A Hundred Flowers: A Novel Audiobook, by Gail Tsukiyama Play Audiobook Sample

Download A Hundred Flowers: A Novel Audiobook

A Hundred Flowers: A Novel Audiobook, by Gail Tsukiyama Play Audiobook Sample
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Author: Gail Tsukiyama Narrator: Jane Carr, Simon Vance Publisher: Macmillan Audio Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781427222480

Publisher Description

A powerful new novel about an ordinary family facing extraordinary times at the start of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

China, 1957. Chairman Mao has declared a new openness in society: "Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend." Many intellectuals fear it is only a trick, and Kai Ying's husband, Sheng, a teacher, has promised not to jeopardize their safety or that of their young son, Tao. But one July morning, just before his sixth birthday, Tao watches helplessly as Sheng is dragged away for writing a letter criticizing the Communist Party and sent to a labor camp for "reeducation."

A year later, still missing his father desperately, Tao climbs to the top of the hundred-year-old kapok tree in front of their home, wanting to see the mountain peaks in the distance. But Tao slips and tumbles thirty feet to the courtyard below, badly breaking his leg.

As Kai Ying struggles to hold her small family together in the face of this shattering reminder of her husband's absence, other members of the household must face their own guilty secrets and strive to find peace in a world where the old sense of order is falling. Once again, Tsukiyama brings us a powerfully moving story of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with grace and courage.

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  • “Tsukiyama's tale of love, loss, and courage is brought to life by Simon Vance. Narrating in a soft, straightforward tone, Vance is understated but renders the characters well. With only minor shifts in tone and dialect, Vance creates well-rounded and believable characters without even remotely attempting to tackle a Chinese accent. The result is brilliantly realized listening that will have listeners enthralled from start to finish.

    - Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • The point of view alternates among three generations of individuals, and Vance meets the challenge by adjusting his pitch and tone to telegraph each change. The character-driven novel is enhanced by Vance's insightful pacing and restrained use of drama.

    - AudioFile Magazine
  • This brilliant portrayal of a family torn half apart and mending like the kapok tree that Tao falls from is brought to life by the familiar voice of Simon Vance…He brings Sheng's family to life with his warm and inviting voice. Tsukiyama's story and Vance's voice make for a delightful journey into the early years of Communist China, when the promise of a better China never seemed so bleak.

    - New World Review
  • I was following this family almost as though it were my own and stayed all the way to the end of their story.

    - All Things Considered, NPR
  • The tenderness [Tsukiyama] shows for her characters creates a sympathetic portrait of intellectuals trying to live honestly in the shadow of oppression.

    - Publishers Weekly
  • Tsukiyama's close attention to detail and descriptive language paint a vivid picture of the daily life of Kai Ying and her family. Tsukiyama gently envelops the reader into the quiet sadness that permeates the entire household while weaving in the multiple hardships the family faces under communism. Strength of community; support and love of family, both natural and adopted; and the ability to heal and overcome loss are major themes within the moving novel.

    - Booklist
  • Best-selling author Gail Tsukiyama, recipient of PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, takes us back to those times not by painting a panorama but in her thoughtful and forthright way by showing the consequences for one family.

    - Library Journal

Customer Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This was another winner from Ttsukiyama. Just a sweet story made more interesting with it's setting of mid-50's China. The writing is lovely and the story very good. "

    - Bobbi, 2/4/2014
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I thought I would love this book, and there was parts I really did like. But it seemed as though it jumped around to much for my liking. It was hard to stay with the plot of the book. "

    - Debbie, 1/9/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I have read all of her books and simply adore her writing and ability to tell a story. She is just one of the best. "

    - Sgilbert, 1/8/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Gentle story, endearing characters. Easy read. "

    - Suzanne, 1/5/2014
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " A gentle, captivating tale about survival and forgiveness told from the perspective of each of the characters. I could not put this book down and was surprised when I was at the end because I wanted the story to continue. The characters seemed so real. Thank you, Gail Tsuliyama, for this story -- it touched my heart. "

    - Cindy, 1/3/2014
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " This wasn't my favorite of Tsukiyama's books. The story was ok, but there wasn't a lot of substance to it. I'm sure there are better books, both fiction and non-fiction, about China's cultural revolution. "

    - Dawn, 12/18/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Beautifully written novel. "

    - Lrothenberg, 12/7/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " A story of a Chinese family in the late 40's and early 50's. Simple narrative of their lives after the father is taken away to be "re-educated". "

    - Pat, 10/15/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " A sweet family story during a politically harrowing time. Maybe a little too sweet for my taste but quick and well written. "

    - Rachel, 10/12/2013
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " A beautiful story...one I could not easily put down. Full of images.. "

    - Carol, 10/7/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " A delicately told story ... "history is a series of stories pieced together ... and art is a living record of it." - GT "

    - Sharon, 6/16/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " "Even so the world intrudes." This book will intrude into your heart.Simple but powerful. Beautiful prose. Hope and forgiveness is the underlying theme. "

    - Elizabeth, 3/8/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Story of family adjustment due to jailing of dissident Chinese grandfather who writes letter that causes son to be questioned. "

    - Virginia, 1/22/2013
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " This book is really good and just reaffirmed my intense dislike all tenets of communism. I continue to think that it is one of the world's great evils. I highly recommend this book. "

    - Kathryn, 1/21/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " This book made me profoundly grateful that I did not live in China during the time of Chairman Mao. It is well worth reading. "

    - Lncropper, 1/12/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Thypical Gail Tsukiyama book. Only a few characters each with their own story to tell within the story. By the end of the book they are most honored friends. So much so that I delay reading the final pages just to hold on to them for a moment longer. "

    - Mary, 10/1/2012

About the Author

Gail Tsukiyama was born in San Francisco to a Chinese mother and a Japanese father. Her novels include Dreaming Water, Women of the Silk, The Language of Threads, and The Samurai’s Garden. She lives in El Cerrito, California.

About the Narrators

Jane Carr is an English actress whose career has spanned over forty years. She has appeared in many stage productions, including Broadway’s The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby and several classic plays with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She earned an American audience with her roles on television’s Dear John and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and as the voice of Mama Cosma in the animated series The Fairly OddParents. Carr lives in Los Angeles.

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and narrator. He has earned more than fifty Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration thirteen times. He was named Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008 and has been named an AudioFile Golden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London. He is also an actor who has appeared on both stage and television.