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A Thread of Sky

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A Thread of Sky Cover

ISBN13: 9781594202490
ISBN10: 1594202494
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Looking to reconnect with their ancestral home and with one another, three generations of women tour mainland China on a journey that will change their family forever.

A stunning debut, A Thread of Sky is the story of a family of women and the powerful thread that binds their lives. In following the paths chosen by six fiercely independent women, A Thread of Sky explores the terrain we must travel to recognize the strength and vulnerability of those closest to us.

When her husband of thirty years is killed in a devastating accident, Irene Shen and her three daughters are set adrift. Nora, the eldest, retreats into her high-powered New York job and a troubled relationship. Kay, the headstrong middle child, escapes to China to learn the language and heritage of her parents. Sophie, the sensitive and artistic youngest, is trapped at home until college, increasingly estranged from her family — and herself. Terrified of being left alone with her grief, Irene plans a tour of mainland China's must sees, reuniting three generations of women — her three daughters, her distant poet sister, and her formidable eighty-year-old mother — in a desperate attempt to heal her fractured family.

If only it was so easy. Each woman arrives bearing secrets big and small, and as they travel-visiting untouched sections of the Great Wall and the seedy bars of Shanghai, the beautiful ancient temples and cold, modern shopping emporiums-they begin to wonder if they will ever find the China they seek, the one their family fled long ago.

Over days and miles they slowly find their way toward a new understanding of themselves, of one another, and of the vast complexity of their homeland, only to have their new bonds tested as never before when the darkest, most carefully guarded secret of all tumbles to the surface and threatens to tear their family apart forever. A Thread of Sky is a beautifully written and deeply haunting story about love and sacrifice, history and memory, sisterhood and motherhood, and the connections that endure.

Review:

"When Irene Shen's husband of 30 years walks out on her, she says, 'Good riddance,' only to learn hours later that he's been killed in a car accident. Stunned by the chain of events and dreading her imminent empty-nester status, Irene concocts a plan to strengthen blood ties through a family tour of China. But Irene's 80-year-old mother, Lin Yulan, in her youth a feminist revolutionary during the Chinese civil war, balks at returning to China, and Irene's three daughters — Nora, a successful bond trader; Kay, a social activist; and Sophie, a talented artist — are distracted by their own troubles. The characters are sympathetic and draw the reader easily into their tangled lives, but despite Fei's obvious talent, this debut has the feel of M.F.A. fiction. The hoary dictum 'write what you know' hovers above every page of this novel. The story unfurls smoothly, yet never really touches the heart." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"With its mother-daughter conflicts, a feminist message, and an exploration of Chinese roots, this novel will appeal to fans of Amy Tan as well as readers who generally enjoy the novels about immigrants like those by Julia Alvarez, Gish Jen, and Gus Lee." Library Journal

Review:

"Fei stakes a claim in Amy Tan territory with this satisfying tale." Booklist

Review:

"A Thread of Sky is a lyrical journey through the heart of contemporary China, and the family of women who make the pilgrimage across these pages are as complicated, broad-ranging, and fascinating as the country itself. Deanna Fei is one to watch." Ann Patchett, author of Run and Bel Canto

Review:

"A Thread of Sky is a remarkable debut by a gifted young novelist. Deanna Fei is an accomplished writer with keen insight into cross-cultural Chinese-American rootlessness and the ties that bind women of several generations. A wonderful book!" Anita Shreve, author of A Change in Altitude

Synopsis:

Looking to reconnect with their ancestral home and with one another, three generations of women tour mainland China on a journey that will change their family forever, in this stunning debut by a talented new writer.

Synopsis:

Looking to reconnect with their ancestral home and with one another, three generations of women tour mainland China on a journey that will change their family forever.

A stunning debut, A Thread of Sky is the story of a family of women and the powerful thread that binds their lives. In following the paths chosen by six fiercely independent women, A Thread of Sky explores the terrain we must travel to recognize the strength and vulnerability of those closest to us.

When her husband of thirty years is killed in a devastating accident, Irene Shen and her three daughters are set adrift. Nora, the eldest, retreats into her high-powered New York job and a troubled relationship. Kay, the headstrong middle child, escapes to China to learn the language and heritage of her parents. Sophie, the sensitive and artistic youngest, is trapped at home until college, increasingly estranged from her family-and herself. Terrified of being left alone with her grief, Irene plans a tour of mainland China's must sees, reuniting three generations of women-her three daughters, her distant poet sister, and her formidable eighty-year-old mother-in a desperate attempt to heal her fractured family.

If only it was so easy. Each woman arrives bearing secrets big and small, and as they travel-visiting untouched sections of the Great Wall and the seedy bars of Shanghai, the beautiful ancient temples and cold, modern shopping emporiums-they begin to wonder if they will ever find the China they seek, the one their family fled long ago.

Over days and miles they slowly find their way toward a new understanding of themselves, of one another, and of the vast complexity of their homeland, only to have their new bonds tested as never before when the darkest, most carefully guarded secret of all tumbles to the surface and threatens to tear their family apart forever. A Thread of Sky is a beautifully written and deeply haunting story about love and sacrifice, history and memory, sisterhood and motherhood, and the connections that endure.

Synopsis:

"One of those rare novels that delivers on the promise of its opening pages. This summer, no smart woman should leave on vacation without it." -ChicagoTribune.com

When her husband of thirty years is killed, Irene Shen and her three daughters are set adrift. In a desperate attempt to heal her fractured family, Irene plans a tour of mainland China, reuniting three generations of women-her fiercely independent daughters, her distant poet sister, and her formidable eighty-year-old mother. But each woman bears secrets big and small, and just as they begin to reconnect, the most carefully guarded secret of all threatens to tear them apart forever. Depicting a China at once timeless and ever changing, A Thread of Sky is a beautifully written story of love and sacrifice, history and memory, sisterhood and motherhood, and the connections that endure.

About the Author

Deanna Fei was born in Flushing, New York, and has lived in Beijing and Shanghai, China. A graduate of Amherst College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she has received a Fulbright grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, and a Chinese cultural scholarship, among other awards. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she teaches in public schools and is at work on her second novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

cja-pa, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by cja-pa)
Wonderful Chinese american story of family, extended family relationship in america as well as in a very difficult time in China.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
friends12, August 10, 2010 (view all comments by friends12)
i would love to read this book because I heard it was a great book.......
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
jadelin, July 12, 2010 (view all comments by jadelin)
A Thread of Sky is so well written that it was hard for me to read. The story--the sudden death of a father and estranged husband provides the catalyst for a mother, her three daughters, her sister and her own mother to take a trip to "the homeland", China. Deanna Fei has crafted a novel that mingles the complex tales and experiences which are carried within families. Being together and traveling to a country which provokes inner conflict uncover the tension between the spoken and more deeply, the unspoken. Shame, ingrained familial myths and personal suffering serve as barriers which keep loved ones at bay. Fei deftly moves the reader from one emotional collision to another, to the spaces where tradition, culture and identity as self play out externally and internally. As a reader, my own memories of these dynamics were evoked, times when I was stuck choosing between one right and another wrong or one value system and another, only to realize that it is in seeing the personal truth that finally ushers the way out. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Fei's writing.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594202490
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Fei, Deanna
Author:
Wawro, Geoffrey
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
United States Foreign relations.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20110329
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w map in front matter
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.26x6.58x1.15 in. 1.28 lbs.
Age Level:
18-17

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

A Thread of Sky Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Penguin Press - English 9781594202490 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "When Irene Shen's husband of 30 years walks out on her, she says, 'Good riddance,' only to learn hours later that he's been killed in a car accident. Stunned by the chain of events and dreading her imminent empty-nester status, Irene concocts a plan to strengthen blood ties through a family tour of China. But Irene's 80-year-old mother, Lin Yulan, in her youth a feminist revolutionary during the Chinese civil war, balks at returning to China, and Irene's three daughters — Nora, a successful bond trader; Kay, a social activist; and Sophie, a talented artist — are distracted by their own troubles. The characters are sympathetic and draw the reader easily into their tangled lives, but despite Fei's obvious talent, this debut has the feel of M.F.A. fiction. The hoary dictum 'write what you know' hovers above every page of this novel. The story unfurls smoothly, yet never really touches the heart." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "With its mother-daughter conflicts, a feminist message, and an exploration of Chinese roots, this novel will appeal to fans of Amy Tan as well as readers who generally enjoy the novels about immigrants like those by Julia Alvarez, Gish Jen, and Gus Lee."
"Review" by , "Fei stakes a claim in Amy Tan territory with this satisfying tale."
"Review" by , "A Thread of Sky is a lyrical journey through the heart of contemporary China, and the family of women who make the pilgrimage across these pages are as complicated, broad-ranging, and fascinating as the country itself. Deanna Fei is one to watch."
"Review" by , "A Thread of Sky is a remarkable debut by a gifted young novelist. Deanna Fei is an accomplished writer with keen insight into cross-cultural Chinese-American rootlessness and the ties that bind women of several generations. A wonderful book!"
"Synopsis" by , Looking to reconnect with their ancestral home and with one another, three generations of women tour mainland China on a journey that will change their family forever, in this stunning debut by a talented new writer.
"Synopsis" by ,
Looking to reconnect with their ancestral home and with one another, three generations of women tour mainland China on a journey that will change their family forever.

A stunning debut, A Thread of Sky is the story of a family of women and the powerful thread that binds their lives. In following the paths chosen by six fiercely independent women, A Thread of Sky explores the terrain we must travel to recognize the strength and vulnerability of those closest to us.

When her husband of thirty years is killed in a devastating accident, Irene Shen and her three daughters are set adrift. Nora, the eldest, retreats into her high-powered New York job and a troubled relationship. Kay, the headstrong middle child, escapes to China to learn the language and heritage of her parents. Sophie, the sensitive and artistic youngest, is trapped at home until college, increasingly estranged from her family-and herself. Terrified of being left alone with her grief, Irene plans a tour of mainland China's must sees, reuniting three generations of women-her three daughters, her distant poet sister, and her formidable eighty-year-old mother-in a desperate attempt to heal her fractured family.

If only it was so easy. Each woman arrives bearing secrets big and small, and as they travel-visiting untouched sections of the Great Wall and the seedy bars of Shanghai, the beautiful ancient temples and cold, modern shopping emporiums-they begin to wonder if they will ever find the China they seek, the one their family fled long ago.

Over days and miles they slowly find their way toward a new understanding of themselves, of one another, and of the vast complexity of their homeland, only to have their new bonds tested as never before when the darkest, most carefully guarded secret of all tumbles to the surface and threatens to tear their family apart forever. A Thread of Sky is a beautifully written and deeply haunting story about love and sacrifice, history and memory, sisterhood and motherhood, and the connections that endure.

"Synopsis" by ,
"One of those rare novels that delivers on the promise of its opening pages. This summer, no smart woman should leave on vacation without it." -ChicagoTribune.com

When her husband of thirty years is killed, Irene Shen and her three daughters are set adrift. In a desperate attempt to heal her fractured family, Irene plans a tour of mainland China, reuniting three generations of women-her fiercely independent daughters, her distant poet sister, and her formidable eighty-year-old mother. But each woman bears secrets big and small, and just as they begin to reconnect, the most carefully guarded secret of all threatens to tear them apart forever. Depicting a China at once timeless and ever changing, A Thread of Sky is a beautifully written story of love and sacrifice, history and memory, sisterhood and motherhood, and the connections that endure.

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