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Download Ties That Bind, Ties That Break: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Ties That Bind, Ties That Break: A Novel Audiobook, by Lensey Namioka Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lensey Namioka Narrator: Emily Woo Zeller Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2013 ISBN: 9781482985795
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Third Sister in the Tao family, Ailin has watched her two older sisters go through the painful process of having their feet bound. In China in 1911, all the women of good families follow this ancient tradition. But Ailin loves to run away from her governess and play games with her male cousins. Knowing she will never run again once her feet are bound, Ailin rebels and refuses to follow this torturous tradition. As a result, however, the family of her intended husband breaks their marriage agreement. And as she enters adolescence, Ailin finds that her family is no longer willing to support her. Chinese society leaves few options for a single woman of good family, but with a bold conviction and an indomitable spirit, Ailin is determined to forge her own destiny. Her story is a tribute to all those women whose courage created new options for the generations who came after them.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Powerfully told in flashback, Ties that Bind, Ties that Break is a thoughtful exploration of the ways cultural pressures can bend not only our personal values but even our physical appearance…Gripping, lyrical.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Ailin’s reminiscences, used as narration, are simple and straightforward, and the discussions of foot-binding are startlingly effective.”


  • “[A] gripping historical novel…Her writing is so atmospheric and closely informed that it appears to offer an insider’s perspective on a vanished way of life…This colorful novel has the force and intensity of a memoir.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Narrator Emily Woo Zeller inhabits her character wholly in this enlightening story of Ailin, a girl growing up in 1920s China. Zeller’s subdued, controlled voice conveys the societal rules, both spoken and unspoken, for women during this period. In high contrast is nine-year-old Ailin’s bold determination and defiance as she refuses to have her feet bound…Zeller’s young voice, smooth reading, and facile pronunciation of Chinese names further complement the story.”


  • “The story vividly shows a culture just beginning to move away from its traditions; it also shows how a bright, young girl was able to assert her will and what she suffered from doing so. The narrator Emily Woo Zeller reads the story well, expressing Ailin’s strong will in the beginning and her ultimate resignation to her fate, her estrangement from her family, and her adjustment to living with Westerners.”


  • “Set against the backdrop of political unrest and social change, this novel provides a realistic window into turn-of-the-century Chinese culture…great for recreational reading, this solid story will also work well in supplementing social-studies units.”

    School Library Journal

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award, September 2013
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About the Narrator

Emily Woo Zeller is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator, voice-over artist, actor, dancer, and choreographer. She began her voice-over work dubbing for film and television in Southeast Asia, where she resided, although her training as a performing artist began in her native Los Angeles, California. AudioFile magazine named her one of the Best Voices of 2013 for her work in Gulp. Other awards include the 2009 Tristen Award for Best Actress as Sally Bowles in Cabaret and the 2006 Roselyn E. Schneider Prize for Creative Achievement.