To The Edge of The Sky

by Anhua Gao | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0140287248 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingNetstationwing of Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on 3/6/2004
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingNetstationwing from Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, March 6, 2004
This is a hard book to read, not because it's badly written, it isn't, but because it's hard for those of us living in western democracies to understand what the author has been through.

Gao's memoir of life in China at the end of the Mao Tse-tung era is enthralling, and sometimes shocking. Betrayed by her sister, thrown into jail for being a spy - "she must be a spy, she can speak English" - and separated from her daughter she survives and finally finds a degree of happiness.

There are so many moving moments in the story I don't think I can select just one to use as an example. Bookcrossers though will recognise her expression of delight when she discovers that a friend has a hidden hoard of classics, from which she is allowed to borrow volumes. This seems so ordinary to us it's hard to remember that, for her, discovery would certainly mean imprisonment and torture, possibly death. Would you risk death to read 'A Tale of Two Cities'?

Journal Entry 2 by wingNetstationwing from Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Now setting off round a bookring. It's open ended so if you'd like to be added just PM me.

Running order:

Loopy1 07/04/04

Journal Entry 3 by loopy1 from Herne Bay, Kent United Kingdom on Thursday, April 8, 2004
I just spent an hour standing in a cold playground watching my son's Easter Buggy Races, and came home to warm up and to find this book waiting for me.
Thanks, I'm on holiday from work for a couple of weeks, so look forward to curling up with this book :-)

Journal Entry 4 by loopy1 from Herne Bay, Kent United Kingdom on Thursday, April 22, 2004
I just finished reading this book this afternoon. Can you believe I knew nothing about China until I read this? I'd heard of Chairman Mao, and the Gang of Four, but apart from the names themselves I was ignorant.
I am still amazed that such a completely different world can exist. It was totally amazing to hear of the way people in China were treated. It was an amazing story of how one woman managed to survive through the time of Chairman Mao and the Cultural Revolution and how her belief in communism and the Party was gradually eroded by the way people around her were treated.
As a reader, I find it incredible that someone was so desperate to get her hands on reading material that she made her own handwritten copies of books.
I really feel that this book has opened up a whole new world to me! Thanks for sharing it.

Journal Entry 5 by perfect-circle from Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Monday, April 26, 2004
Arrived this morning. I also know very little about China so am looking forward (?) to being educated.

Journal Entry 6 by perfect-circle from Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Monday, May 3, 2004
An amazing story. I knew virtually noting of China before picking this up and, after reading, feel terrible that I considered myself educated whilst knowing nothing of the horrors of growing up and living in China over the last 50 years.

Anhua's story really is one of courage and bravery over everything and the thought of being imprisoned for reading classic novels is disturbing to me. I agree with Loopy1, it has opened up a new world to me.

Off to mrsbridgewater just as soon as I have her address.

Journal Entry 7 by mrsbridgewater from Holybourne, Hampshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Firstly, sorry for not journalling this sooner - it arrived a couple of days ago - but I haven't had a minute with the book, the laptop and my brain in the same room to journal it!

My first thoughts on seeing this book, and I know I shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I always do, is that it looks very similar to the cover of 'Wild Swans' which I read and enjoyed many years ago. Will journal again when I have finished the book.

Journal Entry 8 by mrsbridgewater from Holybourne, Hampshire United Kingdom on Friday, May 28, 2004
What a fabulous book. I knew about the Cultural Revolution, but for some reason didn't realise it had happened so recently. I think I wanted to distance myself from it by pretending it hadn't happened in my life time! I like the fact that this book is writen without lapsing into sentimentality. Thank you Netstation for sending this book out.

Journal Entry 9 by camis from Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Saturday, May 29, 2004
Received in the post today - looking forward to reading this but have a couple of other ring books here I must finish first, so apologies in advance for any delay!

Journal Entry 10 by camis from Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Thursday, June 24, 2004
Have now finished this and it was certainly worth the wait. Like others have said, I knew very little about the events in China and found it both fascinating and horrifying. Her courage in overcoming what life threw at her is quite amazing.

Thank you so much for sharing this. Will send to SwissToni shortly.

Journal Entry 11 by SwissToni on Saturday, July 3, 2004
Arrived safe and sound this morning with a couple of Billy Bragg Stubby holders, although not in the same package! (by the way, why do posties always come so early on a saturday, and yet so late during the week? I'd be at home and up and dressed at 07:30 most days during the week, but I'm assuredly asleep at the weekend. And during the week, the little devil comes about 10:30 when I am definitely at work! grrr. Do they do it deliberately?)

I did a history degree (albeit a mainly medieval one), so I do know a bit about the period. This isn't the kind of thing I would normally read, mind, but that's one of the joys of bookcrossing. Steve must have said something about it that intrigued me....

Might take me a little while to get to, hope nobody minds?

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