim through the hearing and its aftermath. A beautifully crafted work, the book tells the story from a series of changing viewpoints of the many people involved.
Vered
Nov 03, 2011 rated it liked it
‘Trials of Life’ picks up sometime after ‘The Same Moon’ ends. We find that Pearl has established herself in the UK, and is happily married. Then she reads a news article about the death of Dr Richard Appleton, and her thoughts are flung into turmoil. She begins to reflect on the difficulties she went through to get where she currently is; some of them are pretty intense and include Richard.

This novel is a bit different from ‘The Same Moon’, which provides fascinating insights into China of the
...more
Bluejay44
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
"This thought-provoking novel is the sequel to The Same Moon, as we continue to follow Pearl in her education and cultural adaptation to the UK, with snapshots of her memories of China. It is about transition, from East to West. It deals with clashes of culture, sexual harassment, bullying and falling in love. The story is told in the voices of different characters, painting a full picture of events. "

An interesting read on several levels. To see not only a different cultural outlook, but to se
...more
John Kirk
May 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
An involving read. It deals with some tough issues like adaptation to a new culture, bullying and more positively with love. Well worth your attention.
Matt Posner
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trials of Life is Junying Kirk's second novel, and is both like and unlike her first. Like The Same Moon, this work features the troubled life and growth of Zhang Zhenzhu, known to us as Pearl, a scholarly Chinese woman who grew up in the first novel and is now a professional in crisis. Unlike The Same Moon, Trials of Life changes viewpoint frequently. We also experience the perspectives of Pearl's boyfriend/husband, Andrew Church; of the book's villain, the loathsome Dick Appleton, who gets a l ...more
John Dolan
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Trials of Life' is the second book in the 'Journey to the West' trilogy, and having very much enjoyed the first book, I was looking forward to reading it.

Ms. Kirk's eye for detail in chronicling the differences between East and West remains as sharp as ever, and we are given further insight into her protagonist, Pearl, as she tries to make the UK her home. The author skilfully creates one of the most obnoxious and memorable villains I have encountered in recent years and - ugh! - really gets in
...more
Eden Baylee
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Trials of Life is the sequel to The Same Moon, which I truly enjoyed, and I’d highly recommend be read prior to this one, as it follows the main character – Pearl, in her quest to the West.

The style of writing is different in this one with shifting POVs. This goes against most of the conventional rules I’ve learned about writing, yet, once I settled into the story, this was not an issue as the plot drew me in.

We learn of Pearl's education in the West ---not all of it is good, and this story cen
...more
Natalie
Spoiler Alert!

At first I want to thank Junying Kirk again for giving me the chance to get to know her books (because Ive won book 2- Trials of Life at Goodreads).

Before I started reading Trials of Life Ive expected it to be written like the first book. But I was wrong. Trials of Life is written in different point of views. Its not only Pearl anymore who shows the reader what she feels, thinks and is going through. Also her husband, colleagues and many other people are giving the reader an insigh
...more
Junying
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone curious
Finally, I've done it - all my three books of the "Journey to the West" trilogy are now in print, as well as electronically. With quite a bit of rewrites and polishing of 'Trials of Life', I can now properly say goodbye to a part of writing life, which has spanned in nearly two decades. I'm looking forward to the future of producing more great novels, which hopefully will continue to engage and enchant my ever-increasing global readership. Thanks to all who have joined me in this amazing journey ...more
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Junying Kirk was born a Spice girl from Sichuan Province in China. In the summer of 1988, a British Council scholarship led her to study English Language Teaching in the UK, which eventually adopted her. She has worked as an academic, administrator, researcher, teacher, professional interpreter, international partnerships manager and cultural consultant. She is passionate about reading & writi ...more

Other books in the series

Journey to the West (3 books)
  • The Same Moon
  • Land of Hope
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