Saturday, July 14, 2007

Book Review: Women of the Silk


Author—Gail Tsukiyama

Pages: 278

Personal Rating: 5/5

From the back cover:

In Women of the Silk, a West Coast bestseller in its hardcover publication, Gail Tsukiyama takes her readers back to rural China in 1926, where a group of women forge a sisterhood amidst the reeling machines that reverberate and clamor in a vast silk factory from dawn until dusk. Leading the first strike the village has ever seen, the young women use the strength of their ambition, dreams, and friendship to achieve the freedom they could never have hoped for on their own. Tsukiyama's graceful prose weaves the details of "the silk work" and Chinese village life into a story of miraculous courage and strength.

I decided to read Women of the Silk with the hope that I would like it as much as Snow Flower & the Secret Fan and Memoirs of a Geisha. Although distinctly different from them, it still gave me a glimpse into the Chinese culture that I have begun to enjoy.

Women of the Silk revolves around a young girl Pei, who is sent to work in the silk factory to earn money for her family. Her father tells her they are taking a trip and then leaves her as she is taking a “tour” of the building that will become her home. The story follows Pei through the next 20 years of her life. As the events in Pei’s life unfold, it becomes harder and harder to put the book down.

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