Bury What We Cannot Take

Bury What We Cannot Take

The day nine-year-old San San and her twelve-year-old brother, Ah Liam, discover their grandmother taking a hammer to a framed portrait of Chairman Mao is the day that forever changes their lives. To prove his loyalty to the Party, Ah Liam reports his grandmother to the authorities. But his belief in doing the right thing sets in motion a terrible chain of events. Now they The day nine-year-old San San and her twelve-year-old brother, Ah Liam, discover their grandmother taking a hammer to ...

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Title:Bury What We Cannot Take
Author:Kirstin Chen
Rating:
Genres:Fiction
ISBN:1542049709
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:289 pages pages

Bury What We Cannot Take Reviews

  • Vanessa Hua
    Mar 30, 2018
    An incredible tale of survival and loss, against the backdrop of a lesser-known period of Chinese history. I was a huge fan of Chen's SOY SAUCE FOR BEGINNERS, which had a contemporary setting, in Singapore, and I was eager to read this novel. I was totally swept up in the fate of this ...
  • Amy
    Apr 18, 2018
    3.5 stars, rounding up for storytelling ...
  • Annie
    Feb 26, 2018
    There are some decisions that one should not overthink. Then there others that absolutely require long deliberation. Ong Seok Koon?s mistake at the beginning of Bury What We Cannot Take, by Kirstin Chen, is that she makes a very important decision without any thought at all. She and ...
  • (a)lyss(a)
    Apr 11, 2018
    "Somehow, without her quite noticing, the end of May had come and gone, and it was June." I received a copy of this ebook from a goodreads first reads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. This is a very character driven and emotional read. Following a family attempting...
  • Columbus
    Mar 30, 2018
    I absolutely devoured the first 60 percent of this tale set in 1957 communist China. A family seeking to flee an islet bordering China to Hong Kong after an unfortunate incident by one of the family members. Only three travel visas are allowed to insure that the family returns back to...
  • Imi
    Mar 26, 2018
    I'll be reading Chen's debut Soy Sauce for Beginners before this (it's on the tbr soon pile!), but I really enjoyed this article about the author's concern on whether she had the right to write the story she was planning for this, her sophomore novel: Am I Chinese Enough to Tell This S...
  • Mirel
    Apr 19, 2018
    Probably more of a 3.5 The story opens well, painting a sharp picture of the early years of Communism for an industrial family in China. The father works in Hong Kong, while his old mother, wife and two children are living in China. The story more or less opens with the children sec...
  • Kate
    Apr 03, 2018
    I think the book was good and played out some interesting scenarios - if and how and when to get your family out of your home country; family dynamics; sibling gender differences. I totally rounded up the stars because it was refreshing to read a story that was not dependent upon f...
  • Keri
    Apr 09, 2018
    Disclaimer: I won this book through a Goodreads.com giveaway. I enjoyed the well-developed characters in what is, essentially, a character study novel. This fits nicely into a few of the niche reads that I enjoy: Asian culture, character studies, and the way that ordinary people nav...
  • Rachel
    Apr 24, 2018
    This book reminds me so much of what growing up in Asia is like. The fraught relationships between members of a family, the love conveyed differently, and the tremendous sense of obligation and duty, to family and to country. The plot was unexpected in a good way, and compelled me to k...
  • Maggie Boyd
    Apr 14, 2018
    Our immigration system is a hot topic in the news lately and it seems like personal accounts of success and failure by people who come to this great land are broadcast by our media on a regular basis. Bury What We Cannot Take is a story of immigration which moves the issue to a histori...
  • Rachel Rooney
    Apr 02, 2018
    After an impulsive action is reported by one of its members, a family is forced to flee early communist China for Hong Kong, leaving behind one of the children with the hope that the child will be able to follow behind soon. I was entranced pretty much right away by this novel, and...
  • Rachel
    Dec 29, 2017
    Bury What We Cannot Take is a captivating novel about one family's attempt to flee from Communist China in 1957. Having been granted only 3 travel visas to Hong Kong for 4 family members, Seok Koon is forced to leave one of her children behind in order to legally exit the country, and ...
  • Diane S ☔
    Apr 11, 2018
    3.5 Twelve year old, Ah Liam is a staunch supporter of the cultural revolution and of Chairman Mao. So much so that he reports his own grandmother for taking a hammer to the picture in their house, the picture every house must have, of their beloved Chairman. Coming from a priviledged ...
  • Ethel Rohan
    Mar 26, 2018
    This novel's title, cover and prose are a class act. It's a gripping, heartfelt story set against the backdrop of Maoist China. The horrors of that communist regime are efficiently and effectively rendered and left me hurting at our capacity for cruelty and inhumanity. The wealth of de...
  • Sarah
    Apr 23, 2018
    I won a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I'd probably rate this a 3.5, if half stars were an option. The setting is incredibly well-rendered, the characters are well-drawn, and I was absolutely engrossed by San San's story. But, the other half of the story ...
  • Vivian
    May 03, 2018
    Young Ah Liam yearned for the day he could join China?s Youth League, against his families better judgement. They didn?t understand, he thought. It was the first step toward full party membership. That which he coveted more than anything. He only hopes that the Party didn?t learn...
  • Natalia Sylvester
    Apr 21, 2018
    This was a beautifully immersive story and one I know I?ll be thinking about for a long time. Using multiple POVs, Kirstin Chen depicts a family torn apart by unthinkable circumstances. The way she reveals each character?s truths and struggles and triumphs and losses is masterful, ...
  • Jacqueline
    Mar 29, 2018
    I look forward to reading more works by this author. Captivating story, well-written and interesting characters, but it did feel a bit too short and surface level. I feel like most of the time long books could be much shorter, but in this case I feel like this book should have been lon...
  • Amber
    May 11, 2018
    3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. I loved San San, and Seok Koon's desperation to get her back. Spoiler tag, just in case. (view spoiler)[ Ah Liam - Classic brainwashed kid, but very believable. Glad he made the right choice in the end. Zhai and Lulu - I liked seeing Zhai come to ...
  • Lindoula
    Apr 12, 2018
    Disclaimer: I received a free copy from a Goodreads giveaway. This book is OK but not great. A little too predictable for me. Sometimes I like predictable stories because the other merits of the story are worth it, but here I didn't find myself interested in the side stories (the fa...
  • Ellen
    May 12, 2018
    An interesting look into Mao?s China in 1957, the brutality and the effects of propaganda. The Ong family is trying to get out of Communist China to Hong Kong to reunite with the father of the family. The children, San San and Ah Liam have been fed the language of the Revolution, and...
  • Heidi Perling
    Apr 25, 2018
    I received this book and a Goodreads giveaway, but I would have loved it even if I had paid for it. It's a fascinating peek into life in China after the communist revolution. I'll be thinking about these characters for a long time... I really liked the way their emotions we're expresse...
  • Afoma Umesi
    Mar 22, 2018
    This is one of those books whose titles grabbed me before anything else. I'm pleased to report that the rest of the book is just as evocative as that title. In Maoist China, twelve year old Ah Liam reports his grandmother for vandalizing a portrait of Chairman Mao and so starts a terri...
  • Shawn Mooney
    Mar 27, 2018
    It?s a harrowing story, set in China in 1957: a young boy reports his grandmother to the authorities for taking a hammer to a portrait of Chairman Mao. Unfortunately, the extremely weak characterization meant that, a fifth of the way in, I didn?t care about anyone or anything that ...
  • Michele-Marie Merritt
    Apr 01, 2018
    This is an incredible book!!! The story is both heartbreaking and plausible. A family split apart while trying to leave Communist China for Hong Kong. A grandmother's rash action compels her grandson to report her to his school. His mother needs to get four exit visas but is only p...
  • Rosh
    Mar 30, 2018
    This book painted a painful picture of communism in China when the borders closed and the awful choices a family might have to make to get out of there. Did I like it? It was decent but I appreciat the story and intention of the author behind it. ...
  • Atheinne
    Mar 27, 2018
    Provided only three permits/visas available given to a family of four, which family members would you bring with you to a place far from the rule of communism? Your choices are: A. Your mother-in-law (grandmother of your children) B. Your first child (son) C. Your second child (da...
  • Ingrid Contreras
    Mar 14, 2018
    In Bury What We Cannot Take, a misjudged moment of anger uproots a family. The very beginning of the novel finds twelve-year-old Ah-Liam and nine-year-old San San returning home from school to discover their grandmother kneeling before the family altar and crying, her skirt partially h...
  • juddy18
    Dec 31, 2017
    Great book! I received an ARC in advance of interviewing her for a student-run blog and really enjoyed the riveting story! ...