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Bamboo Heart

(Bamboo Trilogy)

by
4.38  ·  Rating details ·  984 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Thailand, 1943: Thomas Ellis is a prisoner-of-war on the Death Railway. In stifling heat he endures endless days of clearing jungle, breaking stone and lugging wood. London, 1986: Laura Ellis, a successful City lawyer, travels to Asia to retrace her father' past and discover the truths he has refused to tell her including how he got his Bamboo Heart. Heart-wrenching histor ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 7th 2014 by Monsoon Books (first published June 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  984 ratings  ·  43 reviews


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Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Family, loyalty, war, resistance, memories.
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Family, revenge, war, friendship, loyalty.
Cindy Woods
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intense read.

This is an excellent plot about a middle-aged Thai woman returning to her home 25 years after leaving the country to marry in 1945 just after WWII.

The Japanese occupation of Thailand during the war was brutal and the use of British soldiers to build a railroad through the harsh jungles and countryside, beaten and starved, is well documented. The plot here entails this woman’s need to find closure after so many years and after the death of her husband.

I enjoy reading books by Ann Ben
...more
Siobhan Daiko
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I met Ann Bennett through the peer review site YouWriteOn and have watched her wonderful book grow through several drafts to become the beautifully written historical novel you can read today. Harrowing at times as it deals with the horrors of the Death Railway in Thailand during World War II, Bamboo Heart's main theme is the human spirit and how the characters fight to survive against all odds. It's a story that needed to be told. Tom is a fantastic protagonist and Ann Bennett really brings him ...more
arlene ramasut
I was delighted to find a novel in English set in Thailand during the war. This is the only one I have found as opposed to many set in Burma & India.The author weaves a believable story based on the realities of the deprivations and cruelty experienced by British & Commonwealth soldiers forced into slavery on the Thailand- Burma railway. Set in Kanchanaburi ,which is today visited by thousands of tourists who come to see the place made famous by ‘ The Bridge on the River Kwai‘ it tells of the th ...more
Brandi
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Slow start, stills good book.

It seems her books don’t really pick up until you get into them. I enjoyed this book, but it started off slow.
Tripfiction
This review first appeared on our blog, where we also talk to the publisher, founder of Monsoon Books, Philip Tatham: http://www.tripfiction.com/monsoon-bo...

I was of the generation that grew up with the 1980s TV series Tenko, set in a women’s labour camp run by the Japanese. The female prisoners were all picked up after the fall of Singapore in 1942 and kept in terrible conditions, forgotten by the British War Office, and subjected to ordeals beyond the imagination.

For a later generation this t
...more
Karen G Clesen
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent

By now, most of us know of the bridge on the River Kwai, or seen the movie "Unbroken". This little gem was written as a sort of mystery, flashing back and forth between WWII and the daughter's life in the 80's. It involves her father's life during WWII, as well as the daughter's life at age 26. You will find this just as harrowing and just as evil as all Japanese prison camps were, but unusual with the daughter following his mystery with her own set of 80's problems. I loved this book!
...more
Devin
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the substance of Bennett's work is moving, its execution is choppy and distracting. There doesn't appear to be any reason to repeatedly jump backwards and forwards in time and change points of view nearly every chapter. That said, the work certainly does carry emotional weight, drawing the reader in to a complex father-daughter relationship complicated by distance, war, and too little time. ...more
Hazel Lewis
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
History

Although a novel this story tells of how the Japanese being in Thailand impacted on the Thais themselves. We know how they treated their prisoners from the men and women who returned but I have read little of how they treated the locals or how the locals reacted to the invasion.
Michelle Irwin
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another good one!

Such a great author! This story teaches you that life is precious and to spend it stewing about wrongs done to you in the past is a big waste of time. Although, she really keeps your attention going with sirinyas quest in settling the score. A lot of surprises in the end.
Shreedevi Gurumurty
A HEART-WRENCHING STORY OF LOVE AND SURVIVAL .A SOLDIER’S STRENGTH IN THE BLEAKEST OF TIMES AND A DAUGHTER’S JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY ABOUT HER FATHER AND HERSELF.Thailand, 1943: Thomas Ellis, captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore, is a prisoner-of-war on the Death Railway. In stifling heat he endures endless days of clearing jungle, breaking stone and lugging wood. He must stay alive, although he is struck down by disease and tortured by Japanese guards, and he must stay strong, althoug ...more
Cindy Woods
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book!

This story about a young English woman whose father is a WWII POW and war veteran is outstanding! She doesn't know anything about his wartime experiences and, after coming home to care for him after his accident, she begins to question her own stale life and wants to know more about her aging father 's past.

The story is told in flashbacks and is done in a very descriptive way giving you the full force of what is was like in Singapore and Thailand both post-war era and during Tom's
...more
Rhonda Russell
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
War is such a terrible thing.

I only wish everyone, everywhere, would read and learn of these sad, cruel, tragic, experiences that the people suffered through, whether they survived or died at the cruel and twisted hands of war. There is no way to understand or grasp these harsh realities of the treatment of the POWS' May they never be forgotten. If only they could never be repeated...
...more
Dorothy Walker
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much - I think I am reading the series out of order??

I am reading as many as I can of Ann's books at present and it is nice to come across an author who keeps me interested and not able to put the book down.

I have travelled 'off the beaten' track in these areas so am very interested in where the characters or going and the historic context.

Great read.

Dorothy
...more
Nancy G. Murdoch
Excellent

This is the second Ann Bennett book I have read this week; the other being The Foundling's Daughter. I love historical fiction and The Daughter 's Quest reached the bar in excellent writing, character development and plot. While heartbreaking in many ways, it was informative and thought provoking.

Keep writing, Ann. I'll keep reading.
...more
Maggie
Aug 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story

Did not think this was as good as some of Anne Bennett’s other books. There is a lot of history of the Far East during World War II as well as events leading up to it and the aftermath as it affected the main character who was held as POW by the Japanese for a grueling 3 years. Many of his fellow POWs did not survive the brutality of their Japanese captors.
AVANTI KUMAR
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book's strengths echo many of the author's other titles. Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, with seamless flashbacks woven into a narrative with direct clear prose.

While I give a solidly told story 3 stars, The Homecoming is 4 stars (my top rating of 5 stars is for those books I personally consider classics - books that can be read multiple times, and offer new layers each time).

The author's voice, empathy, and strong evocation of Thailand in two time zones is another standout
...more
Sally
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written

I have read 3 books based on WWll and the Japanese.. they are beautifully written and the history is something I never knew so they are very educational but heartbreaking
Diane Christie
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartache

I enjoy reading historical fiction from WW1 and WW2 so I can begin to understand the stress of my grandfather and father who served in those wars, never spoke of their experiences, but carried broken souls for the remainder of their lives.
Amanda
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ohhhhhhh..... wow. The story of Tom, I won’t forget. I just couldn’t stop reading. I finished this in record time. Loved every moment. Highly recommended.
Brandi
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it

Started out a little slow, but it really picked up pace and I really enjoyed it. I’ll probably read the rest of her books I really enjoy them.
Robin Harmon
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life is suffering, they said, and you need to embrace it and live the suffering.
Joanna Hearn
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written

A Daughter’s Quest was well written but left one wondering about several things. I wonder if there will be a sequel.
Marie Cluett
Apr 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never read anything regarding the war in this part of the world. I really enjoyed it and the little twist at the end. ...more
Brandi
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book. It shows another part of ww2 that you rarely read about.
vanessa carter
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant Finale to the Trilogy

Loved reading these books, this final being superb. Just didn't want it to end, but still found myself reading through the night, eager for the story to unfold. The stories are all well-researched and exceptionally well-written. Highly recommend to anyone who has an interest in the war history of the Far East.
...more
Beth (bibliobeth)
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hello everyone and welcome to a very special three days on my blog. For the next three days, including today, I will be talking about a wonderful new trilogy that I've just completed - The Bamboo Trilogy by Ann Bennett. I shall be reviewing the first book today, Bamboo Heart then the second, Bamboo Island tomorrow and finally the third, Bamboo Road as part of a blog tour celebrating the final book in the series and the trilogy as a whole. The books can be read in any order as they are all stand- ...more
Charlotte (beigepages)
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my thoughts.

Despite being a fan of historical fiction, I can't say that I'm big on anything to do with the World Wars. Perhaps due to studying them for years at GCSE and A-Level, I just don't reach for fiction that surrounds them. That changed, however, when I learnt about the Bamboo trilogy which centres around WWII Asia - something I know nothing about thanks to school curriculum f
...more
Beth (bibliobeth)
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the beautiful second novel in the trilogy that was Bamboo Island, I was eager to get to Bamboo Road, make friends with a host of new characters and find out even more about the horrific things that Japanese prisoners of war went through during the Second World War. I'm very pleased to report back that Bamboo Road did not disappoint. Brutal in points, that's a given considering the subject matter but hugely interesting involving a lot of other themes including friendship, the importance of ...more
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