Spring Moon : a novel of China

by Bette B. Lord

Hardcover, 1981

Status

Available

Genres

Publication

New York : Harper & Row, c1981.

Description

Behind the garden walls of the House of Chang, pampered daughter Spring Moon is born into luxury and privilege. But the tempests of change sweep her into a new world -- one of hardship, turmoil, and heartbreak, one that threatens to destroy her husband, her family, and her darkest secret love. Through a tumultuous lifetime, Spring Moon must cling to her honor, to the memory of a time gone by, and to a destiny, foretold at her birth, that has yet to be fulfilled. Book jacket.

User reviews

LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
I've recently read three novels set in China from a list of recommended historical fiction: Min's Empress Orchid, See's Snowflower and the Secret Fan, and Bao's Spring Moon. All three are written by Chinese-American women about female Chinese protagonists born in the late Ch'ing Manchu Dynasty--the times of the Opium Wars, the Taiping Rebellion and in the case of this novel, Spring Moon, taking us to the ending of that dynasty to the Communist Revolution. The three books paint a rather consistent portrait of Chinese culture and society in late Imperial China. One in which women lead very circumscribed lives, where ancestors and parents are revered and the status of a woman depends entirely on bearing sons. All three books deal with the disruption to a 4,000 year culture by Western forces and the changes that brings.

However, although this book like the others is centered on a female perspective, it also has strong, sympathetic male characters such as Bold Talent--something I found lacking in the other two books, which is one reason I found this my favorite among the three. Another reason I think I liked this one more was that it was less predictable since Min's novel followed famous historical figures and See's novel was framed as the story of an old woman looking back. Bao's tale is the story of a woman her family and clan spanning five generations, told fairly conventionally, but less intimate somehow than the others, with a more ambitious historical sweep. I liked how each chapter was headed with an appropriate tale of Chinese lore, history, myth, saying, or bit of history. The epilogue, which dealt with the Cultural Revolution was heart-breaking.

Not quite a book I'd consider a standout, that I'd keep on my shelf or highly recommend to friends or gift them with, but I certainly liked the heroine Spring Moon and found myself engrossed by her story and the picture of Chinese history and culture.
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LibraryThing member autumnesf
A work of fiction written by a lady born in Shanghai and then relocated to the US. As an adult the author returned to China with her husband, Winston Lord, principal adviser to Henry Kissinger. Her reunion with relatives became the genesis of Spring Moon.

The book follows 5 generations through Emperors, Warlords, Nationalist and Communists. Sometimes referred to as a Chinese "Gone With the Wind". Very easy read and a good book all around. You can learn alot about courtyard houses and the way the Chinese lived in the late 1800's, early 1900's. I look forward to reading more of the authors books.… (more)
LibraryThing member indigo7
Recommended. Follows the life of Spring Moon, a Chinese girl.
LibraryThing member aryadeschain
While this book is not completely horrid, the slow progression and lack of focus made me slowly dislike it. The summary says that it tells the story of a Chinese girl named Spring Moon, born in a rich family living in Soochow province, amidst the traditional Chinese culture of showing respect for their elders, bonding their feet (practice they called "golden lilies"), not choosing whom they married. And yes, Spring Moon's life spams form the traditional Chinese life until the Chinese Revolution of Mao Tse-Tung and the foreign countries meddling. The political background is well-researched. What's annoying about it all is that the story simply does not seem to move forward and just keeps introducing random characters that may not have the slightest importance to the story.

Overall, the story seems too... automatic. There are no feelings in this romance. Only facts. Facts and descriptions that don't necessarily add something to the story.
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LibraryThing member christinejoseph
1892 to 70's China Clan - changes in China, according to their destiny
"all pilgrims towards the same destination".

At a time of mystery and cruelty ... in an ancient land of breathtaking beauty and exotic surprise ... a courageous woman triumphs over her world's ultimate tragedy.

Behind the garden walls of the House of Chang, pampered daughter Spring Moon is born into luxury and privilege. But the tempests of change sweep her into a new world -- one of hardship, turmoil, and heartbreak, one that threatens to destroy her husband, her family, and her darkest secret love. Through a tumultuous lifetime, Spring Moon must cling to her honor, to the memory of a time gone by, and to a destiny, foretold at her birth, that has yet to be fulfilled.
… (more)
LibraryThing member hobbitprincess
I think someone versed in Chinese history would have enjoyed this more than I did. The novel takes place in the late 1800s to the 1970s in China, although most of it is in the earlier part of that time frame. Thankfully, there was a character list in the front, or I would have been really confused. The names are translated Chinese names and are not easy to get used to since they are so similar. I was frequently puzzled over some of the historical aspects and did look some things up as I read, but it became burdensome after a while, so I raced to get the book read in time for the book club meeting. I've seen this billed as a "Chinese Gone With the Wind". It isn't.… (more)

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