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A Single Swallow af Zhang Ling
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A Single Swallow (udgave 2020)

af Zhang Ling (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
965220,660 (4.31)Ingen
Medlem:Lex13
Titel:A Single Swallow
Forfattere:Zhang Ling (Forfatter)
Info:Brilliance Audio (2020)
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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A Single Swallow: A Novel af Ling Zhang

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Viser 5 af 5
On the day of the historic 1945 Jewel Voice Broadcast—in which Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender to the Allied forces, bringing an end to World War II—three men, flush with jubilation, made a pact. After their deaths, each year on the anniversary of the broadcast, their souls would return to the Chinese village of their younger days. It’s where they had fought—and survived—a war that shook the world and changed their own lives in unimaginable ways. Now, seventy years later, the pledge is being fulfilled by American missionary Pastor Billy, brash gunner’s mate Ian Ferguson, and local soldier Liu Zhaohu.
All that’s missing is Ah Yan—also known as Swallow—the girl each man loved, each in his own profound way.

A very moving look at WWII through the eyes of 3 men and Ah Yan as they revisit their past. Great cast of characters and historical details that transport you to another time. Recommend for all historical fiction readers.
  SharleneMartinMoore | Apr 24, 2021 |
No plot summary here, as many other reviewers have done that. This is a literary novel that follows its own leisurely path while nonetheless telling harrowing stories about war and its consequences. A reader has to accept the style and pacing, which lean heavily toward atmospheric narrative, to reap the rewards of the book as a whole. The characters are developed well enough to hold a reader's interest, even as we move back and forth in time. The female protagonist is especially sympathetic and fully realized--not surprising, since the author is a woman. I love reading into another culture, in this case, Chinese, and gaining this author's perspective on historic events from a non-American point of view. ( )
  Amy_L_Bernstein | Oct 31, 2020 |
I read Ling Zhang’s A Single Swallow in the original before reading this fabulous English translation. The novel is set in China during WWII. The storyline is fantastic: the tale of the woman protagonist, Ah Yan, is told by three dead men, which reminds me of the multi-narrators in As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. What Ah Yan goes through during the war is brutal, but these tragedies can’t destroy her; she grows into a strong and independent woman while overcoming all barriers from the social tradition that shackles women. The vivid details make the characters real and come to life. The novel reflects a history that the Americans helped the Chinese during the Sino-Japanese War. ( )
  zoe.r2005 | Oct 20, 2020 |
Ah Yan is only one small person, but her life is a strong and colorful thread in the life-quilts of three different men for three very different reasons. Each calls her by a different name based on who she is to him, or at least who he wants her to be. Her intense suffering at the hands of men both during and after World War II break her, shape her, mold her, and teach her—yet sometimes broken bones heal stronger than they were before the fracture. From her experiences, Ah Yan learns to stand tall, build resilience, and trust herself, and despite all the evil she encounters, she continues to do good. Her story is one of conflict, betrayal, anguish, and somehow love. She grows up in a nation at war with Japan, and also with itself. As China changes, so must Ah Yan. Her story tells me that anyone who can face the past without shame can live in the present without regret and face the future without shame. What more can we hope for?
(ARC in exchange for an honest review did not influence my opinion) ( )
1 stem MadMaudie | Sep 7, 2020 |
For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

A Single Swallow by Ling Zhang (translated by Shelly Bryant) is an award-winning Chinese novel taking place during the Japanese occupation of China during World War II. Ling Zhang is an award winning author.

The story follows three men, American missionary Pastor Billy, brash gunner’s mate Ian Ferguson, and local soldier Liu Zhaohu who promised one another that they will each other, after their deaths on the anniversary of Japan’s surrender.

As each one takes a turn telling their story, they all come down to Ah Yan, or Swallow, a girl each man loved in their own way.

Even though the story is told through the multiple points of view of three men, the real start of the book is the woman who they are all in love with, in some way or another. Ah Yan, or Swallow, leaves her mar on each one of the men at some point in their life, which they reminisce about after their death.

The narrative of A Single Swallow by Ling Zhang is very lyrical, great translation by Shelly Bryant who, I believe, really captured the essence of the story and the spirit of it. A novel about a very strong woman, who constantly puts others before herself, many times in a heartbreaking fashion.

I thought that the style of making the three narrators supporting actors in the novels, while the main protagonist view point is left alone was very creative story-telling. Even though the three narrators are dead, and tell the story in hindsight, the overlapping of their narratives creates a strong story.

The first chapter or two got me interested in the concept, ghosts meeting up in a per-scheduled date and time, even though they had to wait a few decades for the meeting to cumulate fully. The narrative got slower than, but the rich language kept me going and once Ah Yan got introduced the whole story took off.

There are several brutal scenes, after all this is a novel about a war. The way the Japanese treated their Chinese captors, the way the Communists Chinese treated their own people, and of course the horrible events which Ah Yan went through are not for the faint of heart, but make the story much stronger and significant.

This is, however, a slow novel and there are a few parts which, I felt, could have been cut to make the pace faster (why do I need to know about two dogs, it added nothing to the story). ( )
  ZoharLaor | Mar 19, 2020 |
Viser 5 af 5
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