Customer Reviews for

Women of the Silk

Average Rating 4
( 35 )
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5 Star

(13)

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(14)

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(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

An Exceptional Debut

This is a beautifully written novel set in a time and place that few Americans are well acquainted with. The 1920's and 30's were a time of tremendous social and political upheaval in China. This is a fictionalized account of the lives of young girls who were sent by ...
This is a beautifully written novel set in a time and place that few Americans are well acquainted with. The 1920's and 30's were a time of tremendous social and political upheaval in China. This is a fictionalized account of the lives of young girls who were sent by their families to work in silk factories.

The two central characters come from very different backgrounds. Pei comes from a poor and uneducated rural peasant family. Lin was born into a wealthy, cosmopolitan family; which has fallen onto hard times. The well drawn supporting characters are primarily their family members and fellow women of the silk.

The author has enriched the story with details of Chinese culture, geography, history and more. This serves to gently educate a western reader, without judgement or comparison. This first novel is a definite accomplishment.

posted by 1188281 on May 8, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Interesting and not Compelling Read

Learning, through this book, about working in the China Silk Factories during the 20's/30's was definitely worth my time. I also found the "Sisterhood" of these young women and the "Hair Dressing" ceremony to be very interesting. I didn't connect as closely with these...
Learning, through this book, about working in the China Silk Factories during the 20's/30's was definitely worth my time. I also found the "Sisterhood" of these young women and the "Hair Dressing" ceremony to be very interesting. I didn't connect as closely with these characters as I have with those in other books but Tsukiyama does have a really nice writing style that made this an enjoyable read.

posted by Fox-Run-Reader on July 6, 2009

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  • Posted September 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another time, another place.

    Early writing of Tsukiyama and I read it after others. Not as good as Street of a Thousand Blossoms or Samurai's Garden. The picture of China in the 1920's from the perspective of a rural girl forced to work in a silk factory. I agree with other reviewers that the plot is quite secondary to the characters and writing style. It is a pleasant read but not the author's best work. I think readers should come here after they have tried others and just enjoy the writing style.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2006

    good, but could be better

    This book was really good but there was not enough going on in it for me. Pretty much she was a silk worker and her friend died. After reading another of gail Tsukiyama's books(Samurai's Garden)I was looking for more then I expected.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2002

    Sad but moving story

    This book reminded me so much of 'The Good Earth' by Pearl S. Buck regarding the setting of the poor people of China. I enjoyed the book and felt for the main character as she endured her many losses of her family and friends. I wanted more of her story and have since purchased the sequel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    Another place in time

    Simply written but so descriptively written. You can feel the sparseness of her house as a child, see the land she grew up on, feel how cold her father was. The detail of life at the silk houses is conveyed so well you feel as if you are right alongside Pei, Lin, Chen Ling, and Ming, and just when you think you've reached the denouement, surprise. The reader will want to reach out and hug Auntie Yee just like they would their own mothers or grandmothers. Historical fictions are always worthwhile, and this one particularly so. I will read more by Gail Tsukiyama.

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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Page Turner

    This period novel is character driven, but gives you a feel for the social changes China underwent during the early to mid 1900(s). At the heart it is a women's empowerment story, and although some characters were underdeveloped, it will leave you hoping for a sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2002

    lovely tale of sisterhood

    I enjoyed reading about the adventures of Pei and her family. The spirited girls of the silk factory turn to eachother and their work to free themselves of the oppressive patriarchal society in which they live. The tale was heart warming and bitter sweet, although at times the charachters were a tad unbeliveable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2001

    wanted more

    I loved this book. It flowed so nice and was easy and exciting to read. I hated to see it end. Looking forward to reading her other books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2000

    Entertaining and fascinating

    This book explores the roles of working women in China at the beginning of the Chiang Kai-Shek regime. It is engrossing and well-written, yet easily read. I am using for a text in a college business class, and my 11-year-old daughter is reading it for an honors book project.

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