Book Reviews of Women of the Silk

Women of the Silk
Women of the Silk
Author: Gail Tsukiyama
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ISBN-13: 9780312099435
ISBN-10: 0312099436
Publication Date: 10/15/1993
Pages: 288
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 228

3.9 stars, based on 228 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

35 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Women of the Silk on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Fascinating tale of females in China. A girl child's fate to be left at the doorstep of a silk factory in the mid-20's. Readers will have a chance to watch Pei grow and the learn of the life of a silk worker in China. Wonderful.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Great read for a rainy weekend. Loved this book set in early 20th century rural China.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This was a pretty straight forward book about a "spirited" daughter who was sold by her family. I found that the author made this almost seem to easy for the heroine to get used to and become good at it.Though I found the book well written and gave me some iinsight on the silk trade.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is a wonderfully written story about women working in a silk factory in China and struggling to make their way in the world. You will find yourself identifying with the characters and thinking about them long after finishing the book. Luckily there is a sequel to this book called "Language of the Threads" that you will find yourself eagerly reaching for next.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
good book to read if you like amy tan.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I really enjoy reading books about the Asian culture and if you are, too, then this won't disappoint. Enjoyable and informational, too!
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 905 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wonderful read about a child--it's always the girls that they get rid of--that is left on the steps of a factory and she works and grows up working, she forms a friendship with the other females and leads the first female strike the village has ever seen. This is a very good book i really enjoyed the story line and the author is amazing, i'd never read anything by her before, but will now look for more.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A tender and beautifully written book. Any fan of Asian literature or fine subtle writing will appreciate this work.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 133 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The story of friendship among women working in a silk factory, most of them taken there as children by their parents, with part of their wages going back to help the family.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
WOW! This is a beautifully written book.
The relationship between the two main women characters is beyond deep and filled with wonder and questions.
It was an eye opener to read about the silk industry and the lives of the people involved.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Interesting story of rural China in the 1920's and the women who have bravely made a life for themselves by working the a silk factory.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I liked this book because of the historical value. It was interesting see read about these young women in China and about their lives. The book was delicate and read like a young adult book instead of a novel.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 384 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
this was my first book by this very talented author.it is a very moving taled of female friendship in the hard times at a silk factory.
she has written a sequal and it is also very good
her best effort is "the samurai's garden" i love it so much i can't give up my copy.
any time you see Gail Tsukiyama's name, it is usually a MUST read
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 37 more book reviews
A story of girls sold into work bondage because parents lack means to feed/cloth them. Excellent character development and story; hated to see the book end.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 84 more book reviews
Details the lives of Chinese girls sent away to work in the silk factories in the early 1900s. Rife with super ambiguous sexual undertones, this book describes a successful labor union (which would be really cool if it happened in real life), and a sisterhood ritual for those who choose against marriage. Very abrupt ending, maybe it's supposed to be a series but I'm not interested enough to see what happens to these characters after they escape the Japanese invasion for Hong Kong.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 132 more book reviews
I really liked this book. Made me appreciate our life in America . These women were strong. It's a great story You won't be dissappointed with this author. Read the Language of Threads too.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 20 more book reviews
Excellent read. Felt like I was there- at that time- in that place.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 5 more book reviews
Very good read; enlightening.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 132 more book reviews
Here we have the story of Pei who is sold to the Silkmakers and Lin, who is currently working there. They develop a deep friendship and that is what helps them make it through the hours and the onerous, tedious and difficult task of making silk. The girls become very close. Eventually they lead a walk out of the workers to get better conditions. Ms. Tsukiyama writes so smoothly it is like drinking warm tea, a sip here, a sip there. She has a mastery of making you feel as though you are there. In her next book, The Language of Threads, she continues the story of Pei and Lin. I most highly recommend this book to anyone who is partial to literature about women, especially Asian women and their struggles and triumphs. If you liked, The Joy Luck Club, I believe you will enjoy this book and its sequel.
reviewed Women of the Silk on
Excellent book! Great story line. Before I knew it I was finished.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 12 more book reviews
A wonderful and touching story about women in China. I truly enjoyed reading it.
reviewed Women of the Silk on
I loved this book because it is about the Asian culture. Gail Tsukiyama not only brings out the history and what its like to live then, but she does a good job at pulling you into that time. I also Laura Joh Rowlands books for the same reasons.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 331 more book reviews
Ancient culture whose values have prevailed through the mists of time.
Strong, implacable, deeply loving women.
Timeless story of sacrifice, commitment, survival, fulfillment, love, triumph.


I've also read:

The Samurai's Garden
(St. Martin's Press, 1996)
On the eve of the Second World War, a young Chinese man is sent to his family's summer home in Japan to recover from tuberculosis. He will rest, swim in the salubrious sea, and paint in the brilliant shoreside light. It will be quiet and solitary. But he meets four local residents - a lovely young Japanese girl and three older people. What then ensues is a tale that readers will find at once classical yet utterly unique. Young Stephen has his own adventure, but it is the unfolding story of Matsu, Sachi, and Kenzo that seizes your attention and will stay with you forever. Tsukiyama, with lines as clean, simple, telling, and dazzling as the best of Oriental art, has created an exquisite little masterpiece.

and:

The Language of Threads
(St. Martin's Press, 1999)
In her acclaimed debut novel, Women of the Silk, Gail Tsukiyama told the moving story of Pei, brought to work in the silk house as a girl, grown into a quiet but determined young woman whose life was 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 1930's, 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 new family is torn apart, however, by war, and the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. As Mrs. Finch is forced into a prison camp, and Ji Shen tries to navigate the perilous waters of the gang-run black market, Pei is once again forced to make her own way, struggling to survive and to keep her extended family alive as well.
In this dramatic story of hardship and survival in the face of historic upheaval, Gail Tsukiyama brings her trademark grace and storytelling flair to paint a moving, unforgettable portrait of women fighting the forces of war and time to make a life for themselves.

and:

Night of Many Dreams
(St. Martin's Press, 1998)
Gail Tsukiyama's most recent novel tells the powerful story of two sisters coming of age in Hong Kong, beginning just before the Second World War.
When war threatens the comfortable life of Joan and Emma Lew, the daughters of a Hong Kong businessman, they escape with their family to spend the early 1940s in Macao. When they return home, Joan, the beautiful elder sister, hopes for a traditional marriage and children, until her passion for movies and romance gives her the promise of different life. Emma, inspired by the independence of her aunt Go, considers college in San Francisco and the challenge of life in America.
As the girls become women, each follows a different path from what her family expects. But through times of great happiness and sorrow, the sisters learn that their complicated ties to each other--and to the other members of their close-knit family--are a source of strength as they pursue their separate dreams.


Asian cultural values speak deeply to me.

Tsukyama's works keep me in touch with principles I value even if I don't always understand or reflect them myself.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 65 more book reviews
book is about working women in the silk factory in the late 1920's.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 64 more book reviews
Fascinating study of the lives of women in rural China in the 1920's
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 135 more book reviews
This book was "enlivened with an engrossing richness of detail. It provides a revealing look at the life and customs of China -- succinct and delicate." It was both sad and sweet.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 3 more book reviews
An easy read. Transported me to a different time and place.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 166 more book reviews
Reviewers loved this tale of a young Chinese girl who must leave her family to work in the silk factories, finding both 'family' and a meaning for her life in the women she joins there. The San Francisco Chronicle called it, "one of the loveliest first novels published this year."
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 4 more book reviews
Fair story, I was really hoping for something along the lines of Memoir of a Geisha, but it's not as exciting a story. Still, an easy read and the characters are easy to identify with.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 44 more book reviews
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a good way to learn about rural China while at the same time being entertained with a story.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 35 more book reviews
Good read. People have compared this to Memoirs of a Geisha. I found the characters in this book much more likable.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 18 more book reviews
This Chinese culture from the 1800's to the 1960's intrigues me so much. They are a strong and enduring people. Gail Tsukiyama's descriptions put you right there.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 959 more book reviews
Interesting tale of a young Chinese girl sent to work in the silk houses between the two great world wars, and of how her life unfolds. It never quite engages the emotions, however.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 89 more book reviews
This book is the story of Pie, a young Chinese girl. At a young age, Pie is sold by her father to a silk making factory. She is taught various jobs, makes lifelong friendships and makes a good life for herself. This book gives you an inside view of the culture woman faced during this era and how one small girl makes the best of what she had to deal with. The sequel to this book is, The Language Of Threads.
reviewed Women of the Silk on + 67 more book reviews
Good book, I enjoyed this!