Ji-Li has written a compelling memoir which reveals her gradual disillusionment with what she had been taught to believe about the Chinese communist government. A highly successful student, Ji-Li's life begins to unravel during the Cultural Revolution when her family wants her to turn down a chance to be trained by the government as a gymnast. Self-centered at first, the effects that propaganda have upon the lives of people she respects - including her own family - expand her concerns beyond her own.
I read this book quite a few books back. What I remember was that it was very compelling. The author tells about being forced to serve the "People" and the hardships, very much like the worst of a third world nation that her and her group experienced. While she grew up fast as a result of her experiences there this one particular scene that stands out; when two people were discovered as lovers and the horrible consequences that resulted. The author eagerly participated in their punishment, only to suffer deep regret later.
I found the narrative honest, in no sense was did it come across as exaggerated.
Great book for anyone at any age.
This wonderful little book allows you to feel the injustices of the Cultural Revolution but also begin to realize why the people allowed it to happen.
Risking that I will make it sound 'cliche' I would like to say that this madness is part of many a fanatic power-hungry oppressive regime. Honestly to a point I could swear I hear my grandma telling us about the communist takeover after the WW2 in the Czech republic then Czechoslovakia. My husband an Iraqi Kurd told me similar stories of enforced worship of Saddam, only his was actually more brutal story with the government sending poisoned exotic fruit like oranges, to eliminate part of the population, not to mention the horrific stories his friends told of Halabja the city attacked by chemical weapons... So I can relate to this one and I must say the writing and the settings described are very realistic. A worthy read for anyone who wants to understand just how bad things can get when monsters are allowed to run unchecked...
Great book for young adults. Takes you outside of your daily life to experience a TRUE story of a girl growing up in the middle of major cultural change.