crystalibrary's Reviews > Under Fishbone Clouds

Under Fishbone Clouds by Sam Meekings
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's review
Nov 19, 2010

liked it

** spoiler alert ** I really enjoyed this book- I've read a lot of books about the Cultural Revolution, but this one gave me a real insight into what the people went through- it gave me a sense of the hardship and tolerance for the bone crushing inhumanities that went with the 'Great Leap Forward' It gave me a greater understanding for Chinese culture, and the Chinese psyche. It made me understand reasons for why Chinese people behave now, because it's like any group of people who have experienced heinous abhorrences thrust upon them - it's remembered in the collective memory, generation to generation. Even though most Chinese people don't mention what happened in those dark days of the revolution, they still remember what it was like to be starving and have nothing to eat- hence why to be fat is synonymous with happy times for a lot of older Chinese people today.

I enjoyed this book because it didn't just focus on the days of the Cultural Revolution- it touched on China's occupation by Japan- something that I knew little about, and would like to learn more about. The book wove together the stories of two people, brought together by an arranged marriage, and the way in which they discovered their love for each other, despite the hardhsips they endured. It was a touching story of the bonds that were felt between these two unlikely people, that spanned their lives from youth until old age. The story of Yu Ying and Jinyi was a mix of folk tale, mythology and narrative, which was interesting but sometimes difficult to follow. I was interested in reading about the mythology at the beginning, but found the narrative of Yuying and Junyi far too compelling, so I found that I was anxious to quickyl finish the segues into mythology and concentrate on the main storyline.

All together a great read.
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