How I did I miss reading this book before now ... maybe because I thought it was a novel, and remembered my past struggles to read long family sagas when the geography, names and political culture need to be assimilated along with the narrative. A few pages of Wild Swans and I found that nothing like this applies to Chang’s flowing prose exploring life for her family in China from about 1900 onwards.
This book tells an extraordinary and heartbreakingly true story, it is deeply honest and has a reach that opened my eyes to a way of life of my fellow human beings that I had no idea about. As other reviewers have said, this is an important book and written, as it is, in plain language, it is a wonderful way to learn history and hopefully, to learn from that history, even when all happened is far, far from a personal experience. It combines, with great skill, a post mortem on a political ideology and a forensic view of family love, loyalty and longevity.
There are 700 pages, so it will take your time but it’s easy to pick up and start again. I had a 2 week break from it while I read a book group book. I restarted yesterday evening and was quickly engrossed again. Wild Swans is non fiction at its very best.
As you can see from the photo here I read an old copy of Wld Swans. There was something magic about knowing that many other hands had held this book, had read its words. Had those readers, like me, been amazed, horrified and saddened by what they had read? I'll never know but that doesn't matter. We have all read it. Now it is your turn. I can't send you the copy with its coffee stains and creased spine but ask around, someone you know might have a copy and there's always the library.
Finally, on this wet Sunday a photo of my first homemade sourdough using Maud, who is, for the uninitiated, my sourdough starter from Hobbs House Bakery.
As it says Maud is refreshed and resting. Well. most of her is, let's not think about what will soon happen to the portion i used for this loaf.
I am waiting for the slow rise of this loaf in my not very warm kitchen. It will happen I need to be patient ... perhaps its time to start a new book or to find my much neglected knitting.