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Thanks for the review, Danielle.
We both liked the book but I think this time I liked it more.
I didn't think it was too slight or anything. Funny enough, Kevin who is always so over critical really liked it. Maybe you need to know more about the event to fill in the gaps? I've seen a few movies, one of which John Rabe, and saw the horrors like a background image while reading. Those who read the book and watched the movie were disappointed in the film. From Novroz review I deduced it showed more of the fighting but something else was off. I hope I can watch it as well. I'm curious to hear what you will think of it. It must be very beautiful.

vicki (bibliolathas/skiourophile)

After going to China at Xmas with zero reading beforehand, I'm keen to have a go at reading some Chinese fiction. It is so hard to know where to start - perhaps this might be a way into the maze.


With all your war reading, maybe the disappointment comes from wanting something more from the book than it gave you? Or an expectation of what it should be but wasn't? At least, it seems, you liked it more than you didn't like it.


I did enjoy the book, reading reviews about it made me second guess myself. But I think subtle is a much better word for the story than slight--she is just not heavy handed in how she dealt with the war scenes. I'm so glad to hear it was well received by others, too! :) I guess what I know about the Rape of Nanking is all really very peripheral and I would like to read more, though I guess it being so horrific (especially in terms of what happened to women) has made me a little apprehensive about picking up more books about it. I really would like to read more though now that I've had a taste. I brought the movie home with me today from the library, but I am not sure I'll get a chance to watch it this weekend. I'm looking forward to it.


I have been swapping postcards with someone living in China and have a small collection now of views--it looks like a really amazing place to visit--maybe someday I will get there! I brought home from the library two more books by the author so am looking forward to trying more of her work. I think this would indeed be a very good place to start. I'll be looking around, too, for more fiction (and non fiction) to read. Have you read Wild Swans by Jung Change? It's an amazing book--about three generations of Chinese women. I highly recommend it and really must get around to rereading it someday. When I first read it I found it riveting!


I think I was preparing myself for the worst as a lot of what I have read has been quite harrowing in many cases, but when it was far less graphic than I anticipated, I think I was a little surprised. On thinking about it, however, I really did like it--much more than not. I've even got two more books by the author to read now.


I quite understand - I would have prepared myself for the worst when I'd heard the subject of the novel, and would have been really surprised to find it takes place on the margins of the atrocities. I think pretty much whenever we're disconcerted by a book, it's because it was really different to expectations. However, the good news is that if it's not too gory or upsetting, I might be able to read it! Actually, I'm intending to join in for Elizabeth Bowen this month. She's right up my street.

Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)

It was easy to read given the subject matter, but I still was horrified by the ending. It's what isn't written that disturbed me so. But overall, I "enjoyed" it, too. Great review!a


I did quite like this upon reflection--but I was surprised that it was not so horrible in the descriptions. Not a bad thing at all really. So glad you are going to read Elizabeth Bowen, too. I have my copy pulled out and hope to start it soon.


Thanks Anna. The ending was a little surprising and really horrifying to think of--incredible, too, to think it was based on true events. Sometimes it's what's left unsaid that is so devastating since it is left up to your imagination then. I hope to read more of her work now.

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