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

  • Amy
    Apr 18, 2018
    3.5 stars, rounding up for storytelling ...
  • 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...
  • Beth
    Jul 21, 2018
    3.5-4 Torn on rating here. I really enjoyed the story and eagerly awaited to get back into it when I wasn?t reading. It did feel a little rushed at the end and some of plot points were too neat but it?s an interesting look at a family facing impossible choices during Mao?s ru...
  • 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...
  • Kara
    Apr 24, 2018
    I raced through Bury What We Cannot Take. At its heart, this is a story about a family. In communist china, a young boy witnesses his grandmother smashing a portrait of the Chairman Mao. The rest of the book follows the consequences of this one interaction, and the unimaginable decisio...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Barbra
    Apr 29, 2018
    I enjoyed this book and read it very quickly. One impulsive action resulted in a cascade of terrible events. So hard to imagine living in a society within which such a decision is even a thinkable one to make. All involved paid for that decision. It was interesting to read how each per...
  • 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...
  • 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, ...
  • Cathie
    Jul 15, 2018
    I liked the time frame and the topic, but it's what I call "short sentence" style of writing, which I don't care for. It felt cliched and the ending too pat. ...
  • 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...
  • Victoria Law
    Jun 11, 2018
    Finished in one night. ...
  • Megan Fuller
    Jun 05, 2018
    What a great book! I live in China now, and the perspective of this novel set 70 years ago helped me understand how far we have come. I take so many things for granted - so many freedoms, people, friends, expectations.... To think of what these little children and mother went through. ...
  • enyanyo
    May 29, 2018
    What if a mistake was too grave to live with? What if the guilt wormed its way deep into the flesh and grew more and more potent, devouring tissue and fat and skin, until one day, you looked down and your whole self had been ravaged and nothing remained? This is a painful story, tol...
  • 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...
  • Amanda
    Jun 23, 2018
    3.75 I really enjoyed this, I would have been 4-4.5 stars but I felt like the ending was abrupt. But overall it was captivating. I felt anger and sadness, I was disgusted at times. If you enjoy family sagas I think you?d enjoy this. ...
  • Stephanie Anze
    Jul 10, 2018
    "What if a mistake was too grave to live with? What if the guilt wormed its way deep into the flesh and grew more and more potent, devouring tissue and fat and skin, until one day, you looked down and your whole self had been ravaged and nothing remained?" When nine-year-old San San...
  • Sachi Argabright
    Jul 26, 2018
    This book is devastatingly beautiful. The family we follow is put in a difficult situation that spirals downward, and I continued to wonder what would happen next. It has a serious and heavy tone, but I believe it added more to the story and built larger stakes. I also loved the ending...
  • Carrie Nelson
    May 29, 2018
    Set in Maoist China, a young boy, Ah Liam, reports that his grandmother took a hammer to Chairman Mao's portrait because he believes that is the right thing to do. This causes Ah Liam's family to flee to Hong Kong, where his father has been living, but the government will not provide e...
  • Wow
    May 20, 2018
    I have to confess that what got my attention was the cover art and the title, otherwise I would've never picked it up as I haven't heard of the author or her other books before. The story is set in the 1950s during Mao's reign in China . It's about the decision of a family to leave ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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! ...