The day nine-year-old San San and her twelve-year-old brother, Ah Liam, discover their grandmother taking a hammer to a framed portrait of Chairman Mao is the day that forever changes their lives. To prove his loyalty to the Party, Ah Liam reports his grandmother to the authorities. But his belief in doing the right thing sets in motion a terrible chain of events.Now they must flee their home on Drum Wave Islet, which sits just a few hundred meters across the channel from mainland China. But when their mother goes to procure visas for safe passage to Hong Kong, the government will only issue them on the condition that she leave behind one of her children as proof of the familys intention to return....
|Title||:||Bury What We Cannot Take|
|Number of Pages||:||300 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Bury » Bury What We Cannot Take|
Bury What We Cannot Take Reviews
I absolutely devoured the first 60 percent of this tale set in 1957 communist China. A family seeking to flee an islet bordering China to Hong Kong after an unfortunate incident by one of the family members. Only three travel visas are allowed to insure that the family returns back to China.
The book was really captivating and the writing rather strong with mentions of communism, Chairman Mao, radicalism etc.... But, then this quite interesting, serious story morphed into a sort of mundane, lit ...more
An incredible tale of survival and loss, against the backdrop of a lesser-known period of Chinese history. I was a huge fan of Chen's SOY SAUCE FOR BEGINNERS, which had a contemporary setting, in Singapore, and I was eager to read this novel. I was totally swept up in the fate of this family -- it's lyrical, intimate, and insightful and yet it's also a page turner. The shifting POV helps us understand the complicated choices that each character makes. The perfect book club pick!
I think the book was good and played out some interesting scenarios - if and how and when to get your family out of your home country; family dynamics; sibling gender differences.
I totally rounded up the stars because it was refreshing to read a story that was not dependent upon frequent violence against women; or a book that alternates between different time periods; or writing that overly simplifies parenting as a perfect, loving, easy thing; or characters that never change or grow. I also ap ...more
A gripping story.
Ah, that poor family. And, my gosh, the resiliency and courage of San San. This book painted a terrible picture of communism in China when the borders closed and the awful choices a family might have to make to get out. I flew through this book and gladly recommend it.
This novel's title, cover and prose are a class act. It's a gripping, heartfelt story set against the backdrop of Maoist China. The horrors of that communist regime are efficiently and effectively rendered and left me hurting at our capacity for cruelty and inhumanity. The wealth of details are vivid and visceral and brought both place and people alive. I wanted more in terms of character motivation and the novel's close, but am so glad to have read this fine work.
Disclaimer: I won this book through a Goodreads.com giveaway.
I enjoyed the well-developed characters in what is, essentially, a character study novel. This fits nicely into a few of the niche reads that I enjoy: Asian culture, character studies, and the way that ordinary people navigate enormous external events around them.
I expected more conflict but wasn't disappointed by the quiet and unexpected way that the events of the novel unfold and are resolved. Flawed people making poor decisions base ...more
Our immigration system is a hot topic in the news lately and it seems like personal accounts of success and failure by people who come to this great land are broadcast by our media on a regular basis. Bury What We Cannot Take is a story of immigration which moves the issue to a historical context; it’s a powerful, emotional tale of a family leaving mainland China after it has fallen to the communists and the pain of rebuilding their lives in Hong Kong.
Their family had once been large and wealthy ...more
Lyrical and melodic, the subliminal messages of strength, belief, abandon and resourcefulness are still revealing themselves to me. I am looking forward to enjoying the growth of the author over the years and seeing where her visions take her.
In so many ways it was if she was telling the stories of her family and her ancestors. Well done!