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When I read this book I thought it was incredible. I learned a lot about the character and it taught me a lot, that I should be grateful for my education and everything because not everyone have the same level of education as I do and there are a lot of students at my school who don't understand how lucky they are to have a good school but they just seem to throw it all away which I very disappointing. But 'Snow Falling in Spring' is the best book I have ever read and by far its also my favorite!
Thank you Moying Li for sharing your story with the rest of the world!
Moying Li was 4-years-old in 1958 and lived with her maternal grandmother and grandfather, Lao Lao and Lao Ye in a traditional Chinese house. It was also occupied by her mother and father, her 3-year-old brother Di Di, aunts and uncles, the family of a tailor, electrician and a clerk.
In the fall of 1958 Moying returned home one day to find the backyard, her beloved playground, strewn with: “...bricks, holes, and scrap metal”. A huge big black furnace, as tall as her father, was standing in the center. Her family was gathering materials for the “Great Leap Forward”, launched by Chairman Mao. The leaders believed: “...they could catch up with the West...” mainly Britain: “...in just ten to twenty years – in a giant single stride. The family was trying to gather strong construction materials and using the furnace to melt them into steel. Women were giving up their favourite frying pans and woks. Too little Moying the furnace looked like: “...a roaring dragon”.
Between 1958 and 1961, China underwent a siege of disasters. First a plague of insects, then a serious drought and finally far reaching famine in which millions of people died.
Moying remembers with clarity the day her childhood ended. It occurred one evening in the summer of 1966, when her elementary school Headmaster hanged himself. Moying was twelve-years-old.
In the summer of 1963, Moying was packing to attend a school , two-hours away from her home. She would reside there Monday to Friday. Moying was one of many students selected to attend this school were they would learn nine languages! The expectation was that after: “...ten years of training, many of the students would continue their studies in leading universities, with the possibility of diplomatic careers”.
In late spring of 1966 disturbances at Beijing and Tsinghua universities began. Large character posters were accusing school authorities of: “...departing from Chairman Mao’s teachings”. The posters demanded that these educational facilities be opened to workers and peasants instead of the privileged minority. Classes were cancelled and the students began to form groups, calling themselves, “Red Guards”, and displayed red arm bands on their sleeves.
In midsummer, Chairman Mao stood at Tinanmen Square, on top of the “Gate of Heavenly Peace” telling the large gathering crowd that he supported the Red Guards. Like piles of newspapers catching on fire one after another, Red Guard units appeared in all universities and high schools denouncing authorities.
One afternoon there was a scuffle in their headmaster’s office. Moying and her friends went to see what was going on. The high school students were pasting a sign up in the room saying he should confess his crimes, he was poisoning their minds with western ideology and that he was training students to follow capitalism instead of communism. Moying and her friends were shocked and wondered why their headmaster would try to poison them? After speaking to a friend’s sister, they were told that she was denounced the right to become a Red Guard as they believed she was following the headmaster’s teaching. Moying and her friends were more confused.
Every day uncertainty abounded. There were posters everywhere and some now included not only the headmaster, but teachers as well.
The Cultural Revolution continued on with every family losing someone to a labour camp. I have left a lot of information out of this review as I didn’t want to give away any spoilers, expect maybe one.
Moying Li’s memoir was penned with deep thought, deep feelings, and the love of her country which touched her heart and soul. This is an excellent memoir that I would recommend to all and at 176 pages you’ll be done in 2 hours. This book had more information and histories packed into it than some books of 300 pages do, truly amazing!
This book was given to me as a birthday present and I am so grateful.
The beautiful soul of writer Moying shines through and matches the beautiful author photograph.
I am inspired to follow my dream and I deeply believe I can do it, referencing the tenacious strength of the author.
I sit in awe of her story of coming of age in China during the cultural revolution.
God bless you Moying for sharing with all of us.We need it.
I live by your quote: EACH ONE,TEACH ONE - and you have.
I am only half way through the book but is one of the best books I have ever read! I usually do not read memoirs (because I like fiction) but my wonderful grandmother turned me to this book and I decided to give it a try. When i started to read Snow Falling In Spring I was blown away by how well the book flowed from one topic to another. Each chapter was like it's own separate story but the author Moying Li always found a couple of ways to tie the previous chapter into the next chapter. Every time I would read this book, I would get so lost in the time period, the plot, the big events that I would forget where I was. One time, I was reading the book at school and the teacher had to call my name at least 5 times to get my attention because I was entirely engulfed in the book. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, even if you don't like certain types of books. Read about the first 3 chapters and I can almost guarantee that you will fall in love with this spectacular book. Give it a try!!