eBook Amy S. Kwei Æ Æ A Concubine for the Family PDF Û A Concubine Epub /

The novel covers a tumultuous era in Chinese history beginning in 1937 and ending in 1941  It also explores the circumstances surrounding the true life event of my grandmother's gift of a concubine to my grandfather on his birthday to enhance the chance of an heir to the Family


10 thoughts on “A Concubine for the Family

  1. says:

    A great look at an amazing country and people on the verge of great change Following one family on the out break of WW2 trying to hold on to traditional values while also attepmting to give their children the best advantage to the future The author does an amazing job giving us insight into cultrue traditions and setting as well as into the character's minds and the generational differences in thought The story moves along well with a good pairing of dialog scenesetting and character development make this a highly recccommended readFor a similar tale and look into multi generational family check out Pearl S Buck's Pavillion of Women


  2. says:

    The Huang family is without an heir In early to mid 19th century China this has grave conseuences for the old traditions Purple Jade has the humility dignity and pragmatism to bring an heir to the Huangs in any culturally justified means available a Concubine for the FamilyThe violence in this book was softened The cultural shock was softened The bad guy was ambiguous Amy Kwei chose to soften the blow of the violence in this book by using a mellowing narrative voice I thought it was fitting for the author to soften her words and perspective softening the truth perhaps because the characters and persons in the book showed considerable restraint Where you or I would lash out in voice or action Purple Jade held her peace and showed that she was considering both sides to a situation in her thoughts The author describes this as a concept of fixing yourself before fixing the world “By cultivating oneself we can regulate the family; by regulating the family we can govern the state; by governing the state we can bring peace on earth When order and kindness direct the world heaven will be pleased” Page 326 What a wonderful concept that everyone should adopt at least in part and the world would be a better placePerhaps the bad guy was not a single person but actions of people or actions of a country Perhaps it is fate or old traditions Perhaps it is the concept of war Kwei gives the reader much to ponder by not handing us a simple and easy character to despise and blame The characters are just as much prone to their fate as we are in real lifeI get a little lost in the politics of a country’s history I know nothing about and a country’s culture I am uite unfamiliar with but that’s what makes this book so fascinating Kwei describes the proper way to eat and what is proper to eat She describes when and who speaks political gains and favors and the halting way of speaking as if it’s been translated just for our eyes I am peeking into a world I would normally not have insight into and it is described in enough detail to give me a taste without having overwhelming flavorI very much enjoyed Kwei’s descriptions of cultural traditions and the differences between modern living and traditions of the past The concept of “saving face” was intriguing as was the struggle between culture and shame“If we can agree with their concept that each person is endowed with thoughts and feelings worthy of singular attention opportunities and developments would surely follow” Page 298I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a political element culturally rich stories novels featuring Chinese in China or a novel with a strong female lead


  3. says:

    The Huang family is without an heir In early to mid 19th century China this has grave conseuences for the old traditions Purple Jade has the humility dignity and pragmatism to bring an heir to the Huangs in any culturally justified means available a Concubine for the FamilyThe violence in this book was softened The cultural shock was softened The bad guy was ambiguous Amy Kwei chose to soften the blow of the violence in this book by using a mellowing narrative voice I thought it was fitting for the author to soften her words and perspective softening the truth perhaps because the characters and persons in the book showed considerable restraint Where you or I would lash out in voice or action Purple Jade held her peace and showed that she was considering both sides to a situation in her thoughts The author describes this as a concept of fixing yourself before fixing the world “By cultivating oneself we can regulate the family; by regulating the family we can govern the state; by governing the state we can bring peace on earth When order and kindness direct the world heaven will be pleased” Page 326 What a wonderful concept that everyone should adopt at least in part and the world would be a better placePerhaps the bad guy was not a single person but actions of people or actions of a country Perhaps it is fate or old traditions Perhaps it is the concept of war Kwei gives the reader much to ponder by not handing us a simple and easy character to despise and blame The characters are just as much prone to their fate as we are in real lifeI get a little lost in the politics of a country’s history I know nothing about and a country’s culture I am uite unfamiliar with but that’s what makes this book so fascinating Kwei describes the proper way to eat and what is proper to eat She describes when and who speaks political gains and favors and the halting way of speaking as if it’s been translated just for our eyes I am peeking into a world I would normally not have insight into and it is described in enough detail to give me a taste without having overwhelming flavorI very much enjoyed Kwei’s descriptions of cultural traditions and the differences between modern living and traditions of the past The concept of “saving face” was intriguing as was the struggle between culture and shame“If we can agree with their concept that each person is endowed with thoughts and feelings worthy of singular attention opportunities and developments would surely follow” Page 298I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a political element culturally rich stories novels featuring Chinese in China or a novel with a strong female lead


  4. says:

    Gorgeous saga of a Chinese family caught in between their own traditions and the western world with war looming on the horizon Many different characters with different opinions help show the many schools of thought swirling around China in the late 1930s


  5. says:

    It was a good book though the author started with one novel and ended with something completely different I enjoyed it but still think the book could've been written in two separate novels


  6. says:

    As a Chinese American I had heard from family members about the plight of China in the time before and during World War II Their stories were sometimes tragic and sometimes heroic but always engrossing A Concubine for the Family takes these stories to another level with a colorful cast of characters and vivid language that is authentic to the words and phrases used by the Chinese people Amy Kwei draws the reader in with her adroit telling of the hardships of internecine conflict coupled with the magnificence of the indomitable human spirit in the face of adversity That she does so by focusing on a specific family and the concubine that becomes part of it illustrates an attention to detail that the reader will appreciate and from which the reader will learn much about Chinese culture I highly recommend this enjoyable read


  7. says:

    This immerses you in Chinese history culture and landscape at a time of turmoil


  8. says:

    By Wellington DK Chan PhD NEH Distinguished Professor of Humanities Emeritus Occidental College Los Angeles CAJuly 2016This review is from A Concubine for the Family A Family Saga in China PaperbackI was much impressed by Amy's careful attention to the historical background for the events that happened during that period in her novel She also did good research that provided her with accurate factual information such as foot binding and how bound feet had to be managed and taken care of They lend verisimilitude which to me is all the important since the audience comes from individuals who are mostly unfamiliar with Chinese cultural values Novels dealing with traditional Chinese values tend to display a maudlin concern when describing family relationships Amy successfully avoids this pitfall for the old traditions were often set against the westernized influences brought in by their daughters from the missionary school and from the family's forced move to Shanghai It is a good story which I enjoyed reading I shall pass it on to my former colleague who teaches Chinese language and on Chinese novels in English translation at Occidental College


  9. says:

    ChinaThis story explains the tragedy of the rape of China by the western and eastern powers of the day Purple Jade and her family had to learn new ways endure the losses and death of members of their family and death of the family itself Purple Jade was the strength of this sad group to the end


  10. says:

    I am disappointed at where this left off What happened?