Reader reviews and comments on Waiting, plus links to write your own review.

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by Ha Jin

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  • First Published:
    Oct 1999, 308 pages
    Sep 2000, 308 pages

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There are currently 8 reader reviews for Waiting
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charlotte (08/08/07)

The novel was great!
Some of the conflicts happen today...
I can relate.
jpj (07/01/03)

One of the best books I've read in years. Ending is fantastic. This book came out around the same time The Hours came out and I can't remember a thing about The Hours, but this book is burned into my brain.

A young man gets married in an arranged marriage and goes off to be a doctor in the Army. After a few years he realizes he doesn't love his wife and his parents that made the marriage are dead. He decides to seek a divorce from his wife. He has already fathered a child. He doesn't have any desire to remarry. His wife has lived in a different city for years and his child barely knows him, so it seems natural for him to get divorced.

In China couples must wait (so the story says) to get a divorce for a court that only convenes once every year. And the spouses must agree. His wife always agrees until the last moment and then she says no. Many years go by. He was happy living in a different city and being basically single albeit married, but then he meets a women...a MUST READ!
mayfield secondary school (03/06/03)

my class did not enjoy this!
Véronique from Switzerland (10/14/02)

I just loved it! Beautiful story in a China between modern and ancient tradition. A transition of History in wich love help passing through ages.

Just read it!

Véronique from Switzerland
christina (04/25/02)

excellent book, showing the consequences of long term waiting
L. Suh (04/06/02)

The title was apt. I was waiting for characters I could empathize with, waiting for a plot to develop...waiting for this book to end. The misogyny was the only consistent theme; the women were described with more emphasis on facial aging defects and bound feet than what was going on inside their heads or hearts.
And why is it that the rape scene seemed to be the only part described with vigour and colourful text?
Jeanne (03/25/02)

Beautifully written story about a man who spends his life waiting for something "better" instead of appreciating what he has.
Bird (03/23/02)

An enjoyable book, but one that is more of a journey than a destination, if you'll pardon the cliche. The ending is not the least bit satisfying when you first put the book down, but rather one that makes you sit up a few hours later and think "Wait a minute, let's consider the implications here."

Having immediately lent the book to friends after finishing it, I think I can safely say that you'll get more from the book if you've got a basic knowledge of Chinese culture and customs.
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