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Readers of Women of the Silk never forgot the moving, powerful story of Pei, brought to work in the silk house as a girl, grown into a quiet but determined young woman whose life is subject to cruel twists of fate, including the loss of her closest friend, Lin. Now we finally learn what happened to Pei, as she leaves the silk house for Hong Kong in the 1930s, arriving with Readers of Women of the Silk never forgot the moving, powerful story of Pei, brought to work in the silk house as a girl, grown into a quiet but determined young woman whose life is subject to cruel twists of fate, including the loss of her closest friend, Lin. Now we finally learn what happened to Pei, as she leaves the silk house for Hong Kong in the 1930s, arriving with a young orphan, Ji Shen, in her care. Her first job, in the home of a wealthy family, ends in disgrace, but soon Pei and Ji Shen find a new life in the home of Mrs. Finch, a British ex-patriate who welcomes them as the daughters she never had. Their idyllic life is interrupted, however, by war, and the Japanese occupation. Pei is once again forced to make her own way, struggling to survive and to keep her extended family alive as well. In this story of hardship and survival, Tsukiyama paints a portrait of women fighting the forces of war and time to make a life for themselves.


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Readers of Women of the Silk never forgot the moving, powerful story of Pei, brought to work in the silk house as a girl, grown into a quiet but determined young woman whose life is subject to cruel twists of fate, including the loss of her closest friend, Lin. Now we finally learn what happened to Pei, as she leaves the silk house for Hong Kong in the 1930s, arriving with Readers of Women of the Silk never forgot the moving, powerful story of Pei, brought to work in the silk house as a girl, grown into a quiet but determined young woman whose life is subject to cruel twists of fate, including the loss of her closest friend, Lin. Now we finally learn what happened to Pei, as she leaves the silk house for Hong Kong in the 1930s, arriving with a young orphan, Ji Shen, in her care. Her first job, in the home of a wealthy family, ends in disgrace, but soon Pei and Ji Shen find a new life in the home of Mrs. Finch, a British ex-patriate who welcomes them as the daughters she never had. Their idyllic life is interrupted, however, by war, and the Japanese occupation. Pei is once again forced to make her own way, struggling to survive and to keep her extended family alive as well. In this story of hardship and survival, Tsukiyama paints a portrait of women fighting the forces of war and time to make a life for themselves.

30 review for The Language of Threads

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    This is a sequel of sorts to Women of the Silk which follows the story of Pei. She leaves the silk factory for Hong Kong in the 1920's accompanied by an young orphan Ji-Shen. The story continues through the time of Pei's employment for a dominant, arrogant Chinese family, then a wonderful English woman who supports and befriends Pei. This life is then interrupted with Japanese occupation and Pei is left on her own again. Pei uses the jewels that Mrs. Finch left to her to start her own shop, with This is a sequel of sorts to Women of the Silk which follows the story of Pei. She leaves the silk factory for Hong Kong in the 1920's accompanied by an young orphan Ji-Shen. The story continues through the time of Pei's employment for a dominant, arrogant Chinese family, then a wonderful English woman who supports and befriends Pei. This life is then interrupted with Japanese occupation and Pei is left on her own again. Pei uses the jewels that Mrs. Finch left to her to start her own shop, with Hong Cho's help and business savy. Her business prospers. Finally Li, her sister, contacts her. Pei is able to bring her sister to Hong Kong and they live their last years together. There is a very good finish to the story of Pei I continue to love the duo books of Women of the Silk and The Language of Threads as very quietly beautiful and enlightening historical fiction.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    I liked Women of the Silk much more than The Language of Threads . Maybe it was because I missed the primary relationship and the struggle against a clearly identified power to this book which was more about Pei's struggle to gain independence in a new place while simultaneously caring for an orphan and then survive the onset of war. I was left wanting more depth in how the characters thought about the impending and then current conflict with the Japanese invaders. There was the beginning of som I liked Women of the Silk much more than The Language of Threads . Maybe it was because I missed the primary relationship and the struggle against a clearly identified power to this book which was more about Pei's struggle to gain independence in a new place while simultaneously caring for an orphan and then survive the onset of war. I was left wanting more depth in how the characters thought about the impending and then current conflict with the Japanese invaders. There was the beginning of some of that thinking with Pei's relationship with her English employer, but then it all got easy quickly and the lack of continuing confusion or conflict surprised me, especially since they were all living together. It was good to have a next step to Pei's life, especially after the trauma that was in Women of the Silk. I missed the characters from the first book and none of these characters really grew on me in the same way. I guess it's really a lack of bonding over a struggle against a silk factory management that keeps putting the employees down that was missing for me. Oh well.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Smitha Murthy

    More than 10 years after I read 'The Women Of Silk,' I finally managed to read the sequel 'The Language Of Threads.' If you haven't read the prequel, then I suggest that you hold off reading this. As always, Tsukiyama's language is simplistically breathtaking. She takes you on a whirlwind tour of colonial Hong Kong, its occupation under the Japanese, and then back to the handover to the British. With a nuanced descriptive style, I can't but wish that there was another to follow this. Tsukiyama t More than 10 years after I read 'The Women Of Silk,' I finally managed to read the sequel 'The Language Of Threads.' If you haven't read the prequel, then I suggest that you hold off reading this. As always, Tsukiyama's language is simplistically breathtaking. She takes you on a whirlwind tour of colonial Hong Kong, its occupation under the Japanese, and then back to the handover to the British. With a nuanced descriptive style, I can't but wish that there was another to follow this. Tsukiyama ties up everything in the end, and that made me feel slightly peaceful after all the troubles that Pei goes through. Perhaps, this is why we need fiction - to remind us that perfect endings need not be an illusion?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Brand

    Read in Germany, July 2009. Comments: * enjoyed a lot more than the prequel - the plot was more fluid, the characters (especially Pei) were more realistic and better developed, and the writing was also better (although there was a typo on the back cover!). All signs that Tsukiyama's writing had improved immensley. * I liked the ending of this book more - it seemed to be rounded up better than in the first book. * still a lot of sadness - Mrs F. and the orphan girl. I understood that it was realistic Read in Germany, July 2009. Comments: * enjoyed a lot more than the prequel - the plot was more fluid, the characters (especially Pei) were more realistic and better developed, and the writing was also better (although there was a typo on the back cover!). All signs that Tsukiyama's writing had improved immensley. * I liked the ending of this book more - it seemed to be rounded up better than in the first book. * still a lot of sadness - Mrs F. and the orphan girl. I understood that it was realistic for the time and place, but I read books to escape the sad reality of life! And I felt sorry for Pei, who seemed to carry bad luck and death wherever she went! I'm glad that she and Li had a happy ending. * a few cliches in the book e.g. the pearl necklace, which just seemed to ridiculously obvious to me right from the start. * again, a lot of historical info. which have me more knowledge of the time period. I would say that you don't have to know much about the period prior to reading this book, and you do learn a lot from it without it being preachy. * I read it all in one day! Which was a bit of a pity as it was one of the few unread books I still had in Germany, and I still had at least three weeks of my holiday left at the time. Overall, my favourite of the two Tsukiyama novels but it is probably important to read the prequel first. It is worth it for this novel, which is really gripping and hard to put down. 9/10

  5. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    1938: As Imperial Japanese Army closes on Canton in China, Pei flees to Hong Kong. Where Song Lee is part of a sisterhood, which helps women settle down and find jobs. With Song Lee’s help, Pei gets a position of “the wash-and-iron amah” for the Chen household. Chen tai, the wife, is busy with social events and her dresses need to be ready for her. Everything is fine until a pearl necklace disappears. The news of any disgraced household worker spread throughout Hong Kong very quickly. So Pei need 1938: As Imperial Japanese Army closes on Canton in China, Pei flees to Hong Kong. Where Song Lee is part of a sisterhood, which helps women settle down and find jobs. With Song Lee’s help, Pei gets a position of “the wash-and-iron amah” for the Chen household. Chen tai, the wife, is busy with social events and her dresses need to be ready for her. Everything is fine until a pearl necklace disappears. The news of any disgraced household worker spread throughout Hong Kong very quickly. So Pei needs to get her next position as soon as possible. There is one prospect, but Pei doesn’t know how she feels about working for an English woman. At the interview, Pei is frightened when Mrs. Finch pours her a cup of tea as she thinks that’s what she should be doing. As it turns out, everything is uncomplicated for Mrs. Finch. Pei finds her very straight forward. As happy as Pei is working for Mrs. Finch, the times are getting worrisome with each passing day. Japanese have occupied Indochina. Tensions are running high in the Pacific. It seems that it is just a matter of time, not if Japanese will invade Hong Kong. Japanese come bombing Hong Kong and announcing, “We have come in friendship to free you from British imperialism.” Soon after, Mrs. Finch is sent to internment camp at Stanley Beach on the other side of the island. The severe rice rations imposed by the Japanese, make some people turn to the black market in order to survive. “The Triads is a large organization of secret societies that ran almost all of the black market, supplying the goods for huge profits, while those who worked for them received a small cut. That would leave those not involved with the Triads in a real minority.” When the occupation ends, there is new hope. Pei hopes to open a small seamstress shop. Each war claims many lives and the Japanese occupation is no exception. But in sadness, there is also hope. There are some deeply moving and unexpected reunions. Each character gets beautifully developed, in short poignant stories. And that’s what this author is known for; for bringing touching stories of hardship and survival, unforgettable characters fighting the forces of war and to make a life for themselves. The story gives a good glimpse of the Japanese conflict. It is not overwhelming in war details. Highly recommend other books by this author: “The Samurai’s Garden” and “A Hundred Flowers.” @FB/BestHistoricalFiction

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bobbi

    The Language of Threads is the sequel to Women of the Silk, which should be read first. The story refers to events that happened in the first book, so I plan to go back and read it. Gail Tsukiyama writes well, providing insight into the customs in China and the lives of Chinese women. This is the story of a young Chinese girl, Pei, who leaves China and flees to Hong Kong after the invasion of Japan during the Second World War. She worked in a silk factory in a small Chinese town (the first story) The Language of Threads is the sequel to Women of the Silk, which should be read first. The story refers to events that happened in the first book, so I plan to go back and read it. Gail Tsukiyama writes well, providing insight into the customs in China and the lives of Chinese women. This is the story of a young Chinese girl, Pei, who leaves China and flees to Hong Kong after the invasion of Japan during the Second World War. She worked in a silk factory in a small Chinese town (the first story) where women bonded together in a close knit sisterhood and life was, in general, better than for most. In Hong Kong Pei and Ji Shen, a young orphan in her care, find work as domestics, first for a wealthy Chinese family and then for an English woman. The Japanese invade Hong Kong, leaving Pei and Ji Shen alone once again. Life is difficult for many years, but they gradually find their way to a more prosperous life after the Japanese are defeated. Pei struggles to find her place and create a family out of those remaining. This is a wonderful look at what life was like during and after WWII for many Chinese. It was difficult, yet the women provided for and sheltered each other.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Deanna Drai Turner

    I don't grant 5 stars very often. This book duo deserves it. The first book is "Women of the Silk" the second "The Language of Threads." As I first engaged in this adventure, I stepped off with trepidation. I wondered if it would be yet another story of the horrors of how the Chinese treat their women. Foot binding. Discarding female babies. Slave trade. Dog worth. Etc...I have read many of these stories in my day, and just wasn't sure my heart was in a place to endure more of that just now. And I don't grant 5 stars very often. This book duo deserves it. The first book is "Women of the Silk" the second "The Language of Threads." As I first engaged in this adventure, I stepped off with trepidation. I wondered if it would be yet another story of the horrors of how the Chinese treat their women. Foot binding. Discarding female babies. Slave trade. Dog worth. Etc...I have read many of these stories in my day, and just wasn't sure my heart was in a place to endure more of that just now. And yes, this book does address many of these issues, but it is not by any stretch the focal point. We are led through the lifetime of Pei. From impoverished Fish Farm daughter, sold into being a Silk Worker and onto the expansion of her life outside of China in what was then English Hong Kong. The story carries through both books from the early 1900's right past WWII (and while it must address the political environment of the time, it does not get bogged down in explaining it). The reason I ended up loving these books was because of the development of the sisterhood story. In the midst of the grief and pain, labor and hardship, the sisters built together. Sisters of the heart, not sisters of the blood. The women with very few exceptions took care of the women, the young, the working age and the elders. It is beautifully told. There is a depth of kindness written here. A power shown in many unexpected places. An undoing of misconception. Delicious in it's descriptions which reached into my heart. It is a story of life, love, loss, death, birth, ancestors, ghosts, intuition, food, hard work, fear, creativity, desperation, integrity, tenacity...living. I highly recommend both of these books. Don't start one if you don't intend to do both. Top shelf! I read them like wildfire this last 2 weeks. I honor the work of Gail Tsukiyuma.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Last year I got the opportunity to hear Tsukiyama speak at a banquet for the Willamette Writers in Portland. She is half Japanese-American and half Chinese-American, and most of her books center around Japan or China. After hearing her speak, I read her first novel, "Women of the Silk" (about women who worked in the silk factories in China) and loved it. "The Language of Threads" picks up where "Women of the Silk" left off. I can see that Tsukiyama's writing has only improved in the interval betw Last year I got the opportunity to hear Tsukiyama speak at a banquet for the Willamette Writers in Portland. She is half Japanese-American and half Chinese-American, and most of her books center around Japan or China. After hearing her speak, I read her first novel, "Women of the Silk" (about women who worked in the silk factories in China) and loved it. "The Language of Threads" picks up where "Women of the Silk" left off. I can see that Tsukiyama's writing has only improved in the interval between the two books. The Language of Threads is the continuing story of former silk worker, Pei, as she escapes to Hong Kong and endures WWII under the Japanese occupation. She continues to form strong friendships and thrive in the midst of the chaos around her. Pei's story is unusual in literature about China for two reasons: (1) women rely on each other more than they rely on men...it's a hopeful story about women sticking together through turmoil, and (2) the books have positive male characters (as well as negative). I also find it interesting to consider Tsukiyama's ethnic background, 1/2 Chinese and 1/2 Japanese, and wonder about her own inner turmoil as she writes about what her Japanese ancestry did to her Chinese ancestry around the time of the war. Well worth the time! If you read this one, I strongly enourage you to read "Women of the Silk" first.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Randee

    I very much enjoyed this story of Pei and Ji Shen, two Chinese girls whose family's gave them up to work at a silk factory. When the Japanese invaded, Pei and Ji Shen barely escaped to Hong Kong with their lives, leaving behind all that they knew. When I read stories like this, my first gut reaction is to feel blessed that I have not had to experience such hardship winning a random lottery not of my making to have been born in the United States of Swedish/Polish heritage. My second most prominen I very much enjoyed this story of Pei and Ji Shen, two Chinese girls whose family's gave them up to work at a silk factory. When the Japanese invaded, Pei and Ji Shen barely escaped to Hong Kong with their lives, leaving behind all that they knew. When I read stories like this, my first gut reaction is to feel blessed that I have not had to experience such hardship winning a random lottery not of my making to have been born in the United States of Swedish/Polish heritage. My second most prominent thought is admiration for immigrants who bravely make their way in a foreign country by working hard and trying to assimilate as best as they can. And, of course, I always feel war is awful for people on earth regardless of what country is fighting with another. I don't think our DNA as homo sapiens will allow us to get along with each other or for us to rise collectively above the futility of war, but it makes me sad at how many innocents must pay in these situations. I also was impressed at how silk workers had a sisterhood that became a family that could be relied upon. As much horror as there was, there were silver linings and I like how these women were portrayed as strong and brave under horrible circumstances.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mady

    This is the sequel to "Women of the Silk", where we keep following Pei's life. However, didn't find this as brilliant as the first one. Somehow the characters didn't get so clear in my mind and they made me feel as if they were broadly the same from the first book, but undercover of a different name! Regardless, found this very engaging and could keep on reading about Pei! Probably for the benefit of readers who have not read the "Women of the Silk" some of its plot is explained in this book, but This is the sequel to "Women of the Silk", where we keep following Pei's life. However, didn't find this as brilliant as the first one. Somehow the characters didn't get so clear in my mind and they made me feel as if they were broadly the same from the first book, but undercover of a different name! Regardless, found this very engaging and could keep on reading about Pei! Probably for the benefit of readers who have not read the "Women of the Silk" some of its plot is explained in this book, but for me (with only a couple of weeks interval between the books), it became a bit repetitive. I really enjoy reading Gail Tsukiyama's books, I've been saving them for a while, but now finally decided to delight myself with a few! It's been treat time as I work on reducing my to-be-read physical shelf!

  11. 4 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    My only complaint is that this book wasn't published in one volume with 'Women of the Silk', because both books didn't really feel like separate tales. Rather, they felt more like two halves of one tale, especially because of the way 'Women of the Silk' ended and this one begun. Still, it was a lovely and poignant tale as Pei has to deal with the tumult of the Japanese invading China (this book starts in the late 1930's) and shows that even no matter how tenacious and determined some people are My only complaint is that this book wasn't published in one volume with 'Women of the Silk', because both books didn't really feel like separate tales. Rather, they felt more like two halves of one tale, especially because of the way 'Women of the Silk' ended and this one begun. Still, it was a lovely and poignant tale as Pei has to deal with the tumult of the Japanese invading China (this book starts in the late 1930's) and shows that even no matter how tenacious and determined some people are (like Caroline Finch) they still can't overcome certain difficulties. Surviving hard times is not just a matter of tenacity or resourcefulness, it's also luck - good or bad, so while this story is bittersweet and realistic, it's also an enjoyable tale. I only wish that we had seen something bad happen to Fong, since she was such a nasty little thing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    I think I would have liked this better if my expectations had not been so high, but after reading Tsukiyama's "Samurai's Garden," her "Language of Threads" was a disappointment. It is set in pre War II and then during WW II Hong Kong but there is not much subtlety here - it is Japanese Devils versus the Chinese. The protagonist is a silk worker and I craved more information about this interesting dying profession - there were hints about the silk sisterhood and the vows of the silk sisterhood bu I think I would have liked this better if my expectations had not been so high, but after reading Tsukiyama's "Samurai's Garden," her "Language of Threads" was a disappointment. It is set in pre War II and then during WW II Hong Kong but there is not much subtlety here - it is Japanese Devils versus the Chinese. The protagonist is a silk worker and I craved more information about this interesting dying profession - there were hints about the silk sisterhood and the vows of the silk sisterhood but not enough information. The characters were fairly flat with little nuance and almost no motivation shown for their feelings and actions. I really did not care much about what happened to the characters - partly because it was so predictable and partly because they were so flatly drawn.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ShirleyS

    This book is a sequel to Women of the Silk. Both books I read to the very last sentence. Both books are highly readable. Both books have fairly interesting characters. Neither book has that SOMETHING that The Samurai’s Garden has.... where I didn’t want it to end..... where I wanted to follow the characters to see what they did next. Now that’s the book of Tsukiyama’s that needs a sequel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alopexin

    Simple, straightforward, competently written, but lacks conviction. There's nothing to set the book apart from all the Asian women's tales of woes that have been told under many forms already. Pei's identity as a silk factory worker serves barely as background for her new life in Hong Kong, and what little we learned of her work at the silk factory it was thanks to scant flashbacks - the lack of research making this angle of the book insufficient and impersonal. The many POVs make me feel like t Simple, straightforward, competently written, but lacks conviction. There's nothing to set the book apart from all the Asian women's tales of woes that have been told under many forms already. Pei's identity as a silk factory worker serves barely as background for her new life in Hong Kong, and what little we learned of her work at the silk factory it was thanks to scant flashbacks - the lack of research making this angle of the book insufficient and impersonal. The many POVs make me feel like the author was too greedy - trying to tell the stories of all these women, and never stopping for long enough to make a mark. The theme of the book, the "language of thread", is only introduced in like the 12th chapter out of 16th, and it doesn't mean anything. Nothing about the rest of the book points to it, nothing that happens since contributes to its meaning. It's kind of just there. In conclusion, an ok book that covered all the bases. But the author could grow a little more as a writer to make it a good story. EDIT: You know what. I thought about this book one day after in the shower. I'm taking away one star. Fuck you. For a book about invisible mending and the flow of thread, this book is about as clumsy as a quilted blanket. Do we get any clue about Pei's skills as a mender in the first 1/3 of the book? No!!! The author just threw it at us when Pei ran out of a job and had to be able to do something for a living. The last 3 chapters or so is about Pei's reunion with her sister and her escape from her hellish marriage and to the ~~~freedom~~~in Hong Kong. Great, I would've cared more about the sister if I actually knew something about her aside from her name, mentioned like once in the first chapter!! Ugh. The incoherence is enough to make you scream. This book is like a first draft of all the things the author wants to put in. If I were her editor I surely would make her rewrite the entire thing if only to have a more fluid story flow.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aisha Manus

    I bought this book based solely off the title because I love sewing and fabric with no clue what it was about. And that was a great decision because it was so much more. Apparently it’s a sequel but you don’t need to read the first to enjoy this book. Also I loved it because I got my BA in History, specifically Asian and Pacific History. So colour me surprised when the book takes place during Japanese occupies Hong Kong and the eventual rise of Mao in mainland China. I just adored it and at time I bought this book based solely off the title because I love sewing and fabric with no clue what it was about. And that was a great decision because it was so much more. Apparently it’s a sequel but you don’t need to read the first to enjoy this book. Also I loved it because I got my BA in History, specifically Asian and Pacific History. So colour me surprised when the book takes place during Japanese occupies Hong Kong and the eventual rise of Mao in mainland China. I just adored it and at times some of the sewing and thread analogies just made me so happy. However not a 5 start because there were a few loose ends haha pun intended. None the less I recommend!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Excellent book protraying the struggle of women and their successes and defeats

  17. 5 out of 5

    Beth Streit

    This was a sequel to an earlier book that I haven't read. I think I would have enjoyed it more had I read the first book. I have read a lot of historical fiction about WWII but not about the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong so that was an interesting perspective.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    Now we finally learn what happened to Pei, as she leaves the silk house for Hong Kong in the 1930s, arriving with a young orphan, Ji Shen, in her care. Her first job, in the home of a wealthy family, ends in disgrace, but soon Pei and Ji Shen find a new life in the home of Mrs. Finch, a British ex-patriate who welcomes them as the daughters she never had. Their idyllic life is interrupted, however, by war, and the Japanese occupation. Pei, a character and a women you will not forget. Her life is Now we finally learn what happened to Pei, as she leaves the silk house for Hong Kong in the 1930s, arriving with a young orphan, Ji Shen, in her care. Her first job, in the home of a wealthy family, ends in disgrace, but soon Pei and Ji Shen find a new life in the home of Mrs. Finch, a British ex-patriate who welcomes them as the daughters she never had. Their idyllic life is interrupted, however, by war, and the Japanese occupation. Pei, a character and a women you will not forget. Her life is full of joy and sorrow, her mettle endlessly tested and she gracefully rises to each challenge, stoically deals with each blow and humbly accepts the joys rarely surfacing in her heartbreaking world. The narrative spans from the 1930′s thru 1970′s rich in historical content. The ending could not have been better. A perfect compliment to both character and narrative. A wonderful story of facts unknown, historical moments described vividly. The silk factory and the lives of the workers is informative. Life in Hong Kong prior to the Japanese takeover well executed. What will strike a positive cord with readers – the strength of the woman and women highlighted. Determination against insurmountable odds, undoubtedly inspiring leaving you impressed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Yates

    This novel, set during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, is a continuation of the story of the silk worker Pei, begun in “Women of the Silk”. In this one, she moves to Hong Kong with her young ward, Ji Shen, and makes a life for herself first as a domestic and then as a seamstress. The novel does a good job of depicting the discomfort, insecurity and fear of wartime for a civilian population. The novel is written with straightforward simplicity, eschewing any novelistic tricks. It feels real e This novel, set during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, is a continuation of the story of the silk worker Pei, begun in “Women of the Silk”. In this one, she moves to Hong Kong with her young ward, Ji Shen, and makes a life for herself first as a domestic and then as a seamstress. The novel does a good job of depicting the discomfort, insecurity and fear of wartime for a civilian population. The novel is written with straightforward simplicity, eschewing any novelistic tricks. It feels real enough to be taken from diary entries. However, this is definitely a sequel, and there are frequent references to people and events that were described in “Women of the Silk”. So do read that book first.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Diana Nagy

    If you haven't read a book by author Gail Tsukiyama, you are missing out! This book was amazing! I started out reading it just to read it because I love just about every book in the world and also because I just couldn't put it down once I picked it up. I love how strong Pei is in this book. Even though sometimes she probably really didn't want to be. This book was so loving, so touching, so inspirational. Now that I have read this book by Gail, I want to read more. She just did such a good job If you haven't read a book by author Gail Tsukiyama, you are missing out! This book was amazing! I started out reading it just to read it because I love just about every book in the world and also because I just couldn't put it down once I picked it up. I love how strong Pei is in this book. Even though sometimes she probably really didn't want to be. This book was so loving, so touching, so inspirational. Now that I have read this book by Gail, I want to read more. She just did such a good job on this story and I bet her other ones are just as good. A book that I would never normally read turned out to be one of the most dear books to my heart. Try this one out...you won't be disappointed! (I am now officially obsessed with this author's work-I can't wait to read another one!)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    This is a sequel to Women of the Silk, which I haven't read. However, there is plenty of reminiscence of the past to have a good idea of the previous book. It takes place in China and Hong in the 1930s and 1940s, during the Japanese invasion/occupation. So, life is extremely difficult. What makes it liveable is the women's commitment to and caring for each other: Women who, as children were made leave their families to work in the silk factories, who have known hard work and deprivation and have This is a sequel to Women of the Silk, which I haven't read. However, there is plenty of reminiscence of the past to have a good idea of the previous book. It takes place in China and Hong in the 1930s and 1940s, during the Japanese invasion/occupation. So, life is extremely difficult. What makes it liveable is the women's commitment to and caring for each other: Women who, as children were made leave their families to work in the silk factories, who have known hard work and deprivation and have learned that caring for each other is what makes life worth living. It is well written, and gives an idea of life in that time and place.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Beautiful! That's all I can say, the follow up to Women of The Silk is just as well written , engaging and at times emotional is WOTS. The only blip was no knowing what became of Chen Long my favourite 'sister' who was so feisty and courageous leading the women through protesting against the poor working conditions of the silk workers. I'm truely a fan of historical fiction and this author, I will be on a hunt for the rest of her books and any similar. The start, middle and end were all enjoyabl Beautiful! That's all I can say, the follow up to Women of The Silk is just as well written , engaging and at times emotional is WOTS. The only blip was no knowing what became of Chen Long my favourite 'sister' who was so feisty and courageous leading the women through protesting against the poor working conditions of the silk workers. I'm truely a fan of historical fiction and this author, I will be on a hunt for the rest of her books and any similar. The start, middle and end were all enjoyable and not predictable! I loved every page.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Grada (BoekenTrol)

    What an interesting and nice book this was. I have put off reading it for quite some time, I'm not exactly sure why. It may have been the cover, or the mention of 'dramatic story' in the blurp on the back cover. The book is not dramatic in the sense of 'exaggerated'. It is Pei and Ji Shen's story in all its beauty and ugliness. The book was interesting, because I had no idea that the Japanese had also invaded and occupied so much of China and Hong Kong. I guess one's never too old to learn :-)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Patsey

    Gail Tsukiyama is perhaps my favourite writer. She writes with gentleness yet strength and power of women making a life in the shitty circumstances they (we) find ourselves in. Her books are set in China, Hong Kong, Japan during times of conflict. And she writes of finding the beauty despite the struggle. Thank you for sharing your talent and your heart. P. 135. "It's a strange thing Caroline (Mrs. Finch). It wasn't until I simply gave up everything that I suddenly felt free."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lyd's Archive (7/'15 to 6/'18)

    There was a lot of beautiful language in this book but I felt the whole thing with Ms. Finch versus the Chens could be construed as like mild White Savior syndrome or something and a few things felt rushed due to this skipping of years but otherwise an enjoyable read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ram

    What a great author. She weaves a great tale, drawing you in bit by bit.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce

    This was a very lovely story told in a lovely gentle manner.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Suzi

    One of the things I like so much about Gail Tsukiyama’s telling of Pei’s life in ‘Women of the Silk’ and ‘The Language of Threads’ is the strength of the sisterhood of silk workers in China. Many books I’ve read about Chinese society have depicted Chinese women as subservient to men, and often abused by men, but Tsukiyama reaches beyond the quiet, gentle mannerisms and reveals the strength and determination of her female characters. The focus of these stories is the bond formed between women, yo One of the things I like so much about Gail Tsukiyama’s telling of Pei’s life in ‘Women of the Silk’ and ‘The Language of Threads’ is the strength of the sisterhood of silk workers in China. Many books I’ve read about Chinese society have depicted Chinese women as subservient to men, and often abused by men, but Tsukiyama reaches beyond the quiet, gentle mannerisms and reveals the strength and determination of her female characters. The focus of these stories is the bond formed between women, young and old, who relied on each other to survive the hardships of abandonment by their families as well as the invasion of China by Japan. It is important to read ‘Women of the Silk’ before ‘The Language of Threads’, to understand the full story of Pei’s circumstances and relationships. The stories are written with such honor and heart, and the cultural traditions are woven into the fabric of the characters, who are both gentle and strong. This is the first book I’ve read about the internment of the British in China by the Japanese, which was described again with a heartfelt story of a wonderfully strong and loving British woman whose kindness saved the lives of Pei and Ji Shen. Tsukiyama’s writing is extraordinary, and the tales she weaves are both rich in history and emotion. I have read many her novels, and I’ve never been disappointed!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lea

    Heartbreaking and hopeful. I was able to weave through Language of Threads slowly but surely. The characters in this books suffered through a lot of grief, pain, and loss. When you think you are about to reach the light at the end of the tunnel, it suddenly dims back again, and you return to the shadows. I admire Pei's resilience throughout the book. I love how all the characters got fleshed out, and although it breaks my heart to see that not everyone got the ending that they want, they got the Heartbreaking and hopeful. I was able to weave through Language of Threads slowly but surely. The characters in this books suffered through a lot of grief, pain, and loss. When you think you are about to reach the light at the end of the tunnel, it suddenly dims back again, and you return to the shadows. I admire Pei's resilience throughout the book. I love how all the characters got fleshed out, and although it breaks my heart to see that not everyone got the ending that they want, they got the happy ending they deserve. It makes me think of how privilege I am to live in this generation where my parents didn't have to send me to work at a young age. Where I didn't have to be married to an older man just so I can bring honour to my family. The women in this book are the main characters. Pei, most of all. My heart hurts for all the women in this book who got their lives snatched up at a young age.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kt

    Don't remember where I heard about this book, but I missed the fact that this was the second book involving these characters, and I think I missed some things because I did not read book one. There were some bits I didn't quite understand, and I wonder if it was because of my lack of background, or a need of edits. (There was some of the latter - there was a scene where Mrs. Finch was purportedly speaking in a Chinese dialect to Pei, but then Pei starts wondering about the meaning of the English Don't remember where I heard about this book, but I missed the fact that this was the second book involving these characters, and I think I missed some things because I did not read book one. There were some bits I didn't quite understand, and I wonder if it was because of my lack of background, or a need of edits. (There was some of the latter - there was a scene where Mrs. Finch was purportedly speaking in a Chinese dialect to Pei, but then Pei starts wondering about the meaning of the English word "bloody.") Some of the storyline seemed a bit too pat, and there was at least one character who was introduced, and then revisited, but then did not appear later in the book. It was a decent read, a good story about strong women, and an interesting cultural lesson, but too many little details nagged at me for me to really enjoy it.

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