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Advance reader reviews of A Hundred Flowers

A Hundred Flowers

A Novel

by Gail Tsukiyama

A Hundred Flowers
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2013
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 26 member reviews
for A Hundred Flowers
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  • Margaret O. (Bonita Springs, FL)


    A Hundred Flowers
    This is the first book by GAIL TSUKIYMA that I have read and I look forward to reading more. This story is set in Mao’s communist China in the once prosperous small town of Dongshan.. Life was getting harder all the time for Wei’s family but they were managing under the new rule of the land that began by Mao ten years earlier until one letter changed everything overnight. As Wei’s only son Sheng, a high school history teacher, is sent to a “reeducation” camp we get to know each of the family members over the next year as they lose contact with Sheng and deal with this blow to their everyday lives. Each of the characters shares his thoughts and feelings in their own voice. This writing style allows one to identify with the characters (especially Sheng’s wife and 6 year-old son) as the setting and political situation is described through their eyes. I found the introduction of two additional characters (Suyin and Tian) very thought provoking as it illustrates the idea that people come into our lives for a reason if we are only open to them.
    The author does not give us a neat, happy ending but rather tells it like it is with the emphasis on the importance of family relationships and hope to help us accept difficult situations and go forward.
  • Roni S. (Pittsburgh, PA)


    A Hundred Flowers
    I have enjoyed reading other books by this author, Gail Tsukiyama. She writes with tenderness. The language is simple and paints a picture. In "A Hundred Flowers," each chapter is the voice of a character. We get a true understanding of each once - their struggles, their courage, and their hopes. Each character has depth.

    The book begins in China, 1957, when the country is controlled by Chairman Mao. The book is similar to "Dreams of Joy" by Lisa See.

    One of the main characters in "A Hundred Flowers" is an herbalist so anyone who liked
    "Mistress of Spices" (India setting) by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, might also like this book. I recommend this to book clubs and anyone interested in Chinese history.
  • Erica M. (Chicago, IL)


    The Gentleness of A Hundred Flowers
    I so loved "The Samurai's Garden", that I always want to read everything that Tsukiyama writes. Unfortunately, I have never found a book of hers to rival my favorite. Her writing, her characters, her character development are always lovely. There is a peacefulness and gentleness in the way she approaches her characters and her subject that is just soothing. Although I loved the writing, I did not find myself as captivated by this story as I was by "The Samurai's Garden". Although, it still had it's twist of plot - as did "Samurai's Garden", which is Tsykiyama's hallmark.
  • Leslie D. (Le Roy, NY)


    A Hundred Flowers
    This character-driven story is perfect for book groups and will appeal to readers of historical fiction. Told from multiple points of view, it concentrates on one Chinese family during Mao's Hundred Flowers campaign in 1957. Life changes for all the people in the book, and although they long wistfully for the past, they each meet their new challenges in unexpected ways. Although the time frame and themes are very similar to Lisa See's Dreams of Joy, the precise storytelling has a much different feel. A great way to learn Chinese history, I really enjoyed this book.
  • Karen D. (Dedham, MA)


    A Way of Life
    A beautiful but sometimes a sad tale of life. I forgot how life could be in another culture at another time.
    Precious memories of time gone past is all that some have. These memories keep them going on in life.
    I have read other books by this author. I enjoyed this book but my favorite is still The Samurai's Garden.
  • Annette S. (Duluth, GA)


    A Hundred Flowers
    Another winner from Gail Tsukiyama. The story is told from multiple points of view and you learn about the daily life and culture of a Chinese family during Mao's Communist regime. This is an enlightening novel that shares insight into the struggles of an ordinary Chinese family during the 1950"s. With no hesitation it is a 5 star read.
  • Susan Q. (East Williston, NY)


    Captivating
    As with every other novel by this great author, I was hooking from the beginning. Character development, plot and story line are on target. The ending wasn't as developed as would have hoped, but don't let deter you from picking up this book!
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