Book review for Wild Swans

Roanoke College student Kathleen Ouyang (’13) sent us her review for the book Wild Swans. Have you read a great book lately? Send us the review and we’ll feature it on this blog.

How much do you know about the war between the Kuomintang and the Communists in China? Mao’s Great Leap Forward? or the Chinese Cultural Revolution? I just reread Wild Swans by Jung Chang, and it can easily educate you on all three through eyewitness accounts. The author records the lives of three generations of Chinese women; her grandmother, her mother and herself. The stories of these three women span a turbulent time in the history of China, from her grandmother’s forced concubinage to a Northern warlord, to the Communist takeover and her mother’s disillusionment and struggle as a Communist official, ending with Chang’s own story growing up in the Cultural Revolution. It’s nonfiction and extremely historical, but Chang writes in an extremely gripping manner, and the subject matter is so incredible that it seems like fiction. You can learn so much while enjoying this great story. It is very sad (these women faced famine, denunciation, and so much more), but it is well worth the read, and can help you understand a little more about China’s past!

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