Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Lake Louise, Canada
Copenhagen, Denmark
Loch Ness, Scotland
  • Location: China

Wild Swans

Wild Swans

Why a Booktrail?

1909 to 1991  -See China, its people and its history through the eyes of  three daughters.

  • ISBN: 978-0007463404
  • Genre: Fiction, Historical

What you need to know before your trail

Wild Swans is many things – it is a detailed account of China’s history from three generations of one family from 1909 to 1991. These stories chronicle events all the way from the Boxer rebellion through the People’s and cultural revolutions and everything in between. How lives have changed, how these women have changed and how life at times seems bleak with the chaos reigning in the country.

At the centre of their lives is Mao – the figurehead of the country and their leader. a man who would give with one hand and take away with the other.

This is the story of the Chinese mind and of the human spirit.

Travel Guide

The remarkable thing about this journey is that it is based on the author’s very own family, her mother and her grandmother and their view of a changing China. First person insights into a most remarkble country and culture.

Three generations of women

The Grandmother of this story has a very interesting story to tell – she was married off as a concubine to a warlord when only young. This early life has repercussions on her and her family for many generations to come

Chang’s mother is like most mothers torn between her duties towards her large family but in this China she is also torn between her duties to the Party. The relentless presence and indoctrination of the Mao regime is everywhere and it’s the role of each mother to survive. Meanwhile the author’s father is a high ranking man and communist, who is described as

‘A moral man living in a land that [is] a moral void’.

A rolling history of turmoil and tragedy from the Qing Dynasty , the battle between the Kwomintang and the Communists, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, each event takes a major part in the book showing the panic which resulted from these changes and the chaotic unpredictability of the time.

‘They all say what a happy place Manchukuo is’ speaks of the puppet state in North East China set up by Japan.  Other chapters recount the 1950s as years when people were silenced and scared to speak, another traces the mother’s long march through five mountain passes and her capture by a campaign to uncover hidden counter-revolutionaries.

A chronology put the women’s lives and historical events side by side to reveal a personal and poignant history trail.

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